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#1 Dec-18-2016 09:46:am

tree hugger
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Millionaire returning $4M part of Manhattan to Indian tribe

More photos at: http://nypost.com/2016/12/18/millionair … ian-tribe/



https://thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/manhattan-1.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=664&h=441&crop=1

Anthony Van Dunk (left), who is a chief of the 5,000-member Ramapough Indians, with Jean Louis Bourgeois Goldwater.

An eccentric millionaire is giving Manhattan back to the American Indians — at least his small part of it.

Jean-Louis Goldwater Bourgeois, 76, an architectural historian and activist for Native American causes, is in the process of transferring the deed of his $4 million, landmarked West Village house to a nonprofit controlled by the Lenape tribe, the original Manhattanites.

“I have a romance with the history of the city, and I have been generally appalled that the land that the city is on has been taken by whites,” he told The Post.

“This building is the trophy from major theft. It disgusts me.”

He said he feels “rage against what whites have done and some guilt, no, a lot of guilt, that I have profited from this major theft. The right thing to do is to return it.”

Bourgeois, the son of the late sculptor Louise Bourgeois, has owned the three-floor clapboard house at 6 Weehawken St. since his family’s LLC bought it in 2006 for $2.2 million.

The house dates to 1834, when it was part of a larger city-owned market building. It is believed to be all that is left of the complex. Part of the Weehawken Street Historic District, the building faces West Street and the Hudson River.

Bourgeois had lived there for three years when he met Joseph Scabby Robe, a Cree Indian from Manitoba, Canada, during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protest downtown.

“I told Joseph that I’d like to return the land to the Lenapes,” Bourgeois recalled. “The house isn’t important. It’s the land that the house sits on that’s important.”

Robe introduced Bourgeois to Anthony Jay Van Dunk, 54, a chief of the 5,000-member Ramapough Indians, part of the Lenape Nation. Van Dunk, a Brooklyn woodworker, spoke in his native Munsee language at a 2011 UN forum titled The State of Native Americans Today.

‘I have been generally appalled that the land that the city is on has been taken by whites.’
Van Dunk “represents the tribe, and I represent the whites,” Bourgeois said of the meeting that led to the land deal.

Both men gave The Post a tour of the house last week. Van Dunk wore a tribal headdress. Bourgeois wore a fuzzy hat that looked like a penguin.

“I told Jean-Louis about the idea of a patahmaniikan, or a prayer house,” Van Dunk said. “He liked it, and we went forward from there.”

Besides the ongoing legal work to establish the nonprofit project under Lenape oversight, the men had to conduct a ritual ceremony.

“The purpose of that was to let the spirits know what was about to happen and what our vision was for the space,” Van Dunk said. “We had a pipe. We had a smudging. We had prayers being said. It was a healing. We wanted the spirits to know we were coming in with a good heart.

“Our doors are always east and west,” Van Dunk added. “In most native traditions you always have your entry door in the east and then, spiritually, the west is how you leave after your journey here on earth is done.”

The prayer house is “going to be a place of safety,” he said. “The purpose is to get indigenous people in touch with their language, their tradition.”

Bourgeois, who just returned to New York after spending eight weeks in North Dakota protesting the proposed pipeline near the Sioux Standing Rock Indian Reservation, said, “I’m extremely interested in the Lenapes.”

He said he was a “benefactor” at Standing Rock.

“I’ve given over $600,000 to the Oceti Sakowin camp site,” home to Dakota ­Access Pipeline protesters, he said.

“Money goes to buying food, firewood, protective hay bales and transportation. I spent time at the Sacred Fire. Standing Rock is a turning point in American history.”

The Lenapes were the original inhabitants of Mannahatta — land of many hills. They were widely represented as the tribe that sold the island to the Dutch for $24 worth of trinkets in 1626 — a story debunked by many modern historians.

“The native people actively engaged with the Dutch, who were part of the fur trade in this area, so there were constant exchanges,” said Johanna Gorelick, of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York City. “They did not believe at that time that land could be privately owned. It was something that wasn’t part of their world view. The sale of Manhattan was a misunderstanding.”

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#2 Dec-18-2016 03:08:pm

Suckachsinheet
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Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 936

Re: Millionaire returning $4M part of Manhattan to Indian tribe

How great is that? I'll have to go there if I ever get back to the Big Apple... big_smile


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#3 Dec-18-2016 08:53:pm

tree hugger
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Re: Millionaire returning $4M part of Manhattan to Indian tribe

Well there are a few issues, he's not chief of the Ramapough. Also, as far as I know, none of them knew about this.

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#4 Dec-20-2016 09:02:pm

Suckachsinheet
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Registered: Sep-11-2007
Posts: 936

Re: Millionaire returning $4M part of Manhattan to Indian tribe

Oh. I wondered; that didn't sound right. But I don't know the Ramapough that well.


It's in the blood; I can't let go. - Robbie Robertson

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#5 Dec-21-2016 08:29:am

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
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Re: Millionaire returning $4M part of Manhattan to Indian tribe

“I told Jean-Louis about the idea of a patahmaniikan, or a prayer house,” Van Dunk said.

That should be pahtamawiikaan.

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#6 Dec-21-2016 01:06:pm

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
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Re: Millionaire returning $4M part of Manhattan to Indian tribe

"Mannahatta — land of many hills"

No.  See #11, here:  http://www.woodlandindians.org/forums/v … hp?id=9320

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#7 Dec-25-2016 07:43:pm

tree hugger
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Re: Millionaire returning $4M part of Manhattan to Indian tribe

http://nypost.com/2016/12/25/the-tribal … ian-chief/

The tribal war over property gifted to banned Indian chief

Tribal warfare has broken out over a millionaire’s offer to give a piece of Manhattan — his West Village home — back to the Indians.

Jean-Louis Goldwater Bourgeois is ready to bestow the $4 million house on the Hudson River to Anthony Jay Van Dunk, a chief in the Lenape nation, the tribe that originally inhabited Manhattan.

But after The Post revealed Bourgeois’ philanthropy last Sunday, another Lenape chief has come forward to say Van Dunk was kicked out of the tribe and that he would like the property.

“He’s been the only person in the tribe to be banished for his past actions,” said Dwaine Perry, 69, the current chief of the ­Ramapough Lenape Nation, which numbers about 5,000 and is based in Mahwah, NJ.

Perry said he would like to work with Bourgeois and perhaps transform the home at 6 Weehawken St. into a Native American embassy providing services to indigenous people.

Bourgeois said he wants to turn over his property, which dates to 1834, to an Indian-controlled nonprofit he would help establish. The activist for Native American causes said he was motivated by guilt that Mannahatta — land of many hills — was “taken by whites” in the 17th century.

Bourgeois, the 76-year-old son of the late sculptor Louise Bourgeois, said the internecine squabbling doesn’t matter. He said he has no interest in meeting Perry and is sticking with Van Dunk, a 54-year-old Brooklyn woodworker.

“It makes no difference to me. I consider Anthony the chief,” Bourgeois told The Post.

Van Dunk was the chief, for one year in 2006, when he finished out the term of another leader who stepped down. He said he instituted movie nights, started an ­Internet cafe and arranged for trauma counseling after a tribal member was fatally shot by a ­police officer.

He said Perry later accused him of stealing, a charge that he claims proved to be unfounded.

Perry said there were fiscal irregularities during Van Dunk’s tenure, but declined to elaborate.

He contends that Van Dunk wanted to change who could be considered a Ramapough, with some longstanding tribal members disowned.

“That’s sort of a crime against humanity in its own way,” Perry said.

Van Dunk said he was merely carrying out the genealogy policy instituted by the former chief, which took into account bloodlines and geography.

“He seems to have his panties in a bunch and he always has,” Van Dunk said of Perry.

Van Dunk said he would not be dissuaded from accepting Bourgeois’ gift. He envisions the historic dwelling as a patahmaniikan, or prayer house.

Bourgeois and his sculptor mother once planned to turn the house, which a family LLC bought in 2006 for $2.2 million, into a museum dedicated to water. One of Louise Bourgeois’ sculptures, a ­giant spider, sold for $28 million last year.

Her son and Van Dunk held a ritual ceremony in the small house to inform “the spirits we were coming in with a good heart.”

“Even though I am banned from the nation, which basically means I’m not part of their club and I can’t go to the picnics, that doesn’t take from me that I am a Ramapough,” Van Dunk said.

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#8 Dec-25-2016 08:08:pm

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
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Re: Millionaire returning $4M part of Manhattan to Indian tribe

Bourgeois, the 76-year-old son of the late sculptor Louise Bourgeois, said the internecine squabbling doesn’t matter. He said he has no interest in meeting Perry and is sticking with Van Dunk, a 54-year-old Brooklyn woodworker.

“It makes no difference to me. I consider Anthony the chief,” Bourgeois told The Post.



I'd say that pretty much puts an end to the matter!

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#9 Dec-26-2016 05:00:pm

tree hugger
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Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 10913

Re: Millionaire returning $4M part of Manhattan to Indian tribe

I'd say that pretty much puts an end to the matter!

You're probably right, but I wouldn't bet my money on it.

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#10 Feb-26-2017 09:58:pm

NeoPaleo
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Registered: Oct-07-2013
Posts: 118

Re: Millionaire returning $4M part of Manhattan to Indian tribe

waaay to hit a hornets nest on your way out.


What color corn do you grow?

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