Native American

'The Original People' date back about 10,000 years in the Philadelphia region and beyond.

Share Philly’s Native American Heritage

The Lenni-Lenape (or Lenape), meaning the original people, migrated to the Philadelphia region possible 10,000 years ago, according to oral tradition. Coming from as far north as present-day Canada, the Lenape thrived here, hunting throughout the forests and fishing from the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. Today, Lenape descendants, along with those of Cherokee, Navajo, Cree, Seminole and Creek tribes, call Philadelphia home. 

You can feel the awakening of ancient spirits at The Lenape Nation’s annual Pow Wow, which includes jingle dancers in full regalia; and a Friendship Dance at the annual Southeastern Cherokee Confederacy Festival. You can also search for antique Native American prints at The Philadelphia Print Shop and tour thematic galleries dedicated to Native American life at the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Or, go see the famous “Penn’s Treaty with the Indians” painting by Benjamin West, periodically on display with other Native American prints at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

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