New Jersey Tribes
NEW JERSEY INDIAN TRIBES
FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED TRIBES IN NEW JERSEY
(Federal List Last Updated 5/16)
STATE RECOGNIZED TRIBES
(Not recognized by the Federal Governemnt)
New Jersey does not have any state-recognized tribes, according to New Jersey officials whom we spoke with, as well as correspondence between New Jersey officials and Interior’s Indian Arts and Crafts Board. A 2008 law review article counted three potentially state-recognized tribes in New Jersey, and the 2010 Census data counted two state-recognized tribes.
In addition, New Jersey recognizes the Inter-Tribal American Indians of New Jersey, an organization created circa 1980 to meet the needs of American Indians from across North and South America who are now living in New Jersey. The organization provides social activities and support to those Indians living in New Jersey and is dedicated to educating the public about American Indian culture and history.
- Nanaticoke Lenni- Lennapes of New Jersey, Inc.Letter of Intent to Petition 01/03/1992.
- Powhatan-Renape Nation.Letter of Intent to Petition 04/12/1996.
- Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation (also known as Ramapough Mountain Indians). Letter of Intent to Petition 08/14/1979. Decline to Acknowledge 2/6/1996 (61 FR 4476); request for reconsideration to IBIA; decision affirmed 7/18/1997; reconsidered Final Determination 1/7/1998 (63 FR 888); in litigation; 12/11/2001, U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s Memorandum Opinion & Order granting summary judgment to the Department; US Supreme Court denied cert. 2002; Decision effective 1/7/1998.
UNRECOGNIZED / PETITIONING TRIBES
- The Ancient Boii Tribe-Clovis, Paleo Boii
- Osprey Band of Free Cherokees
- Sand Hill Band of Indians (aka Sand Hill Band of Lenape and Cherokee Indians). Letter of Intent to Petition 01/09/2007.
- Taino Tribal Council (Jatibonuco)
- Unalachtigo Band of Nanticoke Lenni Lenape Nation. Letter of Intent to Petition 2/1/2002.
FIRST CONTACT TO PRESENT
Explorers in the 1500s found a peaceful Algonkian tribe with an economy of hunting, gathering and small-scale agriculture. They built villages along the Delaware River, spending most of their time hunting and planting corn, beans, and other crops for food. They called themselves the Leni Lenape (which roughly translates as "real men").
They collectively came to be called the Delaware, after the river they lived along. Their descendants today are known as Delaware and Munsee Indians and are dispersed over North America with the largest group living near Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
PRE-CONTACT NEW JERSEY TRIBES
PRE-HISTORIC CULTURES IN NEW JERSEY
- 8000 BC - Native Americans had occupied New Jersey for thousands of years before European colonization. Ten thousand years before the first European settlers set foot in New Jersey, the Leni Lenape were hunting and raising crops such as corn, beans, and squash.
NEW JERSEY RESERVATIONS
From the mid-1800s, the official policy of the United States government toward the American Indian was to confine each tribe to a specific parcel of land called a reservation. Agencies were established on or near each reservation. A government representative, usually called an agent (or superintendent) was assigned to each agency. Their duties included maintaining the peace, making payments to the Native Americans based on the stipulations of the treaties with each tribe, and providing a means of communication between the native population and the federal government.
Sometimes, a single agency had jurisdiction over more than one reservation. And sometimes, if the tribal population and land area required it, an agency may have included sub-agencies.
The boundaries of reservations, over time, have changed. Usually, that means the reservations have been reduced in size. Sometimes, especially during the later policy of the termination era, the official status of reservations was ended altogether.
Those reservations named in bold below are current federally-recognized reservations, with their associated agency and tribe(s). Others have historically been associated with the state or are not currently recognized by the federal government.
- Edge Pillock Reservation:
- Nanticoke Lenni-Lanape Indians of New Jersey
- Ramapough Mountain Indians
- Rancocas Indian Reservation
Sources of records on US Indian tribes