by SANDY TOLAN

Reporting from along the Cannon Ball River, N.D. — 

 Demonstrators against the Dakota Access oil pipeline hold a ceremony at the main protest camp Nov. 15 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. (James MacPherson / Associated Press)

Demonstrators against the Dakota Access oil pipeline hold a ceremony at the main protest camp Nov. 15 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. (James MacPherson / Associated Press)

It was still dark on Thanksgiving morning as the pickup truck with mounted speakers rode slowly through the dirt lanes of the Oceti Sakowin camp.  

“Wake up, water protectors!” boomed an amplified voice as the truck moved past tents, teepees, and the occasional flickering campfire. “It’s a beautiful day to protect the water.”   

Hundreds of opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline were just finishing the morning prayer at the Sacred Fire in the center of the camp. Now they trudged through snow flurries toward the staging area for another day of confronting North Dakota officials over the $3.8-billion pipeline.

“Today we all made sacrifices to be here,” organizer Vic Camp called out through a bullhorn as the group of Native Americans and their supporters began gathering at the southern edge of the camp for a ride north toward Bismarck. 

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