The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape People (also known as Nanticoke Lenape Indians) are a tribal confederation of the core families of the Nanticoke and Lenni-Lenape whose homelands have been in Southern New Jersey and the Delmarva Peninsula from ancient times. We are the northernmost of three well studied and documented, closely interrelated tribal communities, including the Nanticoke and the Lenape of Sussex and Kent Counties in Delaware.
Our Tribe is a sovereign American Indian Nation made up of the enrolled tribal citizens who have met the mandatory documented descent and blood quantum requirements from the historic core tribal families as set by our tribal law. Our tribal sovereignty was granted by the almighty Creator to our ancestors and was never surrendered by our tribal leadership to any other authority. Our tribal citizens freely submit to the jurisdiction of, and pledge allegiance to, the Tribal government of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indian Tribe and agree to abide by any and all laws and rules of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape and will respect and comply with the decisions of the duly elected tribal leaders.
The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe, the largest American Indian Tribe in New Jersey, is governed by a nine member Tribal Council. All council members must also be enrolled citizens of the tribe, having met the mandatory tribal Indian blood quantum and core family ancestry requirements. Also, our elders continue to play an important role in guiding our people's future and reminding us of our past. The wisdom of our elders is honored and respected. We have been taught to make decisions prayerfully considering the will of the Creator and the impact of any decision through seven generations of our people.
Our Tribal headquarters is in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey. While the majority of our tribal citizens are still concentrated in southern New Jersey, many of our people now live throughout North America. Our tribe is a charter nation of the "Lenape Confederacy," which includes Lenape people from our larger extended family as far away as Oklahoma, Kansas, Indiana, Texas, and Ontario. We are uniting with the Lenape Tribe of Delaware to formally express our common history and bloodlines through an inter-tribal compact, establishing the "Confederation of Sovereign Nentego-Lenape Tribes."
The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indian Tribe is a recognized American Indian Tribe by the State of New Jersey through both concurrent legislative resolution (S.C.R. 1982 No.73) and through state statute (N.J.P.L. 1995 c. 295; N.J.S. 52:16A-53 et. seq). We have permanent seats on the New Jersey State Commission on American Indian Affairs and are a voting member nation of the National Congress of American Indians. Our people are honored with a permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Our tribe is a recognized State Designated American Indian Statistical Area with the United State Census Bureau and has ongoing activities with numerous federal agencies, including: The Department of the Interior; The Department of Environmental Protection; The Department of Commerce; and, The General Services Administration. We maintain a 350 year old friendship with the Nation of Sweden, which had established a settlement in our homeland before the British colonized our region.