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Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month

The Pennsauken Free Public Library celebrates Native American Heritage Month by sharing resources that pay tribute to the rich and diverse culture, traditions, and contributions of Native Americans.

You can read more about the origins of Native American Heritage Month here.

Native Peoples in New Jersey

Three tribes in New Jersey are recognized by the state:

Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe

The tribe’s Lenape ancestors inhabited New Jersey, Delaware, southern New York and eastern Pennsylvania at the time Europeans came. Their Nanticoke ancestors, called the “Tidewater People,” lived in Southeastern Delaware, having migrated from the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Read more about their detailed history here.

The Confederation of Sovereign Nanticoke-Lenape Tribes, an intertribal union, has an online museum and learning center. The museum is dedicated to telling the story of the Nanticoke and Lenape people in New Jersey and Delaware.

The tribe is also creating a five episode docuseries called “We Are Still Here”. Follow their progress here on Facebook or donate to the project here.

Powhatan Renape Tribe

The Powhatan Renape Nation's origins date back to the late 19th century when their people settled in Morrisville and Delair in Pennsauken Township. Unfortunately their reservation and museum in Rancocas closed a few years ago. However, their state recognition was reaffirmed in 2019. Their tribal grounds are in Westampton.

Although their website no longer exists, you can read a webarchive of their history here.

Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation

Ramapough Lenape Indian ancestors have resided in the Ramapough Mountains for thousands of years. They rely on their oral history to tell the history of their people. The Mahwah Museum has an exhibit titled “Ramapough - Legacy and Heritage”. See more about it here.

You can donate here for legal defense funds for their water and land protectors at Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp.

The New Jersey Commission on Native American Affairs is a liaison between the tribes and State and Federal governments. Two representatives from each tribe serve on the commission.

Recommended Books

The Pennsauken Free Public Library has many books by and about Native Americans. Our recommended list for Native American Heritage Month 2021 has a mix of children’s, adults, fiction, and nonfiction titles. You can check out any by requesting them through your KOHA account, calling the library at 856-665-5959 ext. 3, or visiting in person.

Research Tools

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian has a great FAQ about Native Americans. Learn about terminology, policies, perspectives on Thanksgiving, and myths vs. history.

Events

The Native American Heritage Month website lists several free online events happening this month, including a discussion with U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and a Native Cinema Showcase streaming from November 12-18.

Check out a list of events on the Native American Heritage Month website.