Environmental Protection is a Tribal Value

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 (Listed under Environment)

The Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe, residing on the far-southwestern limit of Martha's Vineyard would likely see their cultural values reflected by Cape Wind if it were not for waterfront land-owners manipulating them to satisfy their own agenda. It is disrespectful to the Wampanoag people and to the cultural heritage of Native Americans nation-wide to use the Wampanoag's recently granted legal status to fight a project that would otherwise be viewed by the tribe as a model for environmental conservation and thoughtful resource management. After all, where have the Wampanoag people been when coal-fired electrical power plants were built along the southeastern shores of Massachusetts? Where are the Wampanoag people when oil spills from passing tankers contaminate shorelines, killing fish and marine life? Where are the Wampanoag people when air quality emergency alerts are issued because polluted air from cars, trucks, and power plants threaten human health and safety? Surely, these disturbances offend Native American culture more than the transformation of wind's mechanical energy into renewable energy. It's no surprise that the wealthy land owners on Cape Cod, many of whom have accumulated untold wealth as owners and defenders of oil and mining interests, choose to keep these disturbances as quiet as possible.


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