The IIRP Graduate School acknowledges with reverence the land on which we work and practice. This land was once called Lenapehokink, which, in the Lenape language, means “land of the Lenape.” This land has been and will continue to be honored by and cared for by the Lenape ancestors, members in the present, and all Lenape members to come.
We join them in a communal responsibility to celebrate their presence, their culture, and to be active in our friendship far beyond this acknowledgment.
The calculated displacement of members of the Lenape tribe began in the late 1700s, pushing some members of the community west. Other members remained in Pennsylvania and continued their cultural practices in hiding for fear of persecution. This history is retold in the prophetic Lenape story the “Legend of the Four Crows.” The tale lays out the story of the Lenape nation’s struggle to survive the terror of colonization and their foretold reemergence and reunification with the world outside of hiding. The four crows each represent a part of the history of the Lenape people. The first crow, living in its purpose to be at one with nature, represents the time before contact with Europeans. The second crow’s demise depicts the death and destruction introduced by colonialism. The third crow goes into hiding, showing the effort of those who remained in their homeland and maintained their culture in secrecy. The fourth crow prophesizes the nation coming out of hiding and once again thriving and continuing to honor the past, present, and future of the Lenape people.
Present day members of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, and of Lenape nations in New Jersey and Delaware, are descendants of those who remained in their homeland, those who migrated back after expulsion, and those who created families with early German settlers.
The IIRP desires to be in alignment with fulfilling the prophecy of the fourth crow, to look toward a future filled with hope and synchronicity, one that does not ignore or sanitize the past.
We know that these words without action mean little. We are committed to continual learning of Lenape history and culture with an emphasis on supporting present-day initiatives. Through partnership with the Lenape people, we strive to support their efforts to foster cultural, historical, and environmental education and preservation.