IPR is featuring some of the many Native American and Indigenous pioneers and modern-day heroes to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.
Chief Tamanend, also known as Tammany, was the leader of the Lenni-Lenape (Northeastern U.S.) people in the late 17th century. He was the leader who welcomed William Penn to what is now Pennsylvania. The first treaty was signed between the Lenni-Lenape and colonists in the area as a result of Tamanend’s communication with Penn.
Chief Tamanend is reported to have said the Native Americans and the colonists would “live in peace as long as the waters run in the rivers and creeks and as long as the stars and moon endure.” Due to his pacifist attitude and welcoming nature toward people who were invading the land, he became a symbol of peace and was regarded as the “patron saint of America” by Pennsylvania settlers over the next century.
In the 18th century, May 1 was considered “Saint Tammany’s Festival.” People all over the east coast would celebrate “St. Tammany Day.” Despite the holiday not being widely practiced in this century, Chief Tamanend is still widely regarded as a model of peace during a time when it would have been difficult to practice.
Chief Tamanend died in 1701. A statue was recently displayed in Philadelphia to honor him in the place he lived.
Respectfully Remembering the Affable One
Lost in time: Chief Tamanend