An Ancestral Homecoming

Jeremy Johnson

For Jeremy Johnson, coming home to Lenapehoking—his ancestral and spiritual homeland, which includes the area now known as Collegeville—has been an education.

“We once had 18,000-plus years of knowledge about these lands before we were displaced more than 300 years ago—an almost institutional or tribal knowledge that we don’t really have anymore,” Johnson said. “So, this relationship is providing us with an opportunity to build community and exchange resources and knowledge to connect us back with these lands.”

Johnson is the cultural education director for the Delaware Tribe of Indians. Ursinus has partnered with the Delaware Tribe on the Welcome Home Project, which honors the history, culture, and legacy of the Lenape people.

“One of our main goals is to have a presence back in our homelands and to educate people that we are still thriving,” Johnson said. “We have a mutually beneficial relationship [with Ursinus] because it connects us with some of the top scholars and students, and we can bring knowledge back to our communities.”

Jeremy Johnson, Welcome Hope Project