These letters were sent to FERC November 8, 2014. They are now being reposted, for ease of accessibility.
237 Karuna Lane
Buckingham, VA 23921
November 8, 2014
Kimberly Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20426
REF: Atlantic Coast Natural Gas Pipeline proposed by Dominion/Duke Energy DOCKET NUMBER: PF 15-6
Dear Ms. Bose, Chairperson LaFleur, and Roger Kirchen:
I am writing in opposition to the proposed route of the Atlantic Coast pipeline which is slated to enter Buckingham County, Virginia from the Wingina area of neighboring Nelson County. The route will bring the pipeline directly through an area that is well-documented in both Virginia history and archaeology as the site of the lost civilizations of Virginia Native American tribes including the Monacans, Manahoacs, Tutelos and the allies that blended with these tribes as alliances were made and dismantled. The
disruption of the final resting places of these Natives will cause the loss of an irreplaceable element of Virginia culture and historic resources. This must not be allowed to happen. The sacredness of a final resting place is recognized even by the state and federal governments, which all too often these days seem to lack any responsiveness to individual rights!
I am a property owner in Buckingham and also a member of the Eastern Lenape Nation. As such, I am only too aware of the suffering of the Native American people in their constant forced removals from ancestral lands.
Please, as a regulatory agency, hold these big business predators to the tenants of the Graveyard Act. Better still, though, is not to give them any entry to a corridor that would require such legal intervention! The Wingina area is an important threatened site.
EVIDENCE TO SUBSTANTIATE SITE IMPORTANCE
The twenty-seven water miles between the confluence of the Rivanna River and the James and the area below Norwood, VA has been well-documented as the historical setting for five Monican towns, one of which, Monahassanaugh, was actually in the meadow area between Norwood and Wingina. (SEE MAP AND ATTACHMENT ONE.) There were also scattered settlements, smaller in nature, on both sides of the river. The Creasy Road area on the Buckingham side of the James was a trade area called Harduicksville and had a significant Native populace.
State archaeologist Michael Barber states, “Any village in the mountains or the Piedmont section of Virginia had burials associated with it. This insures that the Graveyard Protection Act will be kicked in.” (SEE ATTACHMENT NUMBER TWO: BARBER’s SECOND LETTER.)
Yogaville, a spiritual community which houses the international Integral Yoga Institute and training center, has burial cairns of the type designated as Siouan mounds. (SEE ATTACHMENT THREE: MOUND Photograph.) This type of Native grave served as a monument for fifty to a hundred people buried beneath it. (SEE ATTACHMENT FOUR, SIOUAN MOUNDS.) Thomas Jefferson himself became interested in these mounds as shown by his description of watching a group of Native people honor relatives/friends
buried beneath one. (SEE ATTACHMENT FIVE, JEFFERSON’S DESCRIPTION.) Clearly this James River area is of historical importance with much left yet to learn through respectful archaeological excavations rather than earth removal or blasting by pipeline construction.
VA UNIVERSITIES DEMONSTRATE CONTINUED INTEREST IN HISTORICAL RESOURCES
The area adjacent to Wingina, VA is also authenticated as an important Native American site by the archaeological departments who have used their much sought-after grant monies to sponsor digs along the river at the point of projected pipeline crossing. Longwood University completed a small dig under the auspices of renown field director Jim Jordan. When financial resources became scarce, the dig was reopened by the University of Virginia’s Jeffrey Hantman, whose articles and books fill all archaeology departments’ shelves.
In the relatively same location, the Woods Dig on the property of James and Barbara Wood yielded significant artifacts and exciting cultural elements. The Wirt Robinson Collection, which has stayed at Emory and Henry College and now has been restored to the Monican people has been documented as “containing 20,000 Indian Artifacts from Eastern Siouan sites in the vicinity of Wingina, Nelson County Archaic (ca 8000 to 1000 BC) Virginia.” To invade and in any way destroy these resources on both sides of the James River constitutes a serious violation of the NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT, SECTION 106 and will cost Dominion and partners untold aggravation, constant delays, and financial loss if they do not re-locate their entry corridor of construction to farther South of the Norwood/Wingina area of archaeological and historic preservation interest. Even if they follow their charge regarding actions they must take upon discovery of cultural artifacts, can one imagine the discovery of another site yielding 20,000 items–all needing research and cataloguing? This is only too possible considering how widely the remains of five major towns may have been scattered by the flood activity along the river. It is to Dominion’s advantage to divert the proposed route as much as it is to those who are concerned with the historical value of the area’s widespread archaic Native culture, which also must be considered by law and by the FERC regulators. What company could resist “failure to report” in a situation of constant delays? It is a lose-lose situation.
As a concerned citizen and a member of a sister Nation of American Tribes, I ask FERC to support our opposition to the desecration of historic sites along the James River from Wingina to Norwood. I am equally opposed to other elements of the pipeline construction in terms of public health and safety, but as someone who has transcribed into international phonetics the body of sacred songs and ceremony for two native nations, I feel uniquely qualified to undertake a plea for the Original People. We have a huge body of knowledge and cultural elements yet to be studied. Some of our sacred sites lie precisely in the proposed path of Atlantic Pipeline construction. They are well documented as to historical importance and have a mammoth, documented proof of historical significance. Even the collections and publications of the Smithsonian alone should prove their worth, were there no huge bibliography of OTHER weighty historical references to the geographical area. To supply you with even the items of research I myself have found would be to have you read a book in the middle of your regulatory process.
I would prefer no pipeline at all, as I sincerely believe we stand on the threshold of necessary change in the type of energy the world community will insist on being developed to save our planet. However, not being naive enough to think these business ventures will disappear until the last profit has been wrung from Mother Earth (with an unhealthy ostrich mentality as to the ULTIMATE costs to the future), I implore FERC to say “NO” to the destruction of the historical resources along the James River in this particular area.
Please request that this corridor of the proposed pipeline be regulated as out-of-bounds. Thank you in advance for conserving the historical resources from a vanishing segment of the original peopling of the world.
Wanishi: May you do that which would still be applauded by the Seventh Generation.