The Real Deal New York

Native American chiefs spar over $4M West Village house

Owner Jean-Louis Goldwater Bourgeois wants to return the home to the Lenape tribe
December 26, 2016 04:00PM

Rival chiefs of a Native American tribe with roots in Manhattan are fighting over, what else? A house on the banks of the Hudson River.

The spat started when the millionaire owner of 6 Weehawken Street in the West Village offered to return the $4 million home to its Native American owners. The owner, Jean-Louis Goldwater Bourgeois, identified Anthony Jay Van Dunk, a chief in the Lenape tribe, as the rightful owner.

But now a second chief, Dwaine Perry, said Van Dunk was “banished” from the tribe, and that he would like the house, according to the New York Post. Perry, who leads Mahwah, N.J.-based Ramapough Lenape Nation, said he’d like to turn 6 Weehawken into a Native American embassy.

Bourgeois, the son of the late sculptor Louise Bourgeois, told the Post he is sticking with Van Dunk, who was chief for one year in 2006. “It makes no difference to me. I consider Anthony the chief,” Bourgeois said.

Bourgeois’ family bought the house for $2.2 million in 2006.

Perry and Van Dunk’s fight stems from charges of fiscal irregularity during Van Dunk’s tenure. Perry also claims Van Dunk wants to change qualifications for being a Ramapough.

For his part, Van Dunk said of Perry: “He seems to have his panties in a bunch and he always has.” He said he would turn 6 Weehawken into a patahmaniikan, or prayer house. [NYP] — E.B. Solomont