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In Powerful Action, Anti-Pipeline Activists Sow Sacred 'Seeds of Resistance'

Virginian landowners join with environmentalists in opposition to proposed fracked gas pipeline

The first 'Seeds of Resistance' were planted in 2014 by the Cowboy & Indian Alliance, when sacred Ponca corn was returned to the tribe's ancestral homeland in Nebraska for the first time in 137 years — since the tribe was forcibly removed from Nebraska. (Photo via @JaneKleeb)

The first 'Seeds of Resistance' were planted in 2014 by the Cowboy & Indian Alliance, when sacred Ponca corn was returned to the tribe's ancestral homeland in Nebraska for the first time in 137 years — since the tribe was forcibly removed from Nebraska. (Photo via @JaneKleeb)

In a powerful display of opposition to the fossil fuel economy, activists in Virginia this week are planting traditional "seeds of resistance" along Dominion's proposed natural gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline route.

The action began Monday in Stuarts Draft, when residents met with anti-pipeline activists and members of national environmental groups to sow the sacred blue corn seeds, which were brought by a member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.

"We stand on this common ground that we care about and love," said Mekasi Horinek Camp, Ponca Nation member and coordinator with Bold Oklahoma, which is part of the anti-pipeline Bold Alliance campaign.

As the Alliance notes, "the first 'Seeds of Resistance' were planted in 2014 by the Cowboy & Indian Alliance, when sacred Ponca corn was returned to the tribe's ancestral homeland in Nebraska for the first time in 137 years — since the tribe was forcibly removed from Nebraska. The corn was planted on land that lies both in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline, and on the historic Ponca Trail of Tears."

"We decided to use this sacred corn and ask it to protect the land for us and have the creator guide us," Camp added. "Crazy Horse said, 'You don't inherit the land from our ancestors, we just borrow it from our children.' I think those are words to live by."

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline would carry fracked natural gas over nearly 600 miles from West Virginia to Virginia and North Carolina.

Federal regulators have yet to give their final determination, but landowners oppose the inherent dangers of the pipeline as well as the government's claim of eminent domain. Environmental groups such as the Alliance, Oil Change International, and others that are taking part in the action say this project is another example of fossil fuel development when oil, gas, and coal must in fact to be instead be kept "in the ground."

Images of the dramatic action are being shared on social media under the hashtag #SeedsofResistance while planting continues through Wednesday.

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