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      Resolution of the Tribal Council - Resolution #97-07

      Delaware Tribe of Indians
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      The name DELAWARE was given to the natives who occupied the Delaware River Valley during the colonial occupation of English Governor Lord de la Warr. In their language they are LENAPE (len-ah'-pay) which means "The People" and belong to the Algonquian linguistic group. They were among the first Indians to come in contact with Europeans (Dutch, English, & Swedish) as early as 1600. They were considered a "Grandfather" tribe whose power, position, and spiritual presence served to settle disputes among rival tribes. Known also for their fierceness and tenacity as warriors they are recorded, however, as choosing a path of accommodation with the Europeans, treating William Penn for eastern Pennsylvania and signing the first Indian treaty with the United States (Sept. 17, 1778). Through war and peace the Lenape continued to give up their lands and moved westward (Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana). A small contingent of Delawares fled to Canada during a time of extreme persecution (1790) and today occupy two small reserves in Ontario province (Moraviantown and Munsee).

      By 1820 they crossed the Mississippi River into Missouri and, during the next 40 years, produced 13 treaties which established a reservation in Kansas and ultimately a final move to the Indian Territory in 1866. Their 1867 agreement with the Cherokees allowed them to purchase a district to reside as Delawares within the Cherokee Nation. Since then they have primarily occupied modern-day Washington and Nowata Counties in Oklahoma and have continually maintained their cultural and governmental identity.

      The Delaware of today number close to 10,000 and are headquartered in Bartlesville where the tribal government operates service programs. A small group of separately-organized Delawares (the Absentees) are located in Anadarko, Oklahoma on lands they jointly control with the Wichitas and Caddos. There has been a recent revival in cultural programs (language, song, and social dance) which has pleased the few remaining full-blood lders who feared cultural extinction.
      Lenape Hach Ki? - Are You A Lenape?

      The Culture Preservation Committee of the Delaware Tribe (Lenape) established the Delaware Home Page several months ago through Cowboy.net, which is run by a Delaware. Since then we have had numerous E-mail inquiries about genealogy. Most are from people in the eastern part of the United States, but we do receive inquires from all over.

      Many of the messages say things like, "I was told by my grandparents that we have Lenape blood. Their names were [name] and they lived all their lives in New Jersey. Would you look them up and see if I am part Lenape?"

      It would be nice if there was a master roll of everyone who has any degree of Lenape blood, but there is not. Our rolls here only go back in time to our own ancestors, who, on their forced exodus from the East, were living in Kansas in 1862.

      In order to be enrolled on our official tribal roll, your ancestors by blood would have had to been living in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in 1906. This is a requirement set forth by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and follows THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, PART 83 - PROCEDURES FOR ESTABLISHING THAT AN AMERICAN INDIAN GROUP EXISTS AS AN INDIAN TRIBE.

      We are sorry that we cannot be of help to many of you who might have Lenape blood, but there are no sources of which we are aware to look for your ancestors' names. We can only suggest you do regular genealogical research through the libraries and Federal Census records. Good luck on your quest.

      To tribal members descended from ancestors on our 1906 Roll, if you have not yet signed up, write to Delaware Tribal Registration, Delaware Indian Center, 108 S. Seneca, Bartlesville, OK, 74003. Request a Registration Form. It will have all pertinent information, and you will need birth or death certificates that link you with your ancestor on the 1906 Delaware Roll. If you have lost your tribal card, write to the same address about getting a new one. Thank you. Culture Preservation Committee

      How the First Stories Came Out of the Earth

      A man returning from hunting found a curious hole in the ground. He looked into it and somebody spoke to him.

      The hunter asked who it was.

      But the thing did not tell him, only said it was a grandfather (grandfather was how many tribes once addressed a Lenape): "If anyone wishes to hear stories, let them come here and roll in a little tobacco or a bead, and I will tell them a story."

      So the people came. And that is the beginning of the stories which we do not know are true or not.

      This grandfather told them never to tell stories after it begins to get warm in the spring. "If you do," he said, "the snakes, bugs, and all kinds of little creatures will get after you."

      Anonymous, Oklahoma

      Taken from THE WHITE DEER, and Other Stories Told by the Lenape
      Edited by John Bierhorst.
      Published by William Morrow and Company, Inc.


      For more information write or call:

      Delaware Tribal Headquarters
      108 S. Seneca
      Bartlesville, OK 74003
      (918)336-5272

      E-Mail concerning Ancestry/Cultural Preservation
      Messages to Tribal Leaders
      Or, E-Mail other questions to lenape@cowboy.net
      Get to know Chief Curtis Zunigha.