The Alliance is based in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, a small part of what was Lenape territory — Lenapehoking — 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, such as respect for and regenerative stewardship of the land and other living things, eating healthy natural foods, social justice and restorative practices, and community-based
Most of the Lenape were forced out of their land and relocated to Oklahoma: the Delaware Nation of Oklahoma and the Delaware Indian Tribe. The Ramapo Munsee Lenape Nation, the Ramapaugh Lenape Nation, and the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania are still in the east and are not part of the main groups in Oklahoma.
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.
Also see: Voices of the Valley essay on Colonialism (‘Decolonizing… for a Sustainable Future’).