Chief Carlos Whitewolf beat a small hand drum and sang a Native American prayer for Mother Earth in the cold January air in Hershey, Pa.
Many of the 50 or so other protesters outside the Hershey Lodge, where national Republican leaders attended a retreat, demonstrated against issues like the Keystone XL pipeline and climate change.
But Whitewolf, chief of the Northern Arawak Tribal Nation of Pennsylvania, was objecting to something more local. In nearby Lancaster County, it’s the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project.
Whitewolf calls the project “disrespectful” because the pipeline’s current route goes through parts of southwestern Lancaster County rich with ancient Native American artifacts and burial sites.
The project is a proposed expansion of a natural gas pipeline that would traverse about 190 miles, through 10 Pennsylvania counties: Lancaster, Columbia, Lebanon, Luzerne, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wyoming, Clinton and Lycoming counties.