hen I was born in Southern California in 1962,
my paternal grandparents, then living in Los
Angeles, initiated the process for my enrollment
with the Lenape nation (the Delaware Tribe of
Indians). At the time, the tribe possessed federal
recognition status, reflecting its historic relations
with the colonies dating back to the early 1600s,
and with the United States dating back to 1778. But
in 1979, ten years after my grandparents returned
to live in Oklahoma and a decade after President
Nixon suspended tribal termination as a policy
goal, the Delaware Tribe was terminated by the Bu-
reau of Indian Affairs (Bia) at the political behest
of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. In 1996, the
Delaware successfully appealed the decision and
were reinstated. Within two years, the tribe built
a basic infrastructure through federal grants for an
elder- care program, child care, language revitaliza-
tion, and housing. When the Delaware began to ex-
plore the possibility of land restoration and gaming
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