Keynote speaker: Carla Messinger
As a descendant of the Lenape (Delaware) Indians, who were the first inhabitants of eastern Pennsylvania, western New Jersey, and part of New York, Carla wished to present a true picture of early American Indian life, refuting stereotypes and developing an understanding of the peaceful, nature-centered Lenape lifestyle that could be of value to our competitive, ecologically-troubled modern society. Her mission is "to present, preserve, and perpetuate the history, lifeways, culture, and contributions of the Lenape and other Native American groups," and as Director of Native American Heritage Programs she continues that commitment today.
Carla is also the author of the award winning children's book, When the Shadbush Blooms. Carla's keynote address, Native Americans Now, offers often-surprising facts that profile the socioeconomic, health, education and legal status of contemporary Native American children, adults, elders and military personnel.