The section offers more detail about the Ramapough Lunaape Turtle Clan in Ringwood. Despite their long presence in the area, the Native American roots of the Ramapough continue to be questioned. Some scholarly accounts have denied the Native heritage of this community, and locally they have faced challenges from historians and academics.
This section outlines the roots of the problem, and presents evidence supporting their presence and claims. It describes how the Upper Ringwood community has been perceived by outsiders, countering this with their own words and perceptions. It describes community experiences during the years that the contaminated material was dumped in the community, as well their efforts to bring attention to this and work towards remediation.
The section explains how imposed narratives have been given the benefit of authority, while the Ramapough’s community knowledge has often been discounted. Academic texts can operate to overwrite or erase Native American pasts. Many difficulties arise when scholars attempt to reconstruct Native American history mainly through the use of colonial records. This chapter explores how outdated scholarly practices, alongside local histories and derogatory portrayals of this “community of outcasts,” created a fertile ground for discounting Native identities.
Anita Bakshi, Kathleen Hammerdahl