By Hailey Mergen
When most people think of Thanksgiving, they think of food. However, the real origin of Thanksgiving started with Native Americans. There is a lot of Native American history around Armstrong County. Three of the main local ones are the Alligewi, Delaware, and Kithanink people. The Delaware people migrated to the east coast from the west somewhere between 700 A.D. and 1100 A.D. During this migration, they encountered the Alligewi people and they argued over hunting and land ownership. The Delaware people eventually managed to push them Southwest past the Ohio River. The Alligewi are also called Talligewi, which can be translated to “Ancient Ones.” The Allegheny River and Mountains were named after this tribe. The Delaware people are traditionally referred to as Lenni, or Lenape, meaning “Real People.” When interviewed about his knowledge of local Native American cultures, Mr. Henry stated, “The Lenape were the largest Indian village to the West of the Allegheny River.” This tribe consisted of three main divisions. They are called the Unami, or “People Down River,” the Unalachtigo, or “People Who Live Near the Ocean,” and the Munsee, or “People of the Stony Country.” These tribes occupied what was called Lenapehoking, which is where the modern day Northeastern United States is. The Kithanink people established the settlement of Kittanning beside the Allegheny River somewhere around 1725. Kithanink can be translated to “On the Main River.” When interviewed, Erik Zak stated, “My grandma is full-blooded Cherokee and I remember her teaching me some of the ritual dances when I was young.” Many people in this school have a Native American heritage. There is a lot of local history, but there are many other tribes around the world.