The American Indian Movement in Lancaster held a protest in Penn Square Friday night, beating their drum in an ancient ritual to show their opposition to the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline.
“We’re uniting and we’re growing,” says Carlos Whitewolf of Lancaster.
It’s a fight over Indiantown and a several sacred Native American sites, including a Chief’s burial place, run through Conestoga and Manor townships.
“We as spiritual people believe that their spirits are roaming here, and as a spiritual thing, the native people someone has to stand up and fight,” Whitewolf, “That’s why it’s important for us, it’s part of our history.”
A spokesman for Williams Partners, the developer, says “The proposed pipeline is not going to disturb sacred ground… We have no intention of touching or disturbing any cemeteries, regardless of age, ethnic affiliation, or type.”
He added that the current route is a third of a mile from Indiantown, and a half a mile from the Chief’s burial place. But the protestors say that’s not far enough.
“The so-called new route that they chose is no different,” says Whitewolf. “You’re still on sacred land and we’re going to fight you to the end.”
The full statement from Williams Partners:
“The proposed pipeline is not going to disturb sacred ground. Our company is working very closely with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, landowners, tribes and local experts to make informed decisions about the locations of facilities and workspaces associated with our proposed Atlantic Sunrise project. Our archeologists have been working diligently to ensure that the route we develop avoids any impact to Conestoga Indiantown and the hill presumed to be the final resting place of Chief Civility. In fact, the current route filed with FERC just last week is about a half mile from the hill and a third of a mile from Indiantown. We have discussed the location in detail with local experts from Millersville University and the Conestoga Area Historical Society to ensure we avoid cultural resources in this area.
We have no intention of touching or disturbing any cemeteries, regardless of age, ethnic affiliation, or type. ” – Chris Stockton, Williams Partners