U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) made a special visit to meet with the newly appointed Nanticoke Chief, Avery Johnson, officers, and tribal members on Friday, February 3, 2023. Being a down-to-earth, very personable politician, Senator Carper mingled, shook hands, and joked around with the attendees. Chief Avery Johnson provided a comprehensive overview of the progress of the Capital Campaign and the exciting plans for renovations and improvements at the Nanticoke Indian Cultural Community Center and the Museum. Senator Carper listened intently and asked intuitive questions regarding these projects. He said that “he was proud to support the Nanticoke Indian Association’s Cultural Community Center with federal funding that
will help renovate and expand the current educational and cultural programs that will have a lasting impact on generations of people in Millsboro and beyond.” About $3 million in funding is coming from the federal and state governments, plus grants from local organizations. Since
the initiation of these improvement plans, the costs associated with construction have skyrocketed. Plans are underway to include a commercial kitchen at the Center, and to work with the Food Bank of Delaware to offer services, not only to the Nanticoke community, but to the community at large. The expansion at the Center will add 2,800 square feet, and the building
is 22,000 square feet and is situated on the current one-acre property. The plans for the Museum include integrating technology and virtual reality concepts to immerse the younger generations in the presentations, exhibits, etc. The planned addition to the Museum will almost double its size.
A welcome center, theater area, gift shop and concession area are planned enhancements at the
Museum. Both buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places so special care to preserve the integrity of these buildings is critical. Historically, both buildings were once used as schoolhouses with one teacher educating students in grades 1-8. Our Nanticoke ancestors are the
backbone of these buildings and we will do whatever is necessary to protect and preserve their legacy for the next Seven Generations.
Months following Senator Tom Carper’s visit, he announced his impending retirement from politics. On behalf of the Nanticoke Tribal Nation, we wish to express our profound and heartfelt gratitude for his continued commitment and support of our tribe and the state of Delaware. Best wishes and blessings, Senator Tom Carper! Wanishi!
Submitted by: Dr. Bonnie G. Hall, Chair
Nanticoke Indian Tribe Commemoration Committee