Why is this low-traffic email list so important?
Indigenous sites get saved when the public finds out about the short windows of opportunity that are afforded to provide formal governmental input.
These critical windows of opportunity are very small.
Government agencies only offer the very minimum advance notice allowed (or often, none, because there are no consequences) so that there is no time for the public to mount an organized response.
Now, we can counter this with technology.
When the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office opened its formal review of the MassDOT project in Northampton that would destroy a 10,000 year old village site, the public was only given two weeks to participate. And nobody even knew about this public involvement period and feedback Zoom. Our email list of 50,000 ready-to-go supporters was a game-changer.
MEPA received some six hundred letters of protest from all over the world, forcing MassDOT to rescind their MEPA permit application – a big deal. Then, the Governor’s office received estimated one thousand letters. And there was much more.
It worked. We won. Together with the Aquinnah Wampanoag and Narragansett tribes who were actively petitioning the federal government, we saved the site.
And now that we know how it works, we can do it again. Join us. If we even save one more undisturbed ancient village together, it will be worth it.
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