The Catskill Environmental Research & Monitoring Conference is being held on the unceded territory known today as New York once inhabited by indigenous Lenape people.
Please hear the full Land Acknowledgement and history spoken by Dwaine Perry, Principal Chief of the Ramapough-Munsee Lenape Nation. This acknowledgement was prepared by Chief Perry and Oleana Whispering Dove, Keeper of Cultural Lifeways.
A Land Acknowledgement is a first step. Chief Perry asks that we not only view the acknowledgement, but commit to actions that help the Earth grow and bring people together in kindness.
We are challenged to answer this question — how can we openly share in the good stewardship of the Catskills environment?
Catskill Environmental Research & Monitoring
Nii ndushiinzi Nzukeew Maqua. Naawalootamun Wundakw Atoh Ramapo Munsee Lunaape.
On behalf of Principle Chief Perry of the Ramapough-Munsee Lenaape Nation, we welcome you to the region of the Catskills, NY, once occupied and sustained by the Catskill Natives (Indians), whose territory was governed by Saunk Skwa, Nipapoa aka Hidden Moon.
Nipapoa was commonly addressed as ‘Her Royal Majesty’, as she reigned over the north side of the Catskill Native population and is mentioned in Henry Hudson’s journal, which documented the first points of contact with Europeans. Her reign and governance were undeniably noteworthy to Europeans considering she was commonly referred to as “She Cat.” This Acknowledgement serves to affirm and recognize the gallant bravery, wisdom, and aptitude of all Saunk Skwa’s of the North east tribes who regulated, negotiated, and lead their tribes with valor.
We acknowledge that the unceded territory known today as New York was inhabited by indigenous Lenape people who lived in Manahatta and its collective five boroughs, extending as far as Bedford and current day Greenwhich, CT.
Subsequently, in uniting and extending homage to the tribal peoples who have stayed and endured a quiet genocide, we are witness to the emergence of a Renaissance of the Munse-Lunaape people who have remained steadfast to this new light as we were once relocated from Westchester (Ramappo Village) to Mahwah, NJ. As a result, we, the local Munsee-Lenaape, will be for the remaining days of tomorrows Keepers of the Ramapo Pass.
May this message serve as a sound cloud to begin to repair the damage of cultural genocide. We are indebted to the courage and sacrifice of our ancestors. We give full recognition of their forfeiture and offer words of honor to their memory. Our pledge in this moment is to shift from unconscious bias to conscious reverence and goodwill. Our resolution is to re-establish amity and re-educate the public while opening doors to mutually beneficial opportunities.
Dwaine Perry, Chief * Ramapough-Munsee Lenappe
Oleana Whispering Dove, Keeper of Cultural Lifeways
*Ramapough-Munsee Enrolled Member
Ramapo Munsee Lenape Nation
Ramapough Munsee Historical Timeline
Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation
Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican
Native Lands Map