Thursday, September 08, 2016

Stone Piles, Snakes and Turtles in N. Dakota

Images perhaps similar to those bulldozed sites near Camp Standing Rock:

More here:

More to make you cry:

Did the Dakota Access Pipeline Company Deliberately Destroy Sacred Sioux Burial Sites?


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to Jan Hasselman, who’s an attorney with Earthjustice representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Can you explain what you filed on Friday—you’re about to go to federal court today, but what you filed on Friday—and then what happened on Saturday and how that relates, you believe, to the information you filed Friday with the court?
JAN HASSELMAN: Sure. Thank you for having me here, Amy. So, I think it’s important to emphasize that the tribe has been using the lawful process to vindicate its important legal rights in this matter. It participated in the administrative process around the permits, and when its concerns weren’t listened to, it brought a lawsuit.
So, on Friday afternoon, we filed some very important evidence in the lawsuit about the discovery of some sacred and major culturally significant sites that were directly in the pipeline’s route. And it was miles away from where any construction was happening. And we filed this evidence with the court Friday afternoon in order to support our claim that there should be a timeout on construction until some of these legal issues can get resolved. We were stunned and shocked to hear that they took that information and, Saturday morning, over a holiday weekend, went out and bulldozed the entire site. We have a sworn declaration from one of the tribe’s cultural experts that describes some of these sites, multiple gravesites and burials, very important archaeological features of the kind that are not found commonly. And we put all that in front of the court. And the next morning, it was gone. The shock and anguish felt by tribal members at this, and this abuse of the legal process, is really hard to describe.
AMY GOODMAN: So, are you suggesting you basically gave the court what the Dakota Access pipeline company and Energy Transfer would use as a roadmap to destroy?
JAN HASSELMAN: That looks like what has happened here. In the lawsuit, Energy Transfer said to the court that we hadn’t proven that there were sacred sites or important sites in the pipeline route, and they claimed to have looked with their private consultants. So, we went and provided exactly the evidence that they said that we needed to provide. And 12 hours later, the bulldozers were out.
AMY GOODMAN: How had you surveyed the land to establish this?
JAN HASSELMAN: Yeah, I think it’s important to remember that this all used to be theirs. It all used to be the tribe’s land. And I think everybody understands it was taken from them, and it was taken from them in a way that’s not acceptable. But it’s owned by somebody else now, and that landowner invited one of the tribe’s cultural experts out to come take a look. And he was sympathetic to the tribe’s concerns, and he wanted to understand why people were so worried about this pipeline. So, a few days prior to Friday, Tim Mentz, the tribe’s expert in these matters, went out and conducted a formal archaeological survey, in keeping with, you know, state and federal protocols. He went out, and he built maps of these very unique and important archaeological sites and the locations of these burials, that were right in the pipeline’s way. And that’s the information we put together and put in front of the court on Friday.

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