You should know the City Council held a joint hearing today between the Parks and Waterways committee concerning future development on Governor’s Island. You will recall that this was turned over to NYC by the Governor during the tenure of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It is a 172 acre piece of land located in New York harbor and has a distinguished history of having hosted two branches of the United Sates military – the Army and the Coast Guard.
My dear reader, today’s hearing concerned future development of a portion of this island. There were over 800,000 visitors to this island in 2018 and the proposals discussed today included it’s unused portion as more parks, industry use, or perhaps even a school. In light of its history, I have an alternative suggestion to my colleagues in the Council. I suggest we give it back to the people from whom the Dutch took it by force of arms, the Lenape Tribe.
It is important for you to know The Lenape Tribe occupied this island for thousands of years and named it Nut Island. They populated it with their dwellings and they cultivated the soil. They possessed a vibrant sophisticated culture which included specific ways of dress and culture. They told stories to their children of their origin , family values and of creation. The Mohawk hairstyle of men originated with this tribe.
You should also know the Lenape tribe decedents’ endure. They maintain a website at NLLTribe.com which stands for Nanticoke-Lenni-Lenape Nation. Let’s return to them their property and hope they’ll accept it and re-establish their vibrant culture and history. It’s not to late to say sorry. Let’s not develop what’s not ours.
I am Councilman Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.