The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation is a historically documented and vibrant American Indian tribe in Southern New Jersey. For centuries, the Tribe continued as a self-isolated, self-governing, indigenous community in connection with our tribal congregation. Since the 1970’s, our tribal leaders brought the tribe into the public light by advocating for our tribe among non-native people and governmental agencies. We are known for our educational outreach programs and our annual public Powwow. Over the years, the tribe has developed a reputation for not only being a cultural and historical haven for traditions and history, but also a strong community partner in South Jersey.
Our tribal store is in the historic downtown area of Bridgeton, New Jersey, where tribal artifacts are on display to the public and arts, crafts, and gift items are sold. The tribe operates a community center and grounds in Fairfield Township, New Jersey, which hosts regular tribal gatherings and ceremonies, a youth summer camp, meetings for the governing bodies of the tribe, its youth group and tribal elders’ group, as well as private events such as wedding receptions and funeral repasts. Looking to the future, our tribe has started development on a tribal museum to host educational programs as well as display artifacts, artwork, and history. When finished, this museum will serve as the first and only museum in the State of New Jersey owned and curated by a Native American tribe; and the tribe hopes that it will serve as a popular destination for school groups and anyone interested in American history.
For years, tribe has relied on funding through grants, independent fundraising, and tribal initiatives. These efforts funded the staff required to run the tribal office, supported the office and grounds operations and expenses, purchased tribal equipment, funded the museum project, supported our youth summer camp and Youth Council, covered the tribe’s membership expenses to participate in regional, national, and international organizations of indigenous governments. The funding supported the expansion of our grounds with the land acquisition initiative, and many other projects and programs that benefitted our people.
Over the past few years, the State of New Jersey has refused to honor the state actions providing official state recognition to our Tribe. Such recognition is required for most of the funding, initiatives, and protections relied on by our Tribe. Because of this, the Tribe has suffered a loss of grant funding, as well as increased anxiety from potential partners, banks, and funding sources resulting in a significant strain on these tribal operations and revenue streams.
Our tribal government is determined to press on, but needs help to do so. In order to simply keep our doors open, we need approximately $25,000 annually to cover basic building and grounds expenses. If we could raise at least that amount through donations, we would be able to “stay afloat” and utilize any funds raised through other means to complete our revenue producing cultural and environmental educational initiatives, in the hope that they will eventually sustain the budgetary needs for our basic operations.
Please help by making a donation and also by circulating the word and pointing friends, family, and associates to our Go-Fund-Me page. Donations are tax-deductible. Help us to reach our annual building and grounds operating goal of $25,000.