The Monacan Indians have a rich and important history in Central Virginia that must be preserved.

When I taught fourth grade at Stone-Robinson Elementary in Albemarle County, my students were interested to know about the Monacan people, and how they lived along the Rivanna River behind our school.

There are stories yet to be told that can only be understood by careful site preservation and archaeological work at Rassawek, the former capital of the Monacan Nation. The James River Water Authority should withdraw its permit request and choose an alternative site for its proposed pump station.

Also, I believe that the land that was designated for the pump station should be set aside as a park to honor the history of the Monacan people. It is shortsighted and unethical to destroy a site with much important cultural, spiritual and historic value. The cost associated with choosing a different location would be a small price to pay to earn back the trust of the community, and to show respect to members of a state and federally recognized Indian nation.

Eileen G. Merritt

Augusta County

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