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PW Exclusive: The document reveals an attempt to buy the silence of American Indian tribes on the Atlantic coast

PW Exclusive: The document reveals an attempt to buy the silence of American Indian tribes on the Atlantic coast

The members of the Lumbee tribe and different opponents of the Atlantic Coast pipeline marched by way of Pembroke in Robeson County at the end of 2016. The ACP nations traveled by way of the Native American nations along its route, together with in Robeson County. (File Image: Lisa Sorg)

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[Editor’s note: After the publication of this story, Greg Werkheiser contacted Policy Watch to say his firm did not represent Dominion and did not make the offer to the tribes. However, the nature of the relationship between Dominion and Cultural Heritage Partners is unclear because neither party would go on the record to explain it. We have corrected any language that says CHP was directly responsible for the offer — that offer came from Dominion, with CHP presenting the document to the tribes — and removed any language that could have been interpreted to imply that CHP represented Dominion in these matters.]

Regulation agency specializing in cultural and historical preservation introduced documents offering American Indian tribes on the Atlantic Coastal Pipeline Route $ 1 million for silent help for controversial NC Policy According to documents obtained by Watch

Cultural Partners (CHP) approached Lumbee and Haliwa-Sapon in North Carolina with a confidential settlement that might pay tribes in the event that they agreed not to object to the natural fuel venture.

30. In accordance to the draft document dated Might 20, 2018, tribes "do not appeal to any state or federal regulatory agency or court" or "leave additional comments, protests or complaints to ACP States". Tribes also "agreed not to hinder or delay the development, construction or operation of the pipeline."

Half one million dollars can be paid prematurely – minus CHP legal fees, and the stability can be paid shortly before the pipeline begins commercially. The amount of the reward could not be confirmed in the decision. Since the terms and even the existence of the settlement are confidential, the content of the remaining document is just not public.

Greg Werkheiser, founder of cultural companions. (Image from the CHP website)

Several members of the Haliwa-Sapon and Lumbee tribes informed Coverage Watch that in mid-June 2018, cultural companions, founder Greg Werkheiser, emphasized them signing a contract or threatening to lose their cultural objects. These tribal members asked them not to be named as a result of the matter was delicate to the group. Coverage Watch additionally confirmed its account in non-tribal members who have been conscious of the challenge.

[Update: Wednesday at 3 p.m.: Werkheiser agreed to go on the report with this assertion: “Your story gets it completely wrong. My firm, Cultural Heritage Partners, was engaged by two federally recognized tribes to represent them in seeking from Dominion a solution to the tribes’ concerns — not the other way around. Contrary to your characterization of the tribes as helpless groups easily taken advantage of, our clients are sophisticated sovereign nations who hired legal counsel to assert their rights and who can decide for themselves how best to protect their heritage.”]

CHP has a tribal professional, Earl Evans. Haliwa-Sapon Member Evans served in Tribal Council while making an attempt to persuade his colleague to help a confidential agreement

Evans didn’t respond to requests for comments, however one of the tribal members Evans current at the Haliwa-Saponi vote did not absolutely disclose their relationship with the CHP as a member of the Tribunal . Evans had previously worked on CHL's tribal housing points.

Evans, of course, was not an official point of contact between CHP and Haliwa-Sapon, so the Tribal Council gave him the opportunity to vote on the agreement. He voted for it, however the last reply was 6-5.

Evans also used arduous selling techniques according to Lumbee according to two members of the tribe. (He additionally wrote an article titled "Top Ten Things with American Indian Tribes" on the firm's website, in collaboration with the founder of CHP Marion Werkheiser. , an professional on the tribes of cultural partners and a member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. It’s clear what happened, it was rude. ”

And whereas the Lumbee Tribal Council voted to approve the treaty, the group's structure only permits tribal chairpersons to enter into legal agreements, President Harvey Godwin Jr. Benefits of Tribes

Makes an attempt to win settlements with tribes show their significance in obtaining common help for the controversial $ 7 billion challenge. The ACP nations would travel in pure fuel operations in the West and journey more than 600 kilometers by way of the Virginia space and eight provinces of East Carolina and will reach South Carolina. About 30,000 American Indians reside on the 160-mile line of the North Carolina pipeline.

Greg Werkheiser, who based CHP's spouse with Marion, stated that he couldn’t comment on the existence of any agreement, but made a press release by way of e mail: “Our company appreciates the opportunity to represent tribes and other parties around the country to protect their important historical sites. With our service, we help our customers to achieve creative and material solutions through a process of federal agencies and direct cooperation with the parties. We take our professional duties seriously and we cannot comment on the specificities of certain things. ”

“ Chapter 106 ”is a component of the Nationwide Historic Preservation Act on federally funded, licensed or licensed tasks, including pure fuel pipelines. It requires the session of federal businesses similar to the Federal Power Regulatory Committee (FERC) with tribes and different organizations to shield cultural objects and objects or to mitigate the injury brought on by tasks

At the e-mail handle Dominion Power spokesman Aaron Ruby refused to specify the contract or its relationship with the CHP. "We have profound respect for tribal communities and their history in this area, and we have built strong relationships based on trust and mutual respect," he wrote in his statement. “They do not respect tribes and our relationship, we do not discuss our ongoing negotiations. We appreciate their point of view, and we have worked sincerely to address their concerns. ”

Draft Confidential Settlement ACP (PDF)

Draft Confidential Agreement ACP (Text)

Some provisions of the Opinion are already contained in state packages and agreements and have little value. For instance, Dominion provided “to name a cultural heritage professional” who “meets as soon as with every tribe inside 30 days of the settlement to reply questions from ACP nations and trade tribal info on the location of cultural belongings in the anticipated ACP path. “

Nevertheless, Dominion and its contractors are already tied to an official program agreement with state and federal businesses and FERC describing what needs to happen if cultural materials or human remains are discovered.

Marion Werkheiser Founder of Cultural Heritage Partners (Photograph: CHP Website)

Dominion also agreed to "collaborate to identify candidates for tribal memberships who could participate in" add-on work placement packages and convene "emergency" preparedness and planning and coordination conferences in tribal communities . ”

According to the ACP documents, the undertaking is predicted to create solely 52 jobs after the completion of development. Most of the pipeline inspection and development work has been outsourced to the Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma ACP contractors according to the undertaking web site

State State Commission, Division of Commerce and Public Safety Division present comparable job coaching offered in the draft Emergency Preparedness Providers

The draft settlement additionally allows Dominion and tribes to "Together to identify other opportunities to develop positive long-term employment relationships."

Native Peoples have been manipulated and lied

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Confidential Personal Contracts and Little Federal Control

It is unclear which ones, if any, agreed on the settlement. Neither Dominion nor the signatory tribes can publicly recognize it as contracting parties. Cultural Heritage Partners, a regulation firm, was also unable to publicly acknowledge it. Nevertheless, the draft incorporates the tribal language that is used to communicate with FERC and the governors of their states. Both the Virginia tribes, Monaco and Rappahannock, use the similar language on their FERC labels that their issues with the ACP nations have been resolved.

Rappahannock (PDF)

Rappahannock (text)

Monaco (PDF)

Monacan (Text)

This position was sudden for the Monacan tribe, originally opposed to the ACP nations, according to officers who have been members of the Virginia Governor's Advisory Committee on the Setting. Council member Mary Finley-Brook stated that whereas the previous chief had opposed the venture on 30 Might 2018, the new MONACAN Tribal Chief, D. Dean Branham, despatched a letter to the similar wording as in the confidential settlement [19659003"Tämäonselväkuviojokaonvastaalkanutpaljastua"sanoiFinley-BrookjokaonmyösRichmondinyliopistonmaantieteellisenapulaisprofessori"HeimotovathuolissaanpuhumisestaEmmeolevieläkeskustelleetsiitämitenlaajaltijahistoriallisestitämäkaikkion"[19659003] As these are personal contracts, American regulation permits third events to intervene. But when the state agency had used itself in the similar approach, it might have violated worldwide free, prior info and knowledgeable consent adopted by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. It states that there must be no "compulsion, intimidation, or manipulation," when negotiating with indigenous peoples and different indigenous groups

The state of affairs additionally appears to show how FERC has been unable to deal adequately with tribes for their considerations with the ACP nations. There isn’t any such requirement for state-recognized tribes, resembling Haliwa-Sapon or those with solely partial recognition, resembling Lumbee.

FERC's spokesman stated that the Fee "welcomes the participation in the pipeline review process of state recognized tribes, landowners and all other stakeholders" who want to present info to help in the environmental evaluation of pipeline proposals The Might 2002 Fee Agreement also requires the implementation of "early coordination" of these environmental and historical conservation checks. FERC has additionally employed a tribal connection.

However these policies not often attain their objectives. Last summer time, E&E Information introduced that the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation requested FERC to cooperate with the tribes. It consists of an early identification of tribes that "can have a religious or cultural commitment to the qualities of the pipeline," the article reads. A number of tribes, including Cheyenne River Sioux, have complained that FERC has excluded them from the pipeline evaluation; Others have described the course of as "inadequate" according to the E&E Information article.

Although tribes are acutely aware of coping with FERC, the Commission can’t – and sometimes – does not cooperate sufficient with them. For instance, Finley-Brook reported that FERC communicates with 17 federally acknowledged tribes from the ACP nations, however some of them have been hundreds of miles off the pipeline route. He stated that speaking with state-recognized tribes often varieties types.

We gained't go away

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Because of the deficiencies of FERC, they might be tempted to work round FERC and go immediately to undertaking managers or regulation companies – on this case Dominion and CHP – to negotiate mitigation or mitigation. But in contrast to FERC communications, these negotiations – like people who made a confidential answer settlement – would in all probability be personal, with out supervision.

There’s additionally oblique political strain on some tribes to accept these power tasks by staying quiet. In January 2018, Monaco and Rappahannock lastly acquired their lengthy overdue federal recognition, giving them certain rights, providers and status with the US authorities.

"The man of the tribe has fought for decades to be recognized," stated Beth Roach, a member of the Environmental Advisory Board of a Director in Virginia. He’s also a member of the Nottoway family. “Think about the centuries-old genocide that has been culturally demolished. Then any person asks, "We need you to be in opposition." It's a heavy raise. When they’re recognized, we say "OK, talk now against the biggest company."

This can be a clear model that has simply begun to emerge

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Non-ACP Conservation

Cultural partners have worked in the artwork business, antiquity and tribal issues in cooperation with the pure fuel business. In 2013, CHP shaped a non-profit LEAP (Power and Conservation Leaders), previously referred to as a Fuel and Conservation Partnership. In its federal tax declarations, LEAP states that its mission is "to collaborate and collaborate on a practical basis with both the energy industry and the depositors in order to help identify and manage historical and cultural resources while encouraging efficient exploration and development of energy stocks."

LEAP's mailing tackle is at Lexington Ky, house to Charles Niquette, an archaeologist working in properties. The telephone number connects to the CHE Marion Werkheiser.

The LEAP Board consists not only of archaeologists, but in addition of representatives of Shell, TransCanada, Hess Corporation and Southwestern Power. A non-profit firm has been working in Ohio, where fracking is widespread, in archaeological sites situated close to Utica slate.

Utica Sliding Belt is the supply of fracked natural fuel that flows by way of the MVP (Mountain Valley Pipeline) Southgate challenge – the similar undertaking that Cultural Companions at the moment are intervening for a minimum of one North Carolina tribe

According to the 2018 software For FERC, Marion Werkheiser intervened on behalf of the Sappony tribe. – an recognized tribe situated in the space of ​​the individual. Tribal nations prolong to the west and the proposed MVP Southgate venture might disturb them. This pipeline would prolong from Virginia to the provinces of Rockingham and Alamance, ending near Hawi.

MotiontoIntervene Sappony 12 31 2018 last three (PDF)

MotiontoIntervene Sappony 12 31 2018 ultimate 3 (textual content)

In a letter dated 16 November 2018, Marion Werkheiser asks "to face meetings" with officials with decision-making powers. Dorothy Crowea, president of the Sapphire tribe, couldn’t remark.

Tony Hayes is a tribal chairman of the Sapane nation's Occaneechi group, based mostly in Nice Grove close to Burlington. He also sits in the State Fee for Indian Affairs, which, as a gaggle, formally opposed the ACP nations. Hayes stated that CHP had not contacted him, however that he had offered FERC with documents explaining that Occaneechi-Saponi can be the "most affected tribe" on the basis of the current, although still preliminary, routing. The MVP Southgate tube would travel about two kilometers from the tribal headquarters in Alamance County.

"I am very worried that no one has responded to my e-mail to numerous requests for consultation," Hayes informed the Coverage Watch. – But we're not going away. We stick to the federal authorities. ”

A number of Indian affairs commissioners are already skeptical about MVP Southgate and NextEra Power, who would personal the undertaking. In accordance to the minutes of the September 2018 meeting, Commissioner Jeff Anstead, vice-president of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe, advised the challenge consultant that "indigenous peoples are original landowners." that FERC and NextEra "are seriously weighing ethical, religious, spiritual, cultural, and environmental concerns."

Though Lumbee abandoned the cope with Dominion, the determination was created virtually inside the constitutional tribe. "It not only created a distinction between tribes, but within the tribe," Donna Chavis stated. "It was a strategy that cultural partners do not create, but they activate it."

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