Karelle Hall

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Rutgers U.

Grant number

Gr. 10219

Approve Date

October 7, 2021

Project Title

Hall, Karelle (Rutgers U.) "Distributed Sovereignties: Creating Nanticoke and Lenape Traditional Futures"

KARELLE HALL, then a graduate student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, was awarded funding in October 2021 to aid research on “Distributed Sovereignties: Creating Nanticoke and Lenape Traditional Futures,” supervised by Dr. Becky Schulhties. Funding supported dissertation fieldwork from approximately January through December 2022. During this time, the grantee conducted interviews with interlocutors via zoom or in-person at outdoor locations in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. Participant observation was conducted via zoom in a Munsee language class, at online cultural and historical presentations, at tribal council meetings, and commission meetings. In-person participant observation was carried out at powwows, gatherings, political demonstrations, performances, and presentations throughout Lenapehoking. The grantee learned how Nanticoke and Lenape people are asserting their desires and demands for self-determination through framing and navigating Lenapehoking as both a physical and ideological space. Lenapehoking connects them through their shared ancestral territory and heritage. It is how they determine their relationship to their homelands and to other Lenape communities. It is a call for land back and languages back and foods back. Lenapehoking is also an aspiration of the future and a way for Lenape people to create their own imagined prospects through language, food, ceremonial, and other cultural revitalization practices. This research explores how Lenape people navigate their past, presents, and futures within the ever shifting social, economic, and political landscapes.