Officials from two federally recognized Indian tribes say they are frustrated in their attempts to protect what they consider a sacred site from becoming part of an offshore wind farm…
Both the Mashpee Wampanoag and the Wampanoag of Gay Head (Aquinnah) have two main objections to the Cape Wind project:
* It would destroy a sacred site where ancestors fished, hunted and possibly were buried.
* It would obstruct their view of the horizon, thus interfering with their spiritual well-being.
In letters to federal officials, both the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and the Mashpee Wampanoag are critical of the federally mandated consultation process and object to the final environmental impact statement…
“The Minerals Management Service continues to work in good faith with the American Indian tribes around Nantucket Sound during the Section 106 consultation process,” an agency spokesman said in a prepared statement. “It would be inappropriate and not in good faith to disclose the details of our communications while discussions are still ongoing…”
The tribes are particularly miffed that MMS officials canceled plans to attend the “Legend of Maushop” pageant scheduled for Saturday on Martha’s Vineyard. The oral history, passed down from generation to generation of Aquinnah Wampanoag, tells the story of how Maushop, the giant Wampanoag leader, walked to Noepe, the island known today as the Vineyard, she said…
Mark Rodgers declined to comment on specific issues raised by the tribes but did point out that no burial site has been detected in the area proposed for Cape Wind.
“There were no human artifacts found,” he said. “Just some matter that could have been remains of trees…”
Though Aquinnah is on the opposite side of the Vineyard from Nantucket Sound, both tribes consider an unobstructed view of the horizon essential to their spiritual well-being as “People of the First Light.”
Forgive my cynicism, for that’s what rules my analysis of this situation. I’ve been through beaucoup dialogues over cultural and religious hurt feelings over many decades. Unless we are all prepared to redress the just grievances of all First Nation people and turn over running the country to tribal councils – whatever remains is money, a slice of the pie, something to compensate superstition.
This is not worthy of support in a democratic republic founded on keeping religion separate from state.