Who We Are:
CURRENT STAND FOR STATE RECOGNITION
Pennsylvania is the only state (commonwealth) in the Lenapehokink that has never recognized its indigenous peoples. Lenape nations in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Canada have been recognized by their respective federal governments. Lenape nations in New Jersey and Delaware have been recognized by their respective state governments. The Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania is actively pursuing recognition by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with the support of our many community friends and partners in Pennsylvania (and beyond). Our people work in Pennsylvania businesses, vote for Pennsylvania officials, protect Pennsylvania rivers and watersheds, and attend Pennsylvania schools, colleges, and universities. We directly call upon Pennsylvania officials to recognize the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania.
Click here to view our Tribal Resolution Affirming the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Articles about our 5/1/23 Tamanend Day Rally for Recognition at the PA State Capitol:
CoNAM joins Harrisburg rally for Lenape of PA state recognition
Pennsylvania lawmakers called on to recognize Lenape Nation
Professors Martin, Revier Tout University’s Partnership with Lenape Tribe at State Capitol
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 people of this land now called Pennsylvania. All of our members are Lenape people who must submit records of their Lenape genealogy to be considered for membership.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.
We have established a 501(c)(3) non-profit 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.
For over 10,000 years the area now known as Pennsylvania has been the homelands of the Lenape tribe. The early recorded history of Pennsylvania is deeply rooted in the relationship between the Lenape and the Europeans who settled here. There has been a rich exchange in culture, as well as early and continuing conflicts between those ways of life. As with all triumphs and tragedies, it continues to require thoughtful reflection. The Lenape people have survived displacement and upheaval. The very fact that we are still here is significant.
Today the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania is active in the revival of tradition and community. For decades the Lenape have been teaching in Pennsylvania public and private school systems, and we continue to offer a unique and insightful view on the culture and history of Pennsylvania to all age groups and audiences. The Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania encourages partnerships among people and organizations in the Commonwealth in order to foster cultural, historical and environmental education and preservation, and in many cases, a "re-education." Today the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania enjoys a formal partnership with over 130 organizations, including academic institutions, environmental organizations, faith-based communities, historic societies, and many others, who are committed supporters of our Nation.
We are in a time of renewal, and a time of great change. Our ancestors left many teachings for us to learn by and to share with others. Those teachings often focus on respect and commonality among all living things. It is often said that we cannot know our future if we do not know our history. The history and continued presence of our people is a long and winding story that has faced much erasure, and needs to be re-told often and authentically.
Fulfilling a Prophecy: The Past and Present of the Lenape in Pennsylvania is a fully collaborative exhibition, organized by the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Museum and the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania. The exhibition draws from oral histories, family heirlooms, and photographs, as well as archaeology, historical and ethnographic research. Following the exhibit's long run at the Penn Museum, it is now housed at our Cultural Center and Trading Post in Easton, PA. For more information about the Lenape people, click here to visit our exhibit page, or come tour the exhibit in person at our Cultural Center.