Celebration recognizes land’s settlement history

On Saturday, more than 100 people gathered at Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which featured traditional songs and dance performances and vendors selling artwork and trinkets.

Matt Dineen, 38, from Northampton, Massachusetts, and a volunteer worker for Wooden Shoe Books & Records on South Street near 7th Street, sold books about indigenous literature and history. 

“This is Lenape land that we’re all on now, and I think it’s important that we have those voices, that history, present,” Dineen said. “Without indigenous people, none of us would be here.”

Jacqueline Georgi, 58, a visual artist from Santiago, Chile, and a resident of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, sold hand-crafted figurines called the “Mawida children,” representing the ancient children of the past. 

“This is a fundraiser for the Mapuche communities known today as Argentina and Chile,” Georgi said.

Various groups performed, including a traditional powwow song and dance by the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape.

Eliana Medrano, 28, a resident of South Philadelphia, attended the celebration for the first time.

“In Pennsylvania, we don’t have a lot of festivals like this,” Medrano said. “There isn’t really a place for native people to come together and do this — it’s rare.”

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