Sadly, there is a modern stereotype that all American Indians want are casinos. The truth is that the majority of American Indian Nations do not participate in casino gaming, and those which do have chose it as a method for economic development of their tribe and to enable their tribal governments to provide services to their people.
The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation supports the rights of American Indian Nations to determine their own methods for economic development. However, our tribe stands out as an American Indian Nation that passed tribal law forbidding the tribe’s participation in casino gaming.
In keeping with the guidance of the almighty Creator, the admonishment of our tribal elders, the standing policies of our tribal leaders and the spiritual legacy left for future generations of our people, our tribal law requires that the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indian Tribe shall not own, manage, operate or sponsor any business which profits from the promotion of vice. This law applies to the Tribe itself and to all of its current or future subsidiaries. While we affirm the rights of other legitimate tribal governments to determine their own position in regard to the issue, our tribe has exercised its own sovereign right of self-determination by pursuing economic development opportunities which do not involve the promotion of vice.
The tribe’s opposition to gaming is the reason that tribal citizens are quick to point out the difference between the historic Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe and a recently formed smaller group from the same area in southern New Jersey which called itself the “Unalachtigo Band of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation” and was subsequently renamed the “Brotherton Delaware Nation of Indians” which advocates gaming. By applying nomenclature that implies an official connection with the historic Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribal government, the band’s various names suggest a relationship that is non-existent, benefiting from the implication while still rejecting the duly elected leadership and official policies of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape. A disclaimer appears on many of our tribal materials stating that we are NOT AFFILIATED in any way with the “Unalachtigo Band” or “Brotherton Delaware Nation of Indians.”