Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscape Protection Campaign Heats Up

 Ceremonial Stone Landscapes put in place by the Indigenous peoples of this region can be found across New England. In 2003, the 24 members of the United Southern and Eastern Tribes (USET) passed a resolution stating, “For thousands of years before the immigration of Europeans, the Pau Waus and medicine people of today’s New England region used sacred ceremonial landscapes to sustain the people’s reliance on Mother Earth and the spirit energies of balance and harmony.” For Doug Harris, Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office (NITHPO) the stone structures embody prayers that continue to live as long as the stones are kept intact.


Please note: this image is an example of a ceremonial stone feature, but the particular feature in this image is not in Sandisfield.
  • In April, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted the Tennessee Gas Pipeline the right to construct the Connecticut Expansion Project, which led to the destruction and desecration of Ceremonial Stone Landscape features in Sandisfield, Massachusetts.
  • In May, 2017, NITHPO requested a rehearing of FERC’s order that authorized construction; on January 10, 2018, FERC denied this request.
  • The next step will be to petition for review of FERC’s orders in the appropriate U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 
  • Climate Action Now is supporting NITHPO’s efforts by helping to raise funds for legal expenses. We support the protection of Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscapes for two reasons:  justice for Indigenous Americans and restoring accountability to our federal government.
  • This project combines both of these goals in one lawsuit against FERC, the agency that oversees all interstate gas pipelines and many other energy infrastructure projects in the U.S.
  • If NITHPO wins, this case will set a strong precedent for future pipelines, as well as other federal projects. Read more here..
 If you are interested in supporting this precedent-setting lawsuit, please consider donating and sharing this with your community. Learn more here