The Lenni Lenape were the first inhabitants of eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. Admired and respected by William Penn, the Lenape were later betrayed and forced from their villages by the policies of Penn’s sons and the infamous Walking Purchase. This program explores the life and times of these peaceful, progressive people, comparing and contrasting their social customs, history, religion, family life, agriculture, hunting, healing practices, arts and crafts, past and present contributions (and much more) with those of the Europeans and Colonial Americans of their time. This program features a lecture/demonstration and hand-on interactive exhibits.
Carla Messinger is Founder/Director of Native American Heritage Programs. As a descendant of the Lenape (Delaware) Indians, who were the first inhabitants of eastern Pennsylvania, western New Jersey, and part of New York, she wished to present a true picture of early American Indian life, refuting stereotypes and developing an understanding of the Lenape peaceful, nature-centered lifestyle that could be of value to our competitive, ecologically-troubled modern society.
The mission is “to present, preserve, and perpetuate the history, lifeways, culture, and contributions of the Lenape and other Native American groups,” and as Director of Native American Heritage Programs she continues that commitment today.
She has been a Speaker for Pennsylvania Humanities Council “Commonwealth Speakers Bureau”, and is the author of the award winning children’s book "When the Shadbush Blooms" (Fall 2007). Carla worked with the Bloomsburg Children’s Museum for their exhibit room “Pennsylvania Indians: We Travel Their Paths” and presented programs for the opening exhibitions. Carla appears in both Macmillan/McGraw-Hill & Scott Foresman Pennsylvania textbooks.
At the conclusion of the program please feel free to take a brief online survey here: