Inspired by Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline, the continuously free and independent indigenous peoples and nations within the claimed territorial boundaries of the eastern US have united against the Atlantic Coast pipeline. In solidarity they have formed the Coalition of Woodland Nations against the ACPL.

Atlantic “excess” pipeline

During a recent “Democracy Now!” interview indigenous scholar and activist Winona LaDuke (Ojibwe) referred to Dakota Access as the Dakota “Excess” pipeline asserting the existing pipeline infrastructure was already sufficient.

The same is true of the Atlantic “excess” pipeline. “Mountain Lake Preservation” reported that existing natural gas pipelines in the region were sufficient and more cost effective to energy consumers. So why all the excess pipelines? Money, that's why.

They seek dominion

It is no coincidence that the company that will own the Atlantic Coast pipeline is called “Dominion.” In the Book "Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery", Shawnee and Lenni Lenape indigenous scholar Steve Newcomb details the history of the Western European legal fiction of dominium, the Latin root of the English word dominion. Dominion is the racist ideology that Western European so-called “civilization” should dominate all other peoples as well as the Environment.

Other than the secularization of the ideology of dominion, little else has changed.

New pipelines mean higher profits for Dominion

Dominion wants a new pipeline that it owns for higher profit rather than using the existing and already sufficient pipeline infrastructure, Transco and Columbia, which it does not own. The Atlantic Coast pipeline is a 550 mile industrial project costing $3 billion dollars.

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The power plants it presumably will serve will not open until 2020 and 2030 respectively. Claims that ACPL will benefit the local economy are demonstrably false. A similar pipeline in West Virginia only hired 10 percent of local workers. In addition, the pipeline is a temporary project providing only short term jobs. Clearly the alleged economic benefits accrue only to Dominion.

What is ignored in the ACPL analysis is the impact of the ACPL on the indigenous peoples of the region.

ACPL impact on indigenous peoples

Just as in the case of Dakota Access, the ACPL threatens, and has already destroyed, recognized archaeological sites of historical, cultural and spiritual significance to the indigenous nations in the path of ACPL. The indigenous peoples of this region were the first to be impacted by British mercantile colonialism. They defended their territories from invasion for centuries resulting in treaties with the British empire. After the American Revolution these agreements were recognized by the United States under a legal principle known as the “doctrine of sovereign succession.” Dominion therefore has no “dominion” in the sovereign indigenous territories in ACPL's route.

Coalition of Woodland Nations stands strong

The continuously free and independent indigenous nations of the region continue to stand strong against ACPL. Like the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) the Skarure' Kahtenu'aka (Tuscarora – People of the Cypress) nation, and allied nations like the Saponi, and others, continue to utilize social media to mobilize against ACPL. Their defense of their traditional treaty territories is also a defense of the environment. Support for the indigenous opposition to ACPL is crucial to protect the environment and fight climate change. Stand with Standing Rock, but also Stand with the Coalition of Woodland Nations against ACPL.