The land on which Drexel University stands and upon which we gather is part of the traditional territory of the Lenape called “Lenapehokink” (pronunciation: Lun-nah-pay-ho-king). It is here that the people called the 'grandfather tribe' and the 'peacemakers' have lived their lives, spoken their language, and held their ceremonies for thousands of years. Indeed, Lenape is translated as “real or original person.” During the colonial and early federal period, many were removed west and north, but some also remain in their homeland. The Lenape were subjected to 250 years of colonization that included cultural suppression and erasure, forced removal from this land and continue to experience systemic discrimination and marginalization.
Acknowledging this history, our privilege to be on this land, and the Lenape tribe's continued presence, is consistent with Drexel University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We openly recognize the Lenape tribe as the original inhabitants of eastern Pennsylvania, as well as their continuing presence and relationship with their territory. We acknowledge the Lenape people as the Indigenous stewards of their homelands as well as the spiritual keepers of the Lenape Sipu, or Delaware River, and Drexel University does hereby commit to actively supporting our Lenape community members in whatever way we are able, helping to maintain the Indigenous cultural identity of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and southern New York. We hope that, by recognizing this Indigenous history, it will inspire you to think about your place on this land, engage in efforts to promote a community that values work towards decolonization and strengthening of Indigenous communities, here and elsewhere.
Learn more about the Lenape people and their history.