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#1 Feb-14-2021 03:25:pm

sschkaak
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Registered: Sep-17-2007
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The "woke" apology tour continues - LNP weighs in

Dickinson College representative asks Carlisle Borough Council to acknowledge area's Indigenous people, issue apology for Indian school

https://cumberlink.com/news/local/commu … 1941a.html

Tammie Gitt Feb 12, 2021

Future Carlisle Borough Council meetings could open with an acknowledgment that the land on which the borough sits was once the homeland of the Lenape, Susquehannock and Haudenosaunee people.

Espoir DelMain, the Dickinson College representative to the borough council, has asked the council to consider adding a land acknowledgment to the opening sequence of the borough council meetings that currently includes the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence.

DelMain also asked the council to consider issuing an apology for the violence that occurred at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

Mayor Tim Scott said the borough staff is working with DelMain to “fully form" the idea.

“Once that happens, council will be in a position to act on this item," he said.

Cara Curtis, archives and library director at the Cumberland County Historical Society, said the area is part of the territory for several nations including the Susquehannocks, the Lenape, who are also known as the Delaware, and the Haudenosaunee, who are also called the Iroquois League or Six Nations.

The website for the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania said the Lenape people are the original inhabitants of Delaware, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and southern New York. Many of them were pushed west over a period of 250 years during and after colonization.

Land acknowledgments

A native of Minnesota, DelMain said she came to value the ways the Indigenous people of Minnesota cultivated a connection with the natural world. She was further inspired to hold people in power accountable for acknowledging histories of violence when officials in Minnesota saw impact statements and held listening sessions, but allowed construction on a 330-mile pipeline replacement project to proceed. Opponents of the project said the pipeline runs through the territory of the Anishinaabe people.

DelMain said land acknowledgments are a way to honor history and to hold the community accountable to a better future.

“The land acknowledgment would not only state that the borough lies on stolen territory of the Lenape, the Suquehannock and the Haudenosaunee people, but also was the site of genocide and violence and trauma towards Indigenous communities that continues to this day because of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School," she said.

Adam DePaul, tribal council member and storykeeper for the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania called land acknowledgments “a wonderful thing," but cautioned that they should avoid language that suggests ownership of the land. The Lenape never had a concept of owning land, which is the difference between Lenape and colonial thought that led to much of the land being taken or given away in treaty agreements.

“That whole concept of actually owning a piece of land that was yours and nobody else’s was not one that we ever embraced, ever really thought of," he said.

Rather than using language like “Lenape land" or that the “Lenape owned this land," DePaul said the Lenape prefer language recognizing the land as the “indigenous homeland of the Lenape" or that the “Lenape have been caretakers of the land."

DePaul said the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania receives many requests for assistance in creating land acknowledgments, and has seen an increase in the number of requests in the last 10-15 years. The increase comes from a shifting consciousness that’s focusing on human rights issues and disenfranchised communities as well as advances in academia and the understanding of history that looks more critically at the way history has been written and engaging more Native American voices in academics.

Apology

DelMain envisions an apology for what happened at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School that would be similar to the one issued by the borough council in November concerning Lincoln Cemetery. The resolution would acknowledge the violence at the school and apologize not as the party directly responsible for the actions overseen by the Department of the Interior on U.S. Army land, but as the local government of the place it happened.

DePaul said an apology has to be done sensitively and grow out of a genuine interest and understanding of history. Unlike apologies over treaties, an apology concerning the Indian school touches on the living experiential memory of some members of the tribe.

“Many people think of Indian boarding schools as kind of ancient history or colonial history, but we still have elders in our council today that attended — forcibly attended — Indian boarding schools," he said. “It can be emotionally cathartic to some people in some circumstances. It can still really inspire some traumatic memories."

When DelMain made the request at the February borough council workshop meeting, a resident countered by asking the borough council if it would add a moment of silence for “settlers on the frontier that were slaughtered by the Indigenous people" for historical accuracy.

DelMain said such a response echoes the “All Lives Matter" response to the “Black Lives Matter" movement and is indicative of why the borough should take action.

She empathizes with the logic that says a land acknowledgment isn’t under the purview of borough government, but said that racism was first institutionalized through such power structures in the past so that is where anti-racism needs to begin to be institutionalized.

“The point is to understand and give space to a story that has so often been erased and a people that have been so resilient and so strong in resisting the attempted erasure through government, through economic systems, through culture, all of these things," she said.

For the Lenape and other tribes on the East Coast that are considered “First Contact" nations, erasure isn’t an abstract concept.

People are often unaware of the Lenape in their homeland, but it’s not their fault, DePaul said. Most Lenape were forced to leave their homeland, finding permanent homes in Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Canada.

What people don’t realize is that many Lenape stayed here, mostly because colonial men married Lenape women and raised families with them, DePaul said. In order to stay, though, the women had to disavow their heritage. They no longer could speak the language or practice the ceremonies and even identified as white on census records.

“It was upon the risk of being driven out of the colonies or, in some unfortunate records, even worse punishments if you were to celebrate or even acknowledge the fact that you were a Native American," he said.

Another argument DelMain has heard is that everyone knows the land was stolen and what happened at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

“I don’t think that’s true, but even so, if it were, I think it all the more important to create reminders," she said.

Deputy Mayor Sean Shultz said in an email to The Sentinel that it’s important to recognize the past.

“I feel confident that council will find a meaningful way to reach toward reconciliation and recognition of our cultural history standing upon the land and shoulders of the Indigenous people who first arrived here thousands of years ago," he said.

Last edited by sschkaak (Feb-14-2021 03:28:pm)

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#2 Feb-15-2021 12:56:pm

tree hugger
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Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 11149

Re: The "woke" apology tour continues - LNP weighs in

Adam DePaul, tribal council member and storykeeper for the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania called land acknowledgments “a wonderful thing," but cautioned that they should avoid language that suggests ownership of the land. The Lenape never had a concept of owning land, which is the difference between Lenape and colonial thought that led to much of the land being taken or given away in treaty agreements.

“That whole concept of actually owning a piece of land that was yours and nobody else’s was not one that we ever embraced, ever really thought of," he said.

Rather than using language like “Lenape land" or that the “Lenape owned this land," DePaul said the Lenape prefer language recognizing the land as the “indigenous homeland of the Lenape" or that the “Lenape have been caretakers of the land."

DePaul said the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania receives many requests for assistance in creating land acknowledgments, and has seen an increase in the number of requests in the last 10-15 years. The increase comes from a shifting consciousness that’s focusing on human rights issues and disenfranchised communities as well as advances in academia and the understanding of history that looks more critically at the way history has been written and engaging more Native American voices in academics.

I would LOVE to know who goes to the LNP for land acknowledgment assistance?!

I think I know whose voice in Academics he's speaking of. roll roll

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