Monacan Indian Nation - Save Rassawek Campaign
The James River Water Authority, a joint venture of Louisa and Fluvanna Counties in Virginia, has recently concluded their analysis of alternative locations for their water pump station and pipeline. They are poised to vote to proceed with destroying Rassawek, the capital city of the Monacan Indian Nation documented by John Smith in his 1612 map of Virginia.
James River Water Authority's alternatives analysis fails to consider seriously more than a dozen alternative sites and routes identified.
Tomorrow, March 11, the James River Water Authority is holding a public meeting and we need our supporters to be on the record opposing locating the pump station at Rassawek. We need you, and anyone you know who supports the preservation of Rassawek, to go to the meeting to show the James River Water Authority, the local government, the media, and the community the strength of our opposition.
Here are the details:
Who: You and any Monacan Indian Nation supporters you know, especially Fluvanna and Louisa County residents.
What: A public meeting of the James River Water Authority.
When: Wednesday, March 11 at 8:45 a.m. for a 9 a.m. meeting.
Where: Spring Creek Clubhouse, 181 Clubhouse Way, Zion Crossroads, VA 22942.
Why: The James River Water Authority plans to vote to proceed with locating the pump station on top of Rassawek. We need to be on the record opposing this decision, and show them, the Boards of Supervisors, the media, and the community the strength of our opposition.
The Nation can provide you with talking points that reflect the latest developments by this evening. Please tell us how many people we may expect in your party
- James River Water Authority has announced that tomorrow morning it plans to vote to pursue its original path for construction of its water pump station, destroying Rassawek and rejecting more than a dozen alternatives the Army Corps of Engineers ordered them to explore seriously.
- Last week counsel for James River Water Authority and lawyers for Fluvanna and Louisa counties stated that the primary obstacle to their clients' willingness to consider alternatives was that the Monacan Indian Nation had not identified a specific preference for an alternative route, and therefore James River Water Authority's hands were tied.
- The Monacan are calling James River Water Authority's bluff by identifying a specific alternative the Nation would collaboratively explore with James River Water Authority. The key property owner whose cooperation would facilitate this alternative has also stepped up to agree to work with James River Water Authority.
- Thus, James River Water Authority's vote tomorrow is a test of whether they are or were ever serious about exploring a solution that would bring water to Zion's Crossroads while respecting Native culture and burials and avoiding years of contentious and costly litigation.
- The letter the tribe sent to James River Water Authority and County attorneys proposing collaboration on this alternative can be read HERE.
- A map showing the alternate route can be found HERE.
- The meeting tomorrow is 9:00 a.m. — Spring Creek Clubhouse, 181 Clubhouse Way, Zion Crossroads, Virginia.
Questions? Email Marion Werkheiser, attorney for the Nation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.