Nahi Downstream – An Indigenous Perspective on the Future of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Watersheds

Water is the first medicine– the foundation for all life. Water is our first home, our teacher, our relative, our responsibility. Indigenous people have been leading the charge as water protectors since time immemorial. The Indigenous peoples of southeastern Pennsylvania, including the Lenape, recognize the sacredness of water — through ceremony, language, and everyday treatment of their surroundings. Indigenous peoples care for and respect the land and water as relatives and their responsibility. They pass on skills to their communities important on both shore and water, ensuring each generation understands their inherent relationship with the water that provides for all their needs.

American Rivers, in collaboration with the Widoktadwen Center for Native Knowledge and Berks Nature, has developed this brochure focused on sharing an Indigenous perspective on water and rivers to illustrate the importance of making personal connections to water and community. Ultimately, we all play a role in healing our relationship with our rivers and providing our communities with a healthy environment in which to thrive.