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Delaware Public Archives offers look at history of Lenape Indian Tribe

Submitted Photo
Then Gov. Jack Markell displays the legislation he signed on August 3, 2016 officially recognizing the Lenape Community as a Sovereign Indigenous Nation. Chief Dennis Coker is standing next to the Gov.

The Delaware Public Archives in Dover commemorates Native American Heritage month this weekend.


Dennis Coker is the chief of the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware.

And the Archives’ manager of outreach and public service Thomas Summers says he’ll be at Archives Saturday to give a presentation, “Now, many times when you see the Lenape out in public, it’s generally a celebration or it’s some time of an event where you see them dancing and/or playing drums, which is very educational. But this time Chief Coker is going to come and he’s going to talk a little bit about the history of the tribe.”

Summers adds Chief Coker will also dispel some of the myths surrounding the Lenape Indian Tribe, “One of the myths that I asked him actually to speak about, is the idea of the Moors; there’s been all kinds of rumors and supposed history about the Moors in the area. And I asked him to talk about how that name came about and how the idea of the Moors came into being.”


Chief Coker’s presentation will also include discussion of how the Tribe was awarded a Census Designation Area allowing its members to include their ethnicity as Lenape on the 2010 Census for the very first time.

Saturday’s presentation on the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware starts at 10:30 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.