University of Delaware’s Student Leadership Visitation to the Nanticoke Indian Museum

The University of Delaware has long been recognized as a leader in international education. Exceptional college students from the Middle East and North Africa are nominated to participate by U.S. embassies and are selected by the U.S. Department of State to participate in student
leadership development programs hosted by the University of Delaware. A group of approximately 25+ young women from several Sub-Saharan African (Kenya, Mali, & the Ivory Coast) countries are spending five weeks at the University of Delaware this summer for the 2023 Department of State’s Madeleine Albright Young Women’s Leader Exchange Program for
Economic Empowerment. Participating and learning from volunteer opportunities throughout the Delaware region is an integral component of this exchange program. Also, the University of Delaware’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), established approximately twenty years
ago, has nineteen students participating in this exchange. MEPI provides a unique opportunity for participants to develop their leadership and civic engagement skills, with a specific emphasis on applying those skills in their home communities to affect change.

On July 15, 2023, Dr. Bonnie Hall welcomed the UD visitors and provided an overview of the museum’s history and its cultural significance to the Nanticoke Indian Tribe. She introduced the
museum staff and tribal members/volunteers participating in the day’s event. Also, she provided a brief update of the Capital Campaign and the proposed museum renovations and improvements. The museum was bustling with energy, enthusiasm, excitement, inquisitive minds, and culturally appropriate conversations. Raggi Rain shared a traditional story and provided each participant with a takeaway bag filled with resources and information related to Indigenous People and upcoming Nanticoke tribal events. Herman Jackson, dressed in his Powwow regalia, explained the significance of his attire and shared informative tidbits of Nanticoke traditions, culture, and history. Lastly, June Robbins and Sterling Street guided the
participants through a tour of the museum while addressing additional questions posed by the students.

Special thanks to UD’s staff, Jaycee Scanlon, Robert Stise, Kathrin Reed, and Hillary Douwes for coordinating this visitation with the Nanticoke Indian Tribe. Wanishi to Sterling Street, June Robbins, Herman Jackson, Raggi Rain for sharing their wealth of knowledge and expertise with
our visitors. Both the students and UD staff were pleasantly pleased with the presentations and said, “they hope to bring next year’s leadership students to the museum”. This was a wonderful cultural exchange for everyone involved. As the UD visitors departed the museum, they were
heading to Rehoboth Beach and were advised to enjoy Thrasher’s French fries, Grotto’s pizza and Fisher’s popcorn but remember do not feed the seagulls!

Submitted by: Dr. Bonnie G. Hall, Chair
Nanticoke Indian Tribe Commemoration Committee

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