Group Discovers 10,000 Year Old Archaeological Find in Straits of Mackinac

A group’s 10,000 year old archeological find in the Straits of Mackinac is renewing calls to shut down Line 5.

Enbridge is working towards creating a tunnel for the duel pipelines in the straits. 2020 9 23 16 25 59 Curve Left By Fred Harrington Public

This group’s discovery is reaffirming what many Native American leaders have said about the area for years.

“At first we weren’t really sure what we found,” said Andrea Pierce is part of a group that went out into the Straits of Mackinac to learn more about Line 5.

“We went down there to see Line 5, to see struts and stuff like that and we came across a big huge archeological find,” Pierce said.

After some research, they believe they discovered formations from 10,000 years ago that are culturally significant to many Native Americans.

“It was stunning to hear at first,” said Bryan Newland, Bay Mills Indian Community chairman.

“We the tribes have been saying all along that the straits have played an important part in our history as tribal people here in Michigan,” Newland said.

He says this find confirms what many tribal leaders have been saying for years.

“This finding confirms what we knew, it confirms what we’ve been saying and I hope to God this helps the message sink in to state and federal agencies that are charged with protecting these types of resources,” Newland said.

As far as exactly what it is….

“We think it’s important to do more gathering of the facts to get a better sense of what cultural resources are right there in the path of Enbridge’s pipeline,” Newland said.

“Enbridge is committed to a process of identifying culturally and archeologically significant features in the Straits and protecting them as we advance the Great Lakes Tunnel Project.,” Enbridge spokesperson Ryan Duffy said in a statement.

“We conducted a cultural assessment in the water at the Straits in 2019 as part of permitting for our geotechnical investigation,” Duffy said. “Side-scan sonar imagery was used to map the lakebed and we found no submerged cultural resources in the area that was assessed.”

“We have not seen the report from the organization suggesting they have discovered significant features and we do not know if they assessed the same areas we did,” Duffy said.”

“We are open to sharing the information we have collected with tribal governments and learning more about the assessment done by this group. We have invited tribal governments to participate in identifying and protecting culturally and archaeologically significant features in the Straits. We would welcome the opportunity to meet and talk with this group,” Duffy said.