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Well said, sir. And the ad hominem attack on the professor for his previous comments is apples and oranges.
In the "Epilogue" to Herbert Kraft's monumental archaeological and ethnographical work, The Lenape-Delaware Indian Heritage: 10,000 BC to AD 2000, page 544, Dr. David Oestreicher writes the following, which is, practically, a word-for-word quotation of what Kraft, himself, wrote in his 1986 book, The Lenape: Archaeology, History, and Ethnography, pages 242-243:
"A group whose origins are documented more fully is the 'Nanticoke-Lenni Lenape'... The Nanticoke originally lived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and some later moved into Delaware. Around the time of the Civil War, they entered New Jersey. Life was often precarious for the Indians during the slavery period because some Euro-Americans considered them to be 'colored' and hence, they were sometimes in danger of enslavement. To escape these problems and to find more promising opportunities for education and work, many Nanticoke Indians began moving to New Jersey. Around the turn of the 20th century, a disastrous blight known as the 'peach yellows' struck in Delaware, and the Indians usually hired to raise, pick and ship peaches found their livelihood imperiled. Many more Nanticokes moved into New Jersey as a result, settling principally in Salem and Cumberland counties where they worked as farm hands, sharecroppers, and tenant farmers. They tended to marry among themselves or with other local people, thereby maintaining a sense of identity.
"Like most other Indian groups in New Jersey, the Nanticokes have lost or forgotten most of their tribal lore because of acculturation, migration, intermarriage with non-Indians, and the deaths of knowledgeable elders with the passage of time. Their language is no longer spoken but there is a strong connection with Indian origins. In 1974 a group with Nanticoke and Delaware backgrounds resolved to rekindle an interest in their Native American heritage, and on August 7, 1978, they incorporated as the Nanticoke-Lenni Lenape Indians of New Jersey. In December, 1982, this organization was recognized as a tribe in a resolution passed by the New Jersey legislature. The Nanticoke-Lenni Lenape Indians of New Jersey are holding educational programs of songs, dances, and arts and crafts. Their powwows reinforce solidarity and provide a sense of belonging."
Last edited by sschkaak (Dec-09-2015 10:27:am)
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New Jersey Judge Dismisses Lawsuit To Recognize American Indian Tribes (video at the site)
March 9, 2016 6:25 PM By Cleve Bryan
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2016/0 … an-tribes/
TRENTON, NJ – In dismissing a lawsuit filed by the Lenape Indians, today a judge reaffirmed New Jersey’s position that there are no recognized American Indian Tribes in the state.
“It’s a slap in the face, but we’ve been slapped so many times by the state over the last several centuries that our skin is thick,” said tribe member Rev John Norwood outside Mercer County Superior Court on Wednesday.
Last year the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation filed suit against the state for allegedly revoking official recognition which they contend the NJ Legislature granted three tribes through a joint resolution in 1992.
They say without such recognition their crafts are rendered worthless because they can’t carry the label “native made.”
They also face being denied access to federal benefits like scholarships, training and healthcare reserved for Native Americans.
“They can’t take our heart out, but they can take our economics away,” says Chief Mark Gould.
In their briefing the Attorney General’s office says, “the State does not have any procedures, standards or requirements for the “recognition” or continued recognition of American Indian tribes.”
The Attorney General’s Office does no offer an explanation why they won’t support state tribal recognition, they simply say they don’t have to do it.
The Lenape and their attorneys believe at the heart of the matter is fear over building a casino.
“It’s clear to us that the state’s motivation is one that is race-based, it’s stereotyping the tribe and it’s punishing the tribe for who they are independent of their complete lack of desire to compete with the state’s monopoly on gaming,” say attorney Greg Werkheiser.
Werkheiser says the Lenape’s legal team plans to appeal the Superior Court decision and have another lawsuit in Federal Court.
That case has a hearing on a dismissal motion scheduled for April 12 at 10:00 a.m.
This is a serious observation. If they have gotten so many Federal and State contracts/grants...doesn't this say that they are at the very least recognized (not legal recognition) by the Government as being a American Indian Tribe? You can not recognize them on one hand and deny it with the other. Especially if they are using legal definition. It just looks like, to me, that the government is contradicting itself.
I just hope someone reconsiders the legal arguments they present.
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No point clicking on this link, anymore. This blogger has disabled any comments which express a different view from his own.
By Bill Gallo Jr. | For NJ.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on October 28, 2016 at 11:26 AM, updated October 28, 2016 at 1:53 PM
http://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2016 … nj_ag.html
Lenni-Lenape suit against N.J. attorney general can proceed, judge rules
The tribe claims that in 2012 New Jersey decided to end its recognition of the Lenni-Lenape Tribe, a move which has had many negative consequences.
CAMDEN — A federal court judge has ruled a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe against New Jersey's Office of the Attorney General can proceed.
The tribe alleges the state's decision to arbitrarily withdraw official recognition of the Lenni-Lenape was motivated by "racial prejudice and political gamesmanship," according to Greg Werkheiser attorney for the tribe.
U.S. District Court Judge Renee Marie Bumb on Thursday denied the state's request to have the suit dismissed. The ruling clears the way for the case to go to trial. The 3,000-member tribe, whose members live throughout the Northeast, is headquartered in Fairfield Township in Cumberland County.
The Lenni-Lenape have argued that New Jersey's withdrawal of prior recognition of the tribe has resulted in great financial consequences and loss of "tribal identity and prestige."
"We are relieved, grateful, and prayerful about the court's carefully considered decision," said tribal co-Chief Mark Gould. "We are indebted to the citizens of New Jersey for their support through this ordeal. We look forward to prevailing in the trial and beginning to rebuild our relationship with the government of New Jersey."
Leland Moore, a spokesman for the Attorney General's office, said the decision is being reviewed and declined further comment.
Lenni-Lenape sue to restore recognition
The Nanticoke has 3,000 members, is headquartered in Bridgeton and is fighting to keep its official identity, according to the tribe.
Beginning in 1982, the state recognized three American Indian tribes, including the Lenni-Lenape, but that changed in 2012, according to tribal representatives.
They argued in court papers that the Attorney General's Office, on behalf of the Christie administration, took the position that New Jersey has no recognized American Indian tribes.
In its federal suit, the tribe alleged that the decision was driven by the state's fear that the Lenni-Lenape would seek federal gaming rights.
Werkheiser said the Lenni-Lenape have never sought such rights and that state recognition would play no role in helping the tribe secure gaming rights. The Attorney General's action is a violation of the U.S. Constitution's due process and equal protection guarantees, Werkheiser said.
Werkheiser said with state recognition, the Lenni-Lenape had access to federal services including health care for poverty-level senior citizens, women and children along with college scholarships, jobs and the right to sell traditional crafts labeled as American-Indian made.
"Judge Bumb's decision reminds us that in our American system, the courts can still ensure a level playing field for the politically powerless against the whims of even the most politically powerful," said Werkheiser.
"This isn't about money or about asking for something more in the future than what the tribe has had in the past," Werkheiser said Friday. "We are seeking for the tribe to be returned to their status as a state-recognized tribe which they had for 34 years."
"We just want the Attorney General to stop hurting the tribe by denying their existence."
In March, a Superior Court just tossed out a similar suit by the Lenni-Lenape alleging the state was violating the rights of the tribe by not recognizing it. That ruling is being appealed.
The people who consider themselves "Indian" are Indian more for what they do not have, than for what they have.
Tribeâ€™s Lawsuit Over Recognition To Advance
July 19, 2017 6:02 PMBy Cleve Bryan
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2017/0 … t-advance/
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS)â€“A legal battle between the Lenape Tribe and the State of New Jersey could come to a conclusion in the near future.
For some of the 1,200 Lenape Indians in the Delaware Valley, centuries of oppression got a little better in the early 1980â€™s when the State of New Jersey began recognizing native tribes. It opened the door for health, job and education grants.
â€œWe were at the point we were starting to get entrepreneurs, we were starting to send kids to college," said Chief Mark Gould, Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation.
But many of those opportunities have now vanished due to the Christie administration taking a position that there are no officially recognized Native American tribes in New Jersey.
The Lenape are in the midst of a discrimination lawsuit against the state of New Jersey alleging the administration has systematically tried to delegitimize native tribes for fear they might someday pursue casinos.
That would create competition for one of the stateâ€™s biggest money makers.
Last year at the courts dismissed the lawsuit, siding with the attorney generalâ€™s office that there is no law requiring state recognition.
But last week the appellate division overruled that decision so the Lenape lawsuit can proceed.
Until the lawsuit is settled federal programs to help small businesses, provide health care services, and the valuable right to label artwork â€œIndian handmade" are all in jeopardy.
Gould has faith the tribe will prevail.
â€œIf you put it in the lordâ€™s hands you might as well stop worrying," he said.
The case could go to trial by the fall.
(video at the link)
The VICE Morning Bulletin
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/evap … word-again
The White Man Is Breaking His Word Again
New Jersey stripped the Lenni-Lenape tribe of recognition in the state. They're suing to get it back.
Dec 12 2017, 3:59pm
In the millennia before Europeans arrived in North America, the town now called Bridgeton, New Jersey was a hub for the Lenni-Lenape people who inhabited an area stretching from Delaware to Connecticut. Today, a building that serves as a trading post and tribal headquarters stands on Commerce Street. Its display windows are lined with traditional goods like drums, axes, and a buckskin dress.
A sign in the window informs would-be shoppers that the building is closed indefinitely. The tribe has no money to staff the office following a decision by the New Jersey government to disavow recognition of Native American groups in the state, resulting in the loss of contracts, grants, scholarships, and even the ability to label crafts as "American Indian made."
â€œI weave wampum belts and bracelets, an old tradition in our tribe, but I can no more label my belt American Indian made than a kindergartener making a macaroni necklace," says Rev. John Norwood, a member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Council and principal justice of the Tribal Supreme Court. â€œThis has been devastating for our people."
The group is currently embroiled in dual state and federal lawsuits with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, seeking to force the state to honor a 1982 resolution passed by the legislature which granted recognition to the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape, so-named after a merger with another local tribe, with the explicit purpose of qualification for federal funds.
For decades, the status of the tribe was unquestioned, referenced in numerous communications, statutes, and official actions, according to records compiled by the lawsuit. However, in 2011 the New Jersey Commission on Indian Affairs casually mentioned on a federal survey that the state lacked any state recognized tribes. Then the Lenape began to lose the benefits they had received for 30 years.
The state has sought dismissal of the lawsuits, claiming that the tribe had never been officially recognized in the first place because there was no specific statutory authorization and therefore the status could not have been unlawfully rescinded. Nevertheless, the suits have been given a green light to proceed in both state and federal court. The Attorney General's Office did not respond to request for comment. In the past, the office has declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.
The real motivation for the stateâ€™s action, says Greg Werkheiser, founding partner at Cultural Heritage Partners, the DC-based firm representing the Lenape pro bono, is an unfounded fear that the tribe will pursue gaming venues that could compete with existing casinos in New Jersey.
â€œThis is a civil rights lawsuit," Werkheiser says. â€œDue process was violated because there was no process for taking away the benefits they came to rely on for 30 years and there are equal protection claims because we're alleging that the only reason they're in this situation is racial stereotypes, that â€˜Indianâ€™ equals â€˜casino.â€™"
Werkheiser says the Lenape have offered to put in writing that they will not pursue a casino and points out that tribal bylaws prohibit profiting from any form of vice including gaming. Nevertheless, the Chris Christie administration has stood its ground.
Notably, state recognition does not confer gaming rights anyway. That depends on official federal recognition, which has never applied to the Nanicoke Lenni-Lenape. â€œMany tribes that exist in Eastern states have not been federally recognized, but have some form of state recognition," says Robert Anderson, director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington School of Law. â€œMost federal statutes only apply to federally recognized tribes, but certain things like the Indian Arts and Crafts Act and other things that deal with housing assistance and disabilities, professional development programs, and scholarship programs are available to state recognized tribes as well." The process of how states recognize their tribes is up to each state.
The federal government recognizes 562 Indian Nations in the United States. And it has a process for extending recognition to more groups through anthropological, genealogical, and historical records. Unfortunately, a successful petition can take millions of dollars and decades of work, which makes it out of reach for the Nanticoke-Lenni Lenape, in part because many of their birth records were erased by racial purity practices.
The Lenni-Lenape, which means, roughly, â€œoriginal man," date their presence in New Jersey back some 12,000 years. The tribe hosted many of the first European arrivals from Holland, Sweden, Britain, and other nations. Warfare and disease soon eliminated many of the members, then more were pushed out of New Jersey, with descendants today living in Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Canada.
For more than 150 years, the remaining Lenape in New Jersey kept a low profile. â€œIt was dangerous to be identified as Indian, with removals, open hostility, and racial reassignment," in which Native Americans were classified as free people of color or mulattos, Norwood says. â€œTo maintain our community and try to survive persecution, discussion of tribal affairs was really held within the community."
It wasnâ€™t until the 1970s that some tribal leaders became more vocal about demanding rights from the government. In the early 1980s, New Jersey passed resolutions to recognize three groups: the Ramapough Tribe, the Powhatan Renape Nation, and the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation (the other two are not party to the lawsuit, but have also lost their recognition and would benefit from a Lenape victory).
Today, the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape number only around 3,000 official members, but they have a rich influence in Eastern states. A small museum in the basement of the Bridgeton Library hosts a collection of over 30,000 arrowheads, pots, axeheads, and other artifacts found in the region. The legacy also includes many place names, including the island of Manhattan, that still use Lenape words.
Nevertheless, New Jerseyâ€™s current position is that the Lenape, effectively, do not exist. Tribe members continue to hold out hope that the incoming administration of Governor-elect Phil Murphy could reconsider the stateâ€™s stance. Murphyâ€™s transition team did not respond to request for comment.
In the meantime, the Lenape are left in limbo. â€œI have watched elders who fought for recognition in the 80s see it pass through our fingers before they left this life," Norwood says. â€œWhat the state of New Jersey has done is the continuation of breaking of treaties that have been an American legacy since the colonial era."
State pays $2.4M to Native American tribe, officially recognizes it after 6 years
https://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2018/ … ement.html
Updated 5:44 PM; Posted 5:44 PM
By Chris Franklincfranklin@njadvancemedia.com For NJ.com
After years of fighting, a New Jersey Native American tribe is once again officially recognized.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Thursday the state settled with the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation. As part of the settlement, the state will pay the tribe $2.4 million, and officially proclaim it has recognized the 3,000-member Native American tribe. The state made no admission of wrongdoing in the agreement.
"Tribal rights are important rights, and through this settlement we've been able to affirm the status of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation as an American Indian Tribe formally recognized by the state," Grewal said in the statement.
"As a result of this settlement, there is no more ambiguity regarding the tribe's official status, and the tribe's forward progress cannot be impeded by any state-related recognition issues. I'm heartened that, through good faith negotiation, we've been able to resolve this matter fairly and bring an end to years of legal dispute."
The battle for recognition began in late 2012 when New Jersey decided to no longer recognize three tribes: the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape, Ramapough Mountain tribe and Powhatan-Renape Nation.
The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribe filed state and federal civil rights lawsuits in 2015 after trying to negotiate with Gov. Chris Christie's administration. As part of the lawsuit, the group claimed the decision not to recognize the tribes was a "racial-stereotype-driven and irrational fear that any American Indian Tribe, if recognized as such, will seek to conduct gaming in competition with New Jersey's politically powerful non-Indian gaming interests."
As part of its beliefs, the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape have tribal laws banning gambling.
The lawsuit was dismissed in 2016 after Superior Court Judge William Anklowitz disagreed with the tribe and upheld a motion from then-acting Attorney General John Hoffman to dismiss the lawsuit, because a resolution made in 1982 to recognize the tribe was never submitted to the governor's office, making the tribe's status unofficial.
However, in 2017, a three-member Appellate Court ruled the lawsuit would be able to continue, saying the superior court "applied the wrong legal standard and incorrectly failed to accept plaintiff's factual allegations in the complaint as true."
The tribe lauded Thursday's settlement, saying the agreement will have a wide-reaching effect for other Native American tribes.
"The two other state-recognized tribes in New Jersey whose status was undermined will have it reaffirmed," it said in a statement.
"And tens of thousands of members of the more than sixty state-recognized tribes in other states may rest more easily. This settlement establishes that states may not retroactively undermine tribal recognition by violating a tribe's rights to due process and equal protection of the laws."