Fulfilling a Prophecy: The Past and Present of the Lenape in Pennsylvania tells the story of the Lenape people who remained in Pennsylvania in secret after many were driven west in the beginning of the 19th century. Children of the little known Lenape-European marriages of the 1700s stayed on the Lenape homelands and continued to practice their traditions covertly. Hiding their heritage, they avoided discovery by both the government and their neighbors for more than two hundred years.
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Like nearly half of all Native American groups in the United States, the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania is not recognized by the federal or state authorities. Today, some groups of Lenape people in Wisconsin and Oklahoma do have federal or state recognition, as their histories were well-documented when hostile conditions in 18th century Pennsylvania pushed them westward. Though the members of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania have recently reevaluated their decision to remain silent about their history, their emergence from secrecy has not yet led to formal recognition.
Many Pennsylvania Lenape believe that The Time of the Fourth Crow truly began with the Treaty of Renewed Brotherhood of 2002 and the Rising Nation River Journey. A three-week canoe trip along the Delaware River, the River Journey served to reintroduce the Lenape to their neighbors on the river and create excitement for the Treaty.
Fulfilling a Prophecy offers visitors a chance to sign the Treaty of Renewed Brotherhood which is now posted online as a pdf for anyone to download and mail in to submit for signature. This treaty is not a legally binding document, but rather a declaration of a shared purpose. Treaty-signers, which include environmental groups, churches, historical societies, as well as many individuals, acknowledge the Lenape as the caretakers of their homelands and agree to assist in sustaining the Lenape people, language, and way of life for four years. Every four years the River Journey will be repeated and the Treaty will be renewed and signed by new and old friends of the Lenape.
Signing the Treaty expresses recognition of the Lenape Indian tribe as the original inhabitants of eastern Pennsylvania, and acknowledges the Lenape people as the indigenous stewards of their homelands and also as the spiritual keepers of the Lenape Sippu, or Delaware River. Read more