Greg Vizzi is an American naturalist and writer of European ancestry residing in Sweetwater, New Jersey, a part of Lenapehokink, the traditional homelands of the Lenni-Lenape people.
I think of myself as a cultural naturalist, someone who tries to interpret nature through an indigenous worldview. I've studied Native American culture at the Tracker School founded by Tom Brown Jr. based on the teachings of an Apache medicine man we call "Grandfather." Other studies included Kamana naturalist training from Jon Young and the Vision Quest with Malcolm Ringwalt at Tracker.
Those courses and experiences provided me a spiritual understanding of native culture. They were invaluable in guiding my discussions with Chief Quiet Thunder and compiling his oral history stories into a book. The indigenous world view has been lost to modern man. It is understanding our connection to the living world spiritually, physically, and culturally. It is my hope that this book will help the reader gain some of that lost understanding.
About Greg Vizzi
Dick Quiet Thunder Gilbert
June 13, 1924 - November 13, 2020
About Chief Quiet Thunder
Chief Quiet Thunder was a Lenni-Lenape Elder,
Educator and Chief from Woodbury, New Jersey
"Richard "Quiet Thunder" Gilbert, the youngest of eight children, was born and raised in southern New Jersey. The 80 year old Lenni-Lenape who taught himself to read and never finished high school, has had a variety of jobs and fascinating experiences, while still being a devoted husband, father, and friend.
For 30 years he has been educating both the young and the old in matters of "protecting Mother Earth" and of the history and traditions of the Lenni-Lenape. Although he enjoys this immensely, he also feels it is his "sacred" obligation.
Some of the venues he has shared his knowledge and powerful message with are scouting organizations, churches, libraries, historical societies, state parks, environmental groups, schools (from pre-k to university level), and most impressive, the United Nations.
Those who have met Quiet Thunder or have been fortunate enough to attend one of his programs will tell you his presence is mesmerizing. He speaks knowledgeably with sincerity, eloquence, and passion about Lenni-Lenape life, then and now. His experiences and message should be heard. Those who do will, undoubtedly, find themselves richer and wiser for it. And I am proud to call him my father."
-Shanna Gilbert Rosan (2014)
Chief Quiet Thunder passed on peacefully at home in the company of his close family on the morning of November 13, 2020. He will be missed by the thousands of people he touched with his presence, humor, and wisdom over his 30 plus years as a cultural educator.