Dirty energy interests have been leading a campaign for nearly a decade to block Cape Wind, the country’s first offshore wind farm in the Nantucket Sound. They have been successful in delaying the project, but their real hope for conquering the wind farm didn’t come until last year, when two local Native American tribes requested that the sound be declared off-limits for development.
The turbines would disrupt their ritual of greeting the sun rise and impose on ancestral burial grounds, the tribes argued. The National Park Service determined last month that the sound could be considered for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in response to the tribes’ request.
But one tribe member says that appeal is a fabrication. "I never participated in, witnessed or even heard of a sacred spot on the horizon that is relevant to any Aquinnah Wampanoag culture, history or ceremony,” wrote Jeffrey Madison a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head in a letter to Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar obtained by the Martha's Vineyard Gazette. "The notion that locating wind turbines in Nantucket Sound will impose on, impact or harm any cultural tradition is just plain false … I believe it to be a fabrication, invented by a small number of tribal members, who happen to be involved in tribal government and who happen to be opponents of Cape Wind who wish to derail the project."