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NewsEvents / Tamanend's Day 2004

ACQTC Celebrates the “Feast of the Common Man”
by Iron Thunderhorse, May 2004

Photo Copyright 2004 ACQTC
Members of the ACQTC/Renapi Security Team carrying Dawnland colors
© 2004 ACQTC

May 1st, 2004, dawned in Harrisburg, PA, to the sound of ancient drums, morning prayers to the Dawn and a colorful display of aboriginal regalia as the Wampanoo Dawnland Confederacy of Lenape / Renapi people marched peacefully but proudly down the main streets leading to the State Capitol. Our people had been camped out the previous night making plans for Tammany (Tamanend) Day, 2005. Members of ACQTC worked the security detail, wearing white T-shirts emblazoned on the front with the words QUINNIPIAC NATION and RENAPI in the middle, and in back with our Confederacy flag colors, red, white and black, and the acronym ACQTC so they were readily identifiable during the march and the gathering.

Photo Copyright 2004 ACQTC
The march begins by crossing the Susquehanna River
© 2004 ACQTC

Several hundred representatives from our Algonquian Confederacy and Lenape / Renapi people, were joined by Tsa-la-gi (Cherokee) from the East and many other Nations who live within our ancestral domains in celebration of the Feast of the Common Man, our Nation’s first celebration of democracy as it was known to our people and the legendary Lenape Sakema after which the original thirteen colonies were modeled and in which the 14th colony/state was our own Wampanachkee (Wampanoo Confederacy in the Dawnland).

Photo Copyright 2004 ACQTC
The march continues down the streets of downtown Harrisburg, PA.
© 2004 ACQTC

Speakers included Chief Tom Big-Warrior Watts, History Keeper for our Dawnland Confederacy, and Grandmother Doris Riverbird Woman, organizer of the EWNAIC (Eastern Woodlands Native American Indian Confederacy). Several Lenape Drum Groups and Lenape dancers performed with their time-honored traditions.

Photo Copyright 2004 ACQTC
One of many drum groups perform traditional songs.
© 2004 ACQTC

This rally was held to increase awareness about the Native American community and the many contributions made by the American Indian culture to the mainstream American way of life here on Turtle Island.

Tom Big-Warrior spoke about the historical legacy of the Renapi/Lenape culture and our historical treaty with William Penn. A Treaty-Belt flag was raised and honored at the event and our ACQTC security detail carried the colors of the Lenape/Renapi Dawnland Confederacy. Tom also spoke about the plans of the confederacy to take responsibility for the future of the Trexler Game Preserve in PA. During the 2nd week of May, the confederacy met with local Lehigh County officials to discuss the proposal.

Photo Copyright 2004 ACQTC
Wampum Bead Treaty Belt Flag honored by Confederacy chiefs.
© 2004 ACQTC

Grandma Doris spoke of the unity we have seen in the Dawnland and her speech (the first part) is printed below. Also on the agenda were the plans for Tammany Day 2005, which will be held in Philadelphia, PA, at the University of Pennsylvania. The main topic for 2005 is the RETURN of historical Lenape and Renapi artifacts held by the museum and the University and the repatriation of a Quinnipiac (Renapi) ancestor who had been originally buried in our East Haven burial grounds.

Photo Copyright 2004 ACQTC
Doris Riverbird Woman gives welcome speech as Fox-Running conducts pipe ceremony.
© 2004 ACQTC

Speech given by Doris Riverbird Woman, May 1st, 2004

He Ju (Greetings)…

I say this with a heart full of joy as I sit and write this synopsis of the new beginning!!!

Many of us came together in 2003 to show everyone that the “Indians” of today can and will work together toward a common good. This common good is for the People! At that meeting, people came from the Apaches, Navajos, Cherokee, Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), Lenape (Renapi), Lakota, Creek, Choctaw, Anishinabe…. They came together to form an Eastern Woodland Native American Indian Confederacy, the prime goal of which is to work together for the people. Each group remaining separate unto themselves, but united when it comes to the benefit of the People…

The Eastern Woodlands Native American Indian Confederacy (EWNAIC) came together because here, in Pennsylvania, there were so many lost people who were looking for a way to help the People…. Together we can do good for the People. Alone, we can only sometimes do good for ourselves. And that is not our way. American Indians were not meant to be hermits. They were meant to work, fight, laugh and cry together!!!

On this May 1st, one of the first things the Confederacy is doing is sponsoring Tamanend’s Day with groups of the People at the State Capitol here in Harrisburg, PA. You will hear more about Tamanend’s Day in the future… as for 2005 --- watch out brothers and sisters!!!

We are putting together teams to assist with water cleanup, forestry, and animal husbandry. Dooing what the Sacred Instructions told us to do… Be Caretakers (stewards) of the Land.

The Sacred Instructions also told us to be Caretakers of the People… We will act as an advocate if you need help. We will try to find food and clothing for those who are in need. And we will try to, in all ways, follow the traditional path laid out before us by the ancestors. This is what makes us “Indian”. Not the casinos, but the traditions.

Editorial note: ACQTC rejects all forms of dependence on casino revenues to provide for the needs of our Aboriginal People. The plan to take over the Trexler Game Preserve (reprinted here?) is one alternative of many our Confederacy has submitted.

The photos on this page were taken by ACQTC and show the resolve of our Nations to restore integrity and traditional values to our culture.

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