Honoring The Land

The land upon which we gather is part of the traditional territory of the Lenni-Lenape, called “Lenapehoking.”

The Lenape People lived in harmony with one another upon this territory for thousands of years. During the colonial era and early federal period, many were removed west and north, but some also remain among the continuing historical tribal communities of the region: The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation; the Ramapough Lenape Nation; and the Powhatan Renape Nation, The Nanticoke of Millsboro Delaware, and the Lenape of Cheswold Delaware.

We acknowledge the Lenni-Lenape as the original people of this land and their continuing relationship with their territory. In our acknowledgment of the continued presence of Lenape people in their homeland, we affirm the aspiration of the great Lenape Chief Tamanend, that there be harmony between the indigenous people of this land and the descendants of the immigrants to this land, “as long as the rivers and creeks flow, and the sun, moon, and stars shine.”

The above language was graciously offered as the standard Land Acknowledgement for those who seek to honor the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation people and territory preceding an event in Lenapehoking.

 

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Why do we honor the land? 

 
Our mission, opportunity, and privilege as an arts and culture institution is to embrace and share the stories and perspectives of all, and to champion a more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible future.  

By engaging in this intentional practice, we aim to disrupt the erasure of the Indigenous people in our communities and invite more truth of the history of this land. We do this out of respect for the Indigenous peoples and their traditions, as well as an appreciation of their history and the acknowledgement that predominately white institutions such as McCarter have benefited from colonization and its effects. We invite you to join us in this act of mindfulness and encourage you to unite your learning journey with ours. 

How will we continue to support Indigenous communities and culture? 

 

This land acknowledgement is just one component of our work as we aim to go beyond allyship and establish meaningful and long-lasting relationships. Our new artistic leadership is currently cultivating relationships with the intention of supporting and sharing more Indigenous art on our stages and in our spaces. We hope to work more closely with the known tribes of our local area: the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation; the Ramapough Lenape Nation; the Powhatan Renape Nation, The Nanticoke of Millsboro Delaware and the Lenape of Cheswold Delaware. 

McCarter’s Land Acknowledgement Task Force is a branch of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Committee. Special thanks to Paula Alekson, Jessica Bonanno, Andrea Cuevas, Cory Dunn, and Sarah Rasmussen for their ongoing work on this project. If you have questions or comments, please email EDIA@McCarter.org.