EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – A group of Native American teenagers took members of the Monroe County community on an eye opening spiritual journey on Saturday. 

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area sponsored a public screening of a powerful documentary. The life changing experience had the teens learning about their heritage. 

Sarah Pemberton, who completed the youth camp, says that for her…it was to see where she came from. Pemberton now knows so much more. She is a member of the Delaware Nation, a native American tribe.

During the documentary screening of “The Water Gap: Return to the Homelands”, Pemberton took the public along for a ride on the spiritual journey her and the 14 other tribal teens took last summer. The teens are all of Lenape ancestry from Oklahoma or Wisconsin with ancestral roots in this region.

They took part in a Native American summer camp last July that allowed them to visit and learn about the land their ancestors inhabited for thousands of years. “We had a lot of different methods of making nets and fishing or making tools and weapons to hunt. It was kind of fascinating” Pemberton says. 

Filmmaker Kyle Harris followed the teens and filmed their trip. “The youth have never been here before. So this is where their ancestors started and began and for them to come back here, that was the inspiration for me for the story” Harris says. 

This journey helped put the pieces back together for these teenagers. Through this fil, Pemberton hopes to inspire other to dig deeper into their own history. “Your culture is part of you and if you know what you are…to go and pursue and find out the rest” Pemberton says.

The film premiered last fall at the Prestigious Red Nation Film Festival in Los Angeles. It also won an award at the 19th annual Native American Film Festival of the Southeast.