Historically, the Delaware (in United States known as Delaware Unami and in Canada known as Delaware Munsee) people inhabited the states of Delaware and Pennsylvania. Their self-designation is Lenape (often used as a synonym), which roughly translates as “People” and was the term used by the inhabitants of the lower Delaware River.
Today Oklahoma (approximately 2,000) is home to the largest population of Delaware Unami in the United States. The
Delaware Tribe of Indians are headquartered in Bartlesville, Oklahoma with a secondary office just north across the Oklahoma border in Caney, Kansas. In Oklahoma, the two largest communities are near the Anandarko and the Bartlesville area.
In Canada, the Munsee-Delaware Nation is a Lenape First Nations band government located 24 kilometres (15 mi) west of St. Thomas, in southwest Ontario, Canada.
The Delaware language, Lenape, is learned and used in Oklahoma. They received a grant in 2002 to produce a dictionary database of Lenape. Visit the dictionary at
Initial contact with Christianity came via Moravian missionaries. They lived among them in Pennsylvania and Ohio during the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, the majority now practice their ethnic religions.
The majority of Delaware Unami blend in with their surrounding culture. They have jobs; families, and live in the American society. However, when they enter their home, their Delaware Unami identity surfaces. At the same time, their traditional religious beliefs surface. They conduct ceremonies at different homes. When it is time, the word is spread to each household letting them know when and where it will be. To learn about their traditional religious beliefs, click
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