Recognizing the Original Inhabitants of This Area – We are located in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, a small part of what was Lenni-Lenape territory for over 10,000 years. We understand that the Lenape were friendly and accommodating — until the settlers gradually, and often violently, forced them out. We acknowledge the injustice and mistreatment indigenous people faced (and still face) as a result of colonialism. We recognize that the Lenape practiced many of the same values the Alliance holds, including respect for and regenerative stewardship of the land and other living things, eating healthy natural foods, social justice, and restorative practices, and community-based participatory decision-making.
The largest surviving groups of Lenape descendants are the Delaware Nation of Oklahoma and the Delaware Indian Tribe, but there are several other significant groups and organizations, including the Ramapaugh Mountain Lenape and the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania.
The number of groups, their wide dispersal, and their continuing identification with the Lenape are pretty clear indicators of the extent to which colonialism disrupted a strong Indigenous civilization in this area, paralleling impacts in other parts of the US and the continent as a whole.
We want to be clear that acknowledging and recognizing the Lenape in no way remedies or repairs the damage done; it is merely a step towards raising awareness.