Law | Federal Recognition

Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation sees setback on recognition






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

A judge in New Jersey dismissed one of two lawsuits filed by the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation, whose claim to state recognition is in limbo.

The tribe was recognized by the state in 1982 through a law that is still on the books. But William Anklowitz said the resolution at issue was never acted upon by the state governor, NJ.Com reported.

"There is no legal action creating the Nanticoke as an entity in the first place," Anklowitz said at a hearing in Trenton, NJ.Com reported.

The decision is a setback but attorney Greg Werkheiser told NJ.Com that the tribe plans to appeal. A lawsuit in federal court is also pending.

Although state status has no bearing on federal recognition, federal laws like the Indian Arts and Crafts Act and the law that established the 8(a) program at the Small Business Administration contain provisions that apply to state-recognized tribes and their members.

NLT Management is in danger of losing a federal contract due to questions about its status, the tribe's attorneys have told the judge handing the federal court case.

Get the Story:
Court dismisses American Indian tribe's lawsuit against the state (NJ.Com 3/9)

Related Stories:
Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation awaits ruling on recognition (3/8)
Brigid Harrison: Lenni-Lenape Nation battles for recognition (11/30)
Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation to expand land holdings (08/04)
Editorial: New Jersey governor quietly obliterates three tribes (7/27)
Editorial: Respect the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation (7/24)