When I first arrived in North Dakota to report on Standing Rock, I visited the State Capitol, built in 1934, the tallest building in Bismarck. The Art Deco interior has gilded everything — doorframes, ashtrays, elevator buttons. On a late afternoon in December, I stood at a window on the 18th floor and looked outside. Tiny people scurried through the streets below, and tailpipes puffed a fog of spent petroleum into the cold air. The snowy horizon was the same color as the clouds in the light gray sky, the landscape a pale abstraction that went on forever beyond the neatly gridded city. Somewhere to the south, thousands of people hunkered in the NoDAPL camps against the coming winter. From where I stood, I couldn’t see them.
In the days that followed, as I traveled through the camps and spoke to the water protectors, I had the sense that this…
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