Ford pays for Ramapough tribe medicine garden on former toxic site

Vincent Mann’s voice echoed across the clearing of trees as people knelt in the soft earth, sweetgrass plants in their hands. Some stopped and held up the plants to pray before placing them in a spiral on land that the Ramapough Lenape nation has called home for thousands of years. “Blow, blow Ramapough wind. Blow like you’re never going to blow again, coming to you like a long lost friend. We know who we are. And we wear turtle scars,” Mann sang, the soft beating of a drum accompanying him. Mann, chief of the Turtle Clan, and other members of the Ramapough tribe joined environmental scientists and community leaders on June 8 to plant a sacred medicine garden on land that was once among the most contaminated in the state. The Ford Motor Co. paid for the medicine garden.

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