Desecration of Tribal Lands,Traditions, and Historic Properties
Significant impacts to sacred tribal lands and historic properties
Nantucket Sound is an irreplaceable national treasure. The near-shore lands of the Sound are packed with historic structures, districts, and landscapes, including two National Historic Landmarks (NHLs) - Nantucket Historic District NHL and the Kennedy Compound NHL. In 2010, the National Park Service deemed Nantucket Sound to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) because of its cultural significance to the local Wampanoag Tribes. The National Park Service described the Nantucket NHL as “nationally significant” and stated that the Town of Nantucket “remains one of the finest surviving architectural and environmental examples of an early 19th century seaport town in New England.” The Sound is now recognized as the largest water body TCP ever determined eligible for listing in the National Register. Nantucket Sound is also on the Site Evaluation List for National Marine Sanctuary status.
The Massachusetts Historic Commission, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation have all expressed concerns about the impact of Cape Wind on Tribal and historic properties.
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe on Cape Cod and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead/ Aquinnah on Martha’s Vineyard believe that Cape Wind would not only desecrate sacred land, but also harm their traditional religious and cultural practices. In their vocal opposition to Cape Wind, these Tribes have the support of the United States Eastern Tribes (USET), a group of 25 federally-recognized Tribes. Wampanoag means “People of the First Light” and, as such, an unobstructed view of the sun rising over Nantucket Sound is integral to their way of life and traditional practices. The Tribes have repeatedly stated that Cape Wind’s effects on Tribal and historic properties would be profound and cannot be mitigated - except by relocating the project to another site.
February 2015, Associated Press: Wind Projects Stir up Concerns for Sunken Tribal Arifacts Read Article