Bismarck, North Dakota
Shirley Romero Otero is a Chicana activist from San Luis, the oldest indigenous community in the state of Colorado. An heir to the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant, her community is dealing with its own fight for water. "When we heard about this particular struggle, our hearts pulled us this way because the next battle after losing our land is truly the fight for water," she said.
When visitors turn off a narrow North Dakota highway and drive into the Sacred Stone camp where thousands have come to protest an oil pipeline, they thread through an arcade of flags whipping in the North Dakota wind. Each represent one of 280 Native American tribes that have flocked here in what activists are calling the largest, most diverse tribal action in at least a century, perhaps since Little Bighorn.