When you Give Love, You’ll Get Love by Thayid Wilson Oct 28, 2019

 Imagine if you and a couple friends took an idea and were passionate about making it a reality. Well, that’s exactly what Penny Dwyer and a few of her friends did! They came together and started the Penn Treaty Museum, which is located at 900 East Columbia Avenue. They held a community event during Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday that celebrates and honors Native American people and commemorates their histories and cultures. The Museum commemorates the story of Friendship between William Penn and the Lenni- Lenape Native Americans. The story begins in 1682 when, William Penn signed a peace treaty with the Lenni-Lenape in Penn Treaty Park that solidified their friendship. In 2008 Penny Dwyer and a group of community members started the Penn Treaty Museum from scratch by collecting artifacts that commemorated the day throughout history. Their collection is now on display, as well as artifacts from the Port Richmond/Fishtown/ Northern Liberties I-95 dig. Some of the artifacts have been dated to over 9,000 years ago. If you’re interested in visiting the museum it is currently open on Thursday from 12PM-4PM  and Saturday from 11AM to 3PM
     On October 12th 2019 the We Love Philly crew set out to volunteer for Indigenous People’s day. We did not know what to expect for our first volunteer opportunity. We all just met each other waiting for the bus to the museum and one could feel the awkwardness in the air. We arrived to the park and were quickly introduced to a real life Native American. This was a new experience for most of us and as we explored the festival at Penn Treaty Park, we were quickly struck with curiosity. We began to explore the different vendors and talk to people and we all noticed that we were out of our element. After taking in the atmosphere we crossed the street to the Penn Treaty Museum. We helped patrons make turtles,explore the collection, and track Museum attendance. When we heard about our final task all of our hearts began to race. We were instructed to walk up to strangers and give them information about the new museum with the intention to get them to come and visit. This is not a normal request in most of our neighborhoods and we are actually told to not talk to strangers.The experience was great and we were able to inform people on an amazing free opportunity. We also got a chance to experience a traditional Lenni- Lenape friendship dance. All of us who attended believed the dance worked because the bond we were all able to make has been unbreakable. New friendships were made among us just like they were made when Penny and community members decided to start the Penn treaty Museum together. I am excited to see what my new group of friends can create. It is amazing that a couple of new students, a few lunch buddies, and a complete loner with no friends were able to come together and create something unbreakable. The lesson was learned on that day, “when you give love you’ll get love”. Check out the podcast at the top of the page for our interview with Penn Dwyer and check out below for the volunteer video we made for the museum. You can follow me on Instagram @painfulrealization
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