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We fought back: Dr. Eileen DeFreece on Native nations and the Lenni Lenape of New Jersey & New York

in Race and Ethnicity by

From the Indian Removal Act to the countless wars on Native people, Dr. Eileen DeFreece, who is a member of the Lenni Lenape talks about how her people remained in the area, in spite of hundreds of years of hostility by the white domestic terror and the US government.

Ark Republic talked with Dr. DeFreece about the Lenni Lenape, a local nation who has been in the New Jersey and New York region thousands of years before European settlers. In an in depth interview, she provides an rich history of Natives first contact with Robert Treat and Giovanni Verrazzano, two explores who came to settle in the region, and the subsequent tragic events that follow.

Her narrative disrupts mainstream ideas of Natives about race, resistance, culture, media misrepresentations, policy, gender roles and spirituality. It is the most thorough interview from a Native person today and one that teaches invaluable lessons on how she, like other Native’s see Thanksgiving as a holiday to mark survival and a legacy of revolution.

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