From the moment indigenous protesters gathered to resist the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota, they faced heavy-handed tactics from law enforcement and private security hired by the pipeline company. As the protests grew, so did the campaign to surveil and repress them. Here is a timeline of events as they unfolded based on The Intercept’s original reporting.


April 1

Pipeline opponents establish Sacred Stone Camp

Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota people ride on horseback to a small campsite at the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers, declaring opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and promising to protect the water.

September 3

DAPL security guards attack water protectors with dogs

Water protectors are surprised to find construction in progress at a location recently identified by a Standing Rock Sioux expert as containing ancestral burial sites.

October 3

“Exploitation of ongoing native versus non-native rifts, and tribal rifts between peaceful and violent elements is critical in our effort to delegitimize the anti-DAPL movement.”

— Situation report prepared by TigerSwan for its client Energy Transfer Partners.

Internal TigerSwan Situation Report 2016-10-03

December 4

“The Army will not grant an easement to cross Lake Oahe at the proposed location.”

— Jo-Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army, announcing that construction will be halted pending the completion of an environmental impact statement. A blizzard engulfs resistance camps the next day, forcing many to evacuate.

Memorandum for commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Additional Credits

Product Design: Fei Liu. Development: Stephanie Harris, Carl Licata, Raby Yuson.

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