Native American tribe sues NJ for recognition

 A Native American tribe is suing New Jersey officials to demand it be recognized in state law.

The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation filed a federal civil rights suit Monday saying that not having recognition hurts its 3,000 members psychologically and financially.

The tribe said in the legal filing that the state told federal officials in 2012 that New Jersey has no recognized tribes.

Losing the status it previously had from the state would mean not being able to sell arts and crafts as “Indian made” and losing $600,000 in tribal grants, tribal jobs and scholarships, the filing said.

The state government has not responded to the claims.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.