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To: Tom Walker, Chief of the Regulatory Branch of the Norfolk District Army Corps

Stop Destruction of the Monacan Indian Capital

Stop Destruction of the Monacan Indian Capital

Petition Text

We ask you not to allow the James River Water Authority (JRWA) to build a pump station and pipeline project at Point of Fork. This project would destroy the historic Monacan capital of Rassawek, first identified by Captain John Smith in 1612, in addition to several other significant historical and archaeological sites. It is not in the public interest for the Army Corps of Engineers to issue a permit to JRWA to destroy our shared history, especially when JRWA can construct its project at an alternate location and still provide water to Zion Crossroads for speculative economic development. The Monacan Indian Nation are a federally-recognized tribe and have experienced centuries of oppression and destruction at the hands of the federal and Virginian governments, and we should hold ourselves to a higher standard now.

Why is this important?

Human remains, the bones of Monacan ancestors, have been found multiple times at the Rassawek site. Rassawek is also one of the most important Monacan towns, its political center and the place where its chiefs lived. If the pump station project is not built on Rassawek, it would be a sacred place for the tribe. The Army Corps should not force the tribe to endure the traumatic and somber process of repatriating and reburying their ancestors. At a time when the Commonwealth and the nation are working to preserve and interpret the historic capital of the Powhatan Confederacy, Werowocomoco, it is disturbing to see such willingness to destroy the Monacans’ capital.

We ask that the leadership of Virginia and the Army Corps conduct a systemic review to identify other options for the water intake and pump station project that do not destroy this irreplaceable history.

Fluvanna County, VA, USA

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

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Reasons for signing

  • His Life Matters Help me Save It Free Julian Assange #B27321
  • This is an abomination and must be stopped. Have they no decency at all?
  • When was the last time someone dug up your ancestors? How did it feel? This is a significant piece of Americn history.

Updates

2020-04-30 12:40:14 -0400

Thank you so much for your support of our human rights and history! Unfortunately, the Army Corps has still not extended public comments so more of our tribal members and local citizens can provide their views. Can you help?

The Corps is accepting comments via email to steven.a.vanderploeg@usace.army.mil, due May 7th at 5pm EDT. More public comments = closer review, so every comment helps. The Nation would be so grateful if you would raise your voice once more. Here's a draft email:

Dear Mr. Vanderploeg,
I am deeply concerned about the plans to destroy the Monacan capital of Rassawek, and likely disturb Monacan ancestors, for the James River Water Authority pump station. This represents a miscarriage of justice and a continuation of many centuries of oppression by the native occupants of Virginia. The Corps should not provide their stamp of approval.
I ask that the Corps require an EIS and a public hearing to ensure that all alternatives are considered and all voices are heard.

2020-04-26 00:33:45 -0400

5,000 signatures reached

2020-04-25 14:29:00 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2020-04-25 14:15:21 -0400

500 signatures reached

2020-04-25 14:06:19 -0400

100 signatures reached

2020-04-25 14:04:26 -0400

50 signatures reached

2020-04-25 14:03:10 -0400

25 signatures reached

2020-04-25 14:02:12 -0400

10 signatures reached