Opinion | Federal Recognition

Editorial: Respect the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation






A scene from a Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation powwow. Photo from Facebook

New Jersey newspaper calls on state politicians to recognize the status of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation:
The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape are best known to outsiders for the colorful pow-wows it holds in Pilesgrove Township. More than exhibitions of traditional dress and ceremony are at stake, however, if the tribe's official recognition, first granted in 1982 by legislative resolution, has been revoked.

Tribal members could lose $240,000 in annual income if they can't market craft items as authentic, according to the lawsuit. Also, about $600,000 in health care grants -- this is federal, not state, funds, -- could be withdrawn.

The state attorney general's office won't answer questions about the suit, which claims that the Christie administration has stopped communicating with the tribe over the issue.

A 2011 legislative effort to reaffirm recognition of the Lenni-Lenape and two other tribes died after Assembly passage. The bills were reintroduced in the next session, but went nowhere. If there are any current bills, we can't find them.

Why is this happening? Why all the silence?

Get the Story:
Editorial: N.J. must recognize Lenni-Lenape as Native American tribe (The South Jersey Times 7/24)

Related Stories:
Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation sues in New Jersey (7/21)