TRENTON, N.J. — The state of New Jersey will pay the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation $2.4 million according to a settlement regarding the state's official acceptance of the 3,000-member American Indian Tribe, said the state's Attorney General's Office.
The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed by the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation against New Jersey over the tribe's "historical recognition." The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation alleged it was unable to receive federal grants, scholarships and faced a loss of business opportunities due to the state's denial of official status.
The settlement will ensure the tribe's rights, according to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
“Tribal rights are important rights and, through this settlement, we’ve been able to affirm the status of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Nation as an American Indian Tribe formally recognized by the state,” Grewal said in a statement.
“As a result of this settlement, there is no more ambiguity regarding the tribe’s official status, and the tribe’s forward progress cannot be impeded by any State-related recognition issues. I’m heartened that through good faith negotiation we’ve been able to resolve this matter fairly and bring an end to years of legal dispute.”
The state will formally recognize the tribe with all state and federal agencies but it does not allow the tribe "federal casino gaming rights," according to the Attorney General's Office.