ABOUT THE LENAPE NATION OF PENNSYLVANIA
Who are the people of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania? An easy answer is that we are the indigenous peoples of this land now called Pennsylvania. Yet there is so much more. Our history is unique, and it is the story of families and survival. It is a story of honoring treaties and following certain leaders such as Issac Still, Tatamay, and Teedyuskung.
We are the descendants of the Lenape people who stayed in our homeland and of those who went west to Ohio and returned. Our families include descendants of Hannah Freeman, Issac Still, Killbuck, and Henry. Some settled in the Pocono Mountains and others in Allentown, Nazareth, and Bethlehem. Many lived on both sides of the Delaware River in Easton and Burlington where communities were documented in 1840. Our Brown and Still families come from the Brotherton and Shamong areas of New Jersey. Some descend from the inhabitants of missions such as Shekomeko, Friedenshutten, and Meniolagomeka. Others are the descendants of marriages between the Lenape and the earliest German immigrants. Our history is a rich one in which we take great pride.
Our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is dedicated to increasing awareness of Lenape history and culture. Created to join together the members of the Lenape Nation and anyone else interested in continuing the development of the language and culture of the Lenape people, the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania is active in the revival of tradition and community. We encourage partnerships among people and organizations in order to foster cultural, historical, and environmental education and preservation.
WHO ARE THE LENAPE?
The Lenape people are the original inhabitants of Delaware, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Southern New York. For over 10,000 years they have been the caretakers of these lands and of The River of Human Beings, more commonly known as the Delaware River. The Lenape were the first tribe to sign a treaty with the United States and the first tribe to have land set aside for them in New Jersey.
Over a period of 250 years, many Lenape people were removed and dispersed throughout the country. Some took refuge with other tribes. A large number of Lenape families remained in the homelands and continue the traditions of their ancestors up to our present day. Today the Lenape people from all over Turtle Island (North America) are revitalizing their communities.
Many place names in Pennsylvania are derived from the Lenape Language, such as Manayunk, Conshohocken, and Neshaminy...to mention only a few. In the city of Philadelphia stands a statue of Chief Tamanend, a revered leader among the Lenape, who signed many treaties with William
Penn. The history of the Lenape is truly the history of Pennsylvania.