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Thousands Protest North Dakota Pipeline Near Native American Lands

Americans continued to rally near the reservation of the Standing Rock Sioux, who say their water and sacred grounds are under threat.

09/11/2016 12:32 pm ET | Updated Sep 11, 2016
Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
The protesters saw a temporary win on Friday after the Obama administration issued a voluntary halt on construction efforts, pending further review.

Thousands of Americans continued to protest in North Dakota Saturday to demand the federal government stop the construction of an oil pipeline near Native American land. The Department of Justice is currently reviewing the case after a federal judge denied the tribes’ request to stop construction on Friday.

Many protesters wore face paint and feather headdresses as they rallied and chanted against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The proposed route of the pipeline approaches the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, and the tribe argues the pipeline would disturb sacred sites and could contaminate drinking water.

Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
Thousands of people, including Native American tribes, have rallied to prevent the oil pipeline's construction.

One teepee in a packed parking lot in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, bore hundreds of signatures and handwritten messages of hope and encouragement.

“Honor our treaties,” one message read. “Water not oil,” read another.

Gabriel Lifton-Zoline
A teepee near the protests is covered in signatures and messages of support.

The $3.8 billion project would carry 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois across 1,172 miles and cross under Lake Oahe.

On Friday, the U.S. departments of Justice, the Interior and the Army announced some relief by declaring a voluntary pause on all construction within 20 miles of the lake.

Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
A man on horseback protests the Dakota Access Pipeline's construction during a rally in North Dakota.

“This is a momentary victory,” one protester said in a video posted Saturday to a Facebook page for the Sacred Stone spirit camp.

“It’s not a win,” he said, “but it demonstrates that we are winning, that we remain vigilant, cautious and prepared to put our bodies on the line in defense of Mother Earth and the protection of our rights as indigenous peoples to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

Check out more protest photos below.

Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
A man wears a feather-adorned headdress during a protest in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
Protesters have gathered by the thousands to fight the pipeline's construction.
Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
Protesters wave a flag in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
The pipeline would stretch 1,172 miles and go beneath a lake that the Standing Rock Sioux rely on for drinking water.
Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
Protesters rise together against the pipeline's construction.
Gabriel Lifton-Zoline
LED lights spell out a message against the construction of the pipeline.
Gabriel Lifton-Zoline
Teepees mix with camping tents, cars and RVs during weekend demonstrations.
Gabriel Lifton-Zoline
Protesters called the Obama administration's effort to help pause the pipeline's construction a "momentary victory."
Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
LED lights form a hashtag that protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Taliesin Gilkes-Bower
A child speaks during a rally against the pipeline's construction.
Andrew Cullen / Reuters
Protesters gather near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation on Friday.

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