2016 Delaware Code
Title 29 - State Government
§ 106. Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware; recognition.

29 DE Code § 106 (2016) What's This?

(a) Legislative findings. — The General Assembly finds all of the following:

(1) The Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware, referred to as "the Tribe" in this section, has an unbroken history of hundreds of years of settlement and continued residency in the vicinity of the Town of Cheswold in Kent County.

(2) Members of the Tribe preserved, displayed, and manifested close cultural ties with one another by conducting themselves in such a social and economic manner so as to identify themselves as being culturally and ethnically distinct.

(3) The Tribe can date their ancestral ties as far back as the early 1700s.

(4) The Tribe was formerly known as "the Moors" and, for many decades of the twentieth century, state documents such as driver's licenses designated the Tribe's race with an "M".

(5) The Delaware School Code of 1921 provided that the State Board of Education could establish a school "for the children of people called Moors." As a result, 2 schools were built, 1 in the Town of Cheswold and 1 at Fork Branch on Denney's Road in Kent County.

(6) There has been unofficial statewide acceptance and recognition of the Tribe for at least 125 years. Through a formal process of reviewing applicable state laws, historical and anthropological references, and previous actions of the General Assembly and State agencies, the Department of State concluded by 2009 that this State has historically acknowledged the Tribe.

(7) The Smithsonian Institute issued an annual report in 1948, in which the Tribe was referred to as the "Moors of Kent County, Delaware," and identified as a surviving Indian group of the eastern United States.

(8) The United States Census Bureau approved a defined "state designated tribal statistical area" for the Tribe for the 2010 Census.

(9) The Tribe has a constitutional tribal government, and the preamble of its constitution states that its purpose is to:

a. Preserve the legacy of its ancestors.

b. Promote the interests of its people.

c. Affirm its tribal identity.

d. Establish justice.

e. Ensure domestic tranquility.

f. Defend the general welfare.

g. Exercise its governmental jurisdiction.

h. Protect its environmental, cultural, and human resources.

i. Secure its national sovereignty for future generations of its people.

(b) Recognition.

The Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware is designated and recognized as an American Indian Tribe with a recognized tribal governing body carrying out and exercising substantial governmental duties and powers. The Tribe is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services that the United States provides to Indians because of their status as Indians.

80 Del. Laws, c. 367, § 1.;

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