Ramapough Lenapes to Oppose “Fracking” at May 5 Ceremony

The Ramapough Lenape Tribe of Native Americans will hold a public
ceremony on Saturday, May 5 in Mahwah to join with other Native
American groups and the general public to oppose the practice known as
“Fracking” to drill local bedrock for the extraction and production of
oil and natural gas, particularly on tribal lands where they feel
their heritage is being severely threatened.

The event, called a “prayer rally and vigil,” is open to the public,
and will be held starting at 12 noon, rain or shine, on the tribe’s
ceremonial land at 95 Halifax Road in Mahwah, NJ, just west of
Suffern. There is no fee to attend or participate in the rally, and
attendees are asked only to bring their own chairs and/or blankets,
and food and water if they wish.

The full official name of the event, organized and sponsored by the
local Lenape Nation, is called “Native Tribes and Local Communities
Band Together to Bridge Cultures for the Preservation and Protection
of Grand Mother Earth from Hydraulic Fracking.”

Ramapough Lenape Chief Dwaine Perry, also known as Kihkay Maqua, says
his tribe is “calling on all humans of good conscience to join a
prayer rally and vigil on our ceremonial land.” Asked why the public
should attend and participate, the chief says “This is the time, this
is the hour to speak out for the protection of all US watersheds that
supply everyone with fresh drinking water, preserve Native traditions,
and for the healing of the earth.”

He says they are anticipating an array of communities, native peoples,
environmental groups and representatives of diverse cultural and
spiritual traditions. There will also be several guest speakers, the
chief adds, including Professor Airy Dixon/Saponi, Ramapough Nation
fellow Chief Vincent Mann, Dean Hutchins of the Cherokee Nation,
Monica Evans of the Haida Nation, David Braun, president of United for
Action and lead organizer of New Yorkers Against Fracking; the
Thunderheart Singers, environmental author Sandra Steingraber and a
special message from Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.

There will be entertainment throughout the afternoon, along with
several prayers, and the event will end with a special Prayer for the
Earth.