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Lenapé Nation Helps Americans Trace Roots
Workshops Explain How

Grandfather Bernard Humbles
relates his Cherokee roots in
an animated discussion.

Participants in a genealogy workshop hosted by Thunder Mountain Lenapé Nation learned a variety of ways to trace their Indian ancestors in "Tracing Your Native American Roots."

Guest speaker Grandfather Bernard Humbles of Sewickley presented a general overview of his years of research into eastern Native American and African-American history as he explained how he documented his Cherokee roots. Humbles gave a variety of specific tips for those researching their family history as he shared documentation materials and research sources.

"Once you understand these things, you shouldn't have any problems (tracing your ancestors)," Humbles said.

"I was glad to hear him speak so frankly," said participant Anthony Crowe of Greensburg. "It was refreshing."

Participants explored traditional ways of documenting their family tree and were introduced to new ones using the Internet by Shellie Reed of Thunder Mountain Lenapé Nation. Mollie Eliot, also of Thunder Mountain, covered Native American physical characteristics, which can help people determine if they have Native Indian ancestry, and health concerns, which can impact those of Native descent.

Thunder Mountain Lenapé Nation is a non-profit group comprised of Lenapé families by ancestry or adoption. They are committed to preserving Lenapé spirituality, heritage and culture, and fostering cultural understanding through sharing with others.

Each year, Thunder Mountain hosts an annual festival to educate others about Lenape culture with traditional food, fun, and entertainment. In addition to drumming and dancing, the festival menu usually includes buffalo burgers, elk sausage, and the ever-popular fry bread -- plain or with sugar, cinnamon sugar, or with wajopi (berries in syrup).

Like many citizens of all nationalities, Thunder Mountain Lenape Nation takes special pride in a deeply spiritual culture that has adapted to the modern world which - via historical records on the Internet -- affords easier access to tracing their roots as part of a larger clan that rightly call themselves the first Americans.

More resources to Native American genealogy on the Web:

Native American Genealogy Resources

Cyndi's List - Native American

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