Native American Outdoor Education Training

Cohanzick Nature Reserve

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Native American Advancement Corp seeks $50,000 annually and plans to offer indigenous skill-building programs leveraging existing partnerships with State Agencies, Universities, and Conservation Organizations to lead workshops on hunter's safety, tracking/wildlife Identification, wilderness first aid, and living off the land.

These efforts will directly serve the public by increasing conservation awareness and allowing access to learning local Native American traditions that would otherwise remain community-based. Ultimately, the long-term goal will be to establish a public Nature Center that will host a series of conservation programs for All-Ages such as Native Plant Education, Naturalist school programs pre-K-12, and wilderness survival school to name a few.  See our Website for further details!

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To explain this plan, we must introduce our people, the Nanticoke Lenni Lenape Nation of New Jersey. This history will form the basis of the reasoning behind the project.

We will start with the fundamentals of the seven generations. We honor the ways of our ancestors by instilling in each generation the way to form a firm foundation: to live in balance and harmony. Balance and harmony are living one with nature. The eldest maintains the stories from grand and great-grandparents to pass those stories to grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This unbroken chain is the seven generations. All wisdom is preserved in its perfection.

As Native Americans, we understand the dangers of the term "survival." The root meaning is to "outlive" or "over," and the opposite is to "die." Colonization has been implanted in our teaching to survive. Native people are taught to live in harmony with the Creator. We never focus on surviving or dying. However, we live in harmony. To survive means to do whatever is necessary to stay alive, even if it means destroying the earth.

Our colonization foundation is crumbling. To build a new foundation, we must first acknowledge our mistakes. We must tear down the original and create a new one by teaching, nurturing, and guiding our children. Our elders teach that it takes a whole community to raise a child. We are responsible for helping children understand that our new foundation is built on harmony, acceptance, and tolerance.

When the colonies were formed, we were to be annihilated. The following statement was used to educate our children in boarding schools as we were ripped away from our homes. "We instill in them a pronounced distaste for the native life so that they will be humiliated when reminded of their origin. When they graduate from our institutions, the children have lost everything Native except their blood." 1875, Bishop Grandin

Without the teachings of seven generations, simply acknowledging the ways of our people as a culture would imply that we risk losing the traditions that keep our community alive. Harmony, in general, is about teaching our children and passing on our people's ways, knowing how to identify the seed, when to plant the seed, and when to harvest the fruit. Our harmony is about learning how to prepare the meal that comes from the fruit. Our connection is about knowing how to preserve the seed for future generations from harvesting the fruit we planted.

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We teach to identify feathers of birds of prey from that of an eagle, an owl, or a red-tail hawk. We know how to carve wood and heat it in the fire to harden. We are taught how to build a fire so that the fire lasts through the night to keep us warm. We teach our children that sinew is the fiber substance on the back of the hide and how important it is to tie clothing and tools. We know how to twine rope from the fibers from the trees and plants. We gather pine needles to make baskets. We collect the clay to make bowls. We then teach our children that every part of the animal is used, from the horns, brains, and toes.

This realization is only a part of our harmony based on what we as a people experience. Although we face many changes, the fact remains that we are our ancestors as we are their children. We allow our children and grandchildren to share this as well. We acknowledge our parents, grandparents, and ancestors who continue to teach the new generations. Although we keep our traditions and stories alive, we face unfair and unjust regulations that do not consider who we are.

We are the fiber that wove this community. We are the foundation of this land; we know this land. We recognize that little by little, a piece of our tradition is slowly unraveling with each pinhole created by new rules set upon us by the greed of others. With realizations like this, we hope that our children will be able to have influence.

With plans like this, we know that their voices will be heard one day, and roads will be paved that lead to justice travels and reparations. I am the last generation to have the experience of being invisible. We are counting on the new generations to keep the traditions alive and be able to make a change.

Harmony is about our children being able to hunt and gather food and allows our children to cook the hunted and gathered food. Harmony keeps the traditions alive for our children and teaches that holding the talking feather when speaking in the presence of adults. To learn how to sit and listen to the elders' stories before them; so they can learn about the ways of our people, so we recognize why we do the things we do. Harmony is not about building bylaws and rules that create censorship of opinions that are not wanted by the rulers of colonization from within.

Harmony teaches the children how to sew leather to make moccasins for their feet; to make their regalia to wear so they can celebrate their culture. Harmony teaches the children what to do when there is a naming ceremony, a big house ceremony, or a man or woman's right of passage. Harmony is learning about gourds, seeds of gourds, how to process the gourd, and how gourds have been with us for millions of years. Harmony is fishing, to make the fishhook, to tie a net for catching the fish for a meal. Harmony is preserving our land and planting the seed, not just the seed of the fruit that we harvest but the seed of what we teach our young people, so they continue to produce, grow and survive in this world. Harmony is preserving the elders' stories, the recipes we cook, and how we live so, we can continue with this tradition.

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We have not forgotten how hard it was for our previous seven generations and how they fought so that we could maintain our culture and the perils of what they went through and what they paved for our generation. We have not forgotten the many fights they did for us so that we could be who we are so that we are no longer considered other. We have not forgotten the sacrifices our ancestors have suffered, what they did for us and how we could now participate in colonization activities because they participated in where we are today. We have not forgotten the sacrifice that the children of this generation had to go through because the parents thought it was essential to maintain our culture today.

Little is known about us Lenape and the perils of our existence. We never speak about our hurt and pain and how we remained. We have stories from our elders and pass these stories onto our youth, from one generation to the next. We stayed in a remote community for many years and a hidden people. Our babies, brothers, and sisters have been torn away from our homeland for centuries. They are still a part of our harmony and our soil today. We remained and are keeping this land and seed for all. We are in harmony, Kishelëmùkònkink (Keysheil-mung-kang-eng), one with the Creator.

Native American Advancement Corp  (NAAC) will expand its energy, soil, water, and air conservation training programs. 

With this expansion, we will provide additional training areas, build new training partnerships, and offer land preservation and management to a well-deserved place. The main feature that NAAC offers is that the local Nanticoke Lenape Tribal Nation members operate the programs.

This training will incorporate ancient teaching in preservation in all areas mentioned above. Aligned with its core mission, Native American Advancement Corporation (NAAC) aims to deliver community enrichment with a 3-part Outdoor Education, Training & Resource Management strategy through a land purchase in Salem County that will serve the surrounding Delaware Valley.

Land Acquisition will prevent future development and immediately provide public access for hiking, bird watching, naturalist activities, and recreation, with over 65 acres of pristine woodlands and an existing structure that will serve as administration and classroom facilities.

NAAC plans to offer indigenous skill-building programs leveraging existing partnerships with State Agencies, Universities, and Conservation Organizations to lead workshops on hunter's safety, tracking/wildlife Identification, wilderness first aid, and living off the land.

These efforts will directly serve the public by increasing conservation awareness and allowing access to learning local Native American traditions that would otherwise remain community-based. Ultimately, the long-term goal will be to establish a public Nature Center that will host a series of conservation programs for All-Ages such as Native Plant Education, Naturalist school programs pre-K-12, and wilderness survival school to name a few.

Principals manage NAAC with over 70 years of combined experience with community development. NAAC is unique because the business is operated by local Native American Tribe members, Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation. NAAC operates from over twenty million dollars in receipts since 2009 to ten perfect consecutive years of Yellow Book Audits. Our current operating budget is $3 million for 22-23, with additional awards. The implementation of our programs led to our current business plan model.

Your support for NAAC is greatly appreciated and offers a Native American non-profit to further educational goals that help with climate change.

Here is our website for more information: Native American Advancement Corp  Feel free to call us at 856-455-0600

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Native American Advancement Corp

A 501(c)(3) organization

EIN 27-2313072