Ramapough Lenape of New Jersey: Keepers of the Pass and their right to a prayer land; June 13 documentary screening
Human Fifth Estate
On Thursday, June 13 at 7 p.m. there will be a free screening of the documentary, 'Keepers of the Pass' at the American Indian Community House in Manhattan. The story covers the two-year saga of the ordeal brought upon the Ramapough Lenape and their right to pray on land they own across the road from a private community that did not want them there. The land owned by the tribe is called the Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp.
The documentary, videotaped over several months during the conflict, was created to share with communities suffering racial abuses and similar encroachments on Constitutional Rights. Following the screening, there will be a discussion that will include Ramapough Lenape members regarding events and solutions that might be helpful for other tribal nations and communities across the country. Ramapough Chief Dwaine Perry says, “The mainstream communities need to understand that we are human beings. We have a sacred portal for prayer, one of the most sacred portals in the western hemisphere.”
Ironically, the private community of multiple thousand square foot homes is called, “The Ramapo Hunt and Polo Club. It uses the original spelling of the Ramapough Natives, whose spelling was changed and the original usurped by colonial-era settlers for governmental entities. As the Polo Club tried to force them off the land and stop them from prayer ceremonies, tribal members were threatened, and their reputations publicly attacked in the media in a powerful $350,000 public relations campaign.
All are invited to the Thursday, June 13, 7 p.m. audience screening at the Native American Community House, 39 Eldridge Street, 4th Fl. in Manhattan. The screening is co-sponsored by the Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp. For more information, contact the American Indian Community House 646-575-3638.