Feed the Flame by visual artist Tracie Williams documents the last three weeks leading up to and including the eviction on Feb 23rd, 2017 of the Oceti Oyate Camp, formerly known as the Oceti Sakowin Camp, located just north of Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Serving as the epicenter and headquarters for the indigenous led movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Oceti Sakowin was the main resistance camp and home to, at one point, thousands of Water Protectors.
Fulfilling a Lakota prophecy of a black snake that would rise from the depths of the earth delivering great sorrow and destruction, the Dakota Access Pipeline’s 1,172-mile route passes through treaty lands of historical and spiritual significance, including sacred burial grounds. The $3.78 billion project is expected to transport crude oil from the Bakken region in North Dakota to an oil tank farm in Patoka, Illinois, running underneath the Missouri River. A rupture in the pipeline would contaminate the primary water supply to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
The Dakota Access Pipeline protests are defined as an unprecedented moment in history, ignited by the actions of the Lakota youth, of whom united all seven bands of the Lakota-Dakota-Nakota (Sioux) Nation for the first time in over 140 years, along with over 200 tribes and thousands of non-indigenous allies from around the globe for one purpose: to protect the water.
Although the physical encampment has been forcibly removed and the Sacred Fire extinguished, a spiritual fire has been lit among many. As the resistance grows, the fight continues for indigenous, environmental, and humanitarian justice against the expansion of corporate greed.