Scribes Valley Publishing

Scribes Valley Publishing

by Donald R. Repsher

The Common Sense Life by Donald R. Repsher


Deprived of their land by the treachery of a colonial government, this is the story of Lenape Indians who clung tenaciously to their heritage and how the lessons they learned can help us now.

The story of the Lenape points to a long, complex tradition of hospitality and assimilation in Lenape-hocking, which includes southeastern New York State, eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

The word Lenape means “people.” The name is symbolic of the kind of people they were, continually welcoming and assimilating newcomers and thereby creating through thousands of years the original “melting-pot” of civilization on the North American continent. A more specific name is “Delawares,” which is an English term for the river that runs through their ancient homeland, and a reminder of the place of origin for the people who are now living elsewhere.

The Lenape were held in high regard by many other Indian nations. They were referred to as “grandfathers,” a term of respect implying not only their ancient status but their wisdom and spirituality. Referring to original documents, "The Common Sense Life" begins with Norse Sagas and Christopher Columbus and continues with highlights in the history of the people. In keeping with Lenape Tradition each chapter suggests wisdom that can be learned from their experiences and spirituality.

Purchase: The Common Sense Life by Donald R. Repsher

Donald R Repsher bio picture
About the Author

DONALD R. REPSHER was born in the town of Bangor, Pennsylvania, and is an alumnus of Bangor High School, Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania with a B.S. degree in psychology, and United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, with an M.Div. degree in ministry. Following his career with United Methodist and Presbyterian congregations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York State he developed a close friendship with descendants of the Lenape Indians whose homeland was in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He has published a chapter in Native Americans in the Susquehanna River Valley, Past and Present, edited by anthropologist David J. Minderhout (published by Bucknell University Press), titled "Blood Quantum and Lenape Tradition."


Robert Mexkalahiyat (Red Hawk) Ruth

Chief Bob is currently serving his second term as chief of the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania. He is co-curator of Fulfilling a Prophecy: The Past and Present of the Lenape in Pennsylvania at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Philip “Wak'Tame” Rice

A Munsee/Lenape, was in active service in the U. S. Navy for eight years, and fourteen years in the Army Reserves. He served with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam as a Corpsman. He retired from Nursing in July 2008 after forty years. A genealogical researcher and historian, he is also a Native craftsperson in beading and leather work.

Carol Kuhn

Carol has always lived in northeastern Pennsylvania. “I was fortunate,” she tells us, “to have two grandmothers who taught me what they knew of our Minsi (Munsee) family heritage. I hope others will enjoy reading what Don has written.”

Chuck “Gentle Moon” De Mund

Chuck is the source of one of the main ideas that runs through this book. Living with a good heart, he says, is the essence of the Lenape spirit. He is also a ceremonial leader.

Pamela Repsher (Illustrator)

Pam is a graduate of Reading High School and Kutztown University in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. She was an art educator in several school districts Pennsylvania. She illustrated a previous book on the Lenape for the Slate Heritage Society, titled “Of Forest and River: The Lenape of the Slate Belt” by Elinor Fehr and Donald Repsher.