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Protesters Plant Symbolic Corn in Path of Dominion's Proposed Pipeline

Posted: Updated: Jun 18, 2016 03:55 PM
Protesters planting blue corn in Augusta County. Protesters planting blue corn in Augusta County.
Ponca Tribe member Mekasi Horinek praying over the planting of corn seeds in Augusta County. Ponca Tribe member Mekasi Horinek praying over the planting of corn seeds in Augusta County.
Sign protesting plans to put a natural gas pipeline through Augusta County. Sign protesting plans to put a natural gas pipeline through Augusta County.
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Land owners are taking a new approach to demonstrate their disapproval for Dominion’s plans to run a natural gas pipeline through their properties.

A group of roughly 75 protesters met in Stuarts Draft Monday, June 6, to get their message across that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will not take root in Augusta County. The protesters planted rows of blue corn seeds as “seeds of resistance” against the planned path of the energy company’s project. The future corn field in Stuarts Draft is in the direct path of the natural gas pipeline.

"Keep this pipeline out of our community and make this a place that our children and our grandchildren will want to call home and be proud of," said Nancy Sorrells with the Augusta County Alliance.

A member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, who did the same thing to defeat a pipeline project there, prayed over the seeds.

"This is a sacred site that should be federally protected as a sacred site of the Ponca Nation, the Ponca people," said Ponca Tribe member Mekasi Horinek.

Blue corn seeds are said to be sacred to the Ponca Tribe, and are medicine for the earth.

"Helps us connect to what this land is meant to be for, the sense of the communities that have been nurtured in this land," participant Catherine Barnes said.

Protesters also spoke about their concerns over having a pipeline in the area.

"If the pipeline were to explode they would be incinerated," Sorrells said.

"We've buried our ancestors in this land, as these people have buried their mothers and fathers in this land. So we have a connection to this land," said Horinek.

The group met later in the day with Nelson County landowners to do the same kind of seed planting on property in that county, where the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is also supposed to cut through.

Federal regulators still have yet to rule on the pipeline's fate.

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