The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality hosts a website about the pipeline's permitting process, where you can find comments dealing specifically with indigenous rights and other tribal issues. Many of these comments highlight the lack of tribal participation in the federal regulatory process. Without tribal participation, federal decision-makers lose the ability to assess the pipeline's impacts on indigenous peoples and their unique relationship with the lands and waters they call home.
In October 2017, I was asked to report to the government of my own tribe (the Lumbee Tribe) on the pipeline. I worked with five other Lumbee citizens to organize a panel of experts on the environment, public health, American Indian studies, indigenous rights, and the local community. After the panel presentation, we created a report detailing the need for an assessment that incorporates indigenous values and priorities. You can read the full report here and view the slides from our presentation here. This is the only report about the proposed pipeline written by and for indigenous peoples. The report itself isn't a cultural assessment; it simply points out the need for a cultural assessment. One good example of a cultural assessment is the Anishinaabeg Cumulative Impact Assessment, which was developed by tribes in Minnesota and pertains to a proposed oil pipeline expansion affecting their territories.
I also had several opportunities to give academic and community presentations on indigenous peoples and the proposed pipeline. I presented at UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Pembroke, and at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in New Orleans. I visited the Native Environmental Science program at Northwest Indian College (WA) to discuss my work and learn more about their research and education efforts. The photos below show some of these activities.