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Opinion/Letter: Respecting the Monacan nation

Opinion/Letter: Respecting the Monacan nation

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Many of us were moved by the op-ed written by Pamela Thompson of the Monacan Indian Nation (“Major Monacan site imperiled by ‘progress,’” The Daily Progress, June 23) about the proposed construction of a water pumping station at the Point of Forks in Fluvanna County. 

This station will take water from the James River to be transported by pipeline for growth in Fluvanna and Louisa counties. The location chosen for this facility, at the confluence of the Rivanna and James rivers, is an important archeological site that deserves protection.

As the pre-Colonial capital of the Monacan people, Rassawek should be preserved for its historical significance and the spiritual value it holds for Native American people. Burial sites deserve respect and should be left undisturbed whenever possible.

We should all urge Gov. Ralph Northam (804-786-2211) to intervene and insist that the James River Water Authority find another location for its pumping station. 

Economic development is no excuse for disturbing the resting places of Monacan ancestors and destroying an archeological site dating back more than 5,000 years.

John A. Cruickshank

Albemarle County

John A. Cruickshank is community outreach coordinator for the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club.


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