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Indigenous History Conference Speakers



 

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Jessie Little Doe Baird

Jessie Little Doe Baird

Jessie Little Doe Baird is a citizen and Vice Chairwoman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Linguistic Director for the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project. She was born in Mashpee and lives in Cotuit and Aquinnah. jessie is married and has five children and 9 grandchildren.

She is the Co-founder and Director of the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project that began in 1993. This is a Cooperative endeavor between Mashpee, Aquinnah, Herring Pond and Assonet communities. The aim of the project is to reclaim Wôpanâôt8âôk as a spoken language. There were no speakers of the language for six generations.

She received her Master of Science in Linguistics from MIT in 2000. In addition, she holds Degrees Honoris Causa from Cape Cod Community College and Yale University. She has completed a layperson’s introduction to Wampanoag grammar as well as curriculum for teaching and is currently working toward the completion of a dictionary and expansion of the curriculum for Master Apprentice teaching and is working on the Mohegan Pequot language as well where she currently has two apprentices.

Jessie’s many books in the language including grammar textbooks, coloring books, stories, game curriculum, a prayer book, and a phrasebook for everyday use are being used as one tool in reclaiming fluency. She writes articles on Wampanoag culture and history and is a former research fellow of the National Science Foundation’s Documenting Endangered Languages as well as a member of the American Antiquarian Society, a Paul Harris Fellow, a Mac Arthur (Genius) Fellow, and is named one of One Hundred Women of the Century by USA Today.

She has served on numerous advisory boards in the areas of Indigenous culture and history. Jessie has participated in Mashpee town government on the Mashpee Housing Authority as a commissioner as well as the Mashpee Historic District and in an advisory capacity for past Wampanoag cultural projects and films for various organizations. She also gives talks for colleges and universities in the US and abroad. Her other interests include traditional dance, cooking for family and friends, shell fishing, creation of regalia, a passion for Wampanoag written histories and documents as well as writing.

Lisa Brooks

Lisa Brooks

Lisa Brooks is an Abenaki writer and scholar who lives and works in the Kwinitekw Valley. She is Professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College and is active in the Five College Native American and Indigenous Studies Program, which she chaired from 2013-2017. While an undergraduate at Goddard College, Brooks worked in the tribal office of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, on aboriginal rights and environmental preservation cases; this was the place she received her most important education—on the land and at kitchen tables. Known for her extensive archival research and place-based scholarship, Brooks is the author of The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War (Yale University Press, 2018), which received several awards, including the Bancroft Prize for American History and Diplomacy and the New England Society Book Award for Historical Nonfiction in 2019. A lifelong tracker as well as a historian, she is currently writing a book on the Indigenous and Environmental History of Eastern Coyote.

Margaret M. Bruchac

Marge Bruchac

Margaret M. Bruchac (Abenaki) – in her multi-modal career as a performer, ethnographer, historian, and museum consultant – has long been committed to critical studies of colonial histories and interpretations of Indigenous histories that challenge erasures and stereotypes. Since 1997, she has served as a consultant on Native American history for Historic Deerfield, the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and Old Sturbridge Village. From 1998-2009, she also served on the Board of Advisors for the Wampanoag Indigenous Program at Plimoth Plantation. At the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Bruchac is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology, Associate Faculty in the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, and Coordinator of Native American and Indigenous Studies (see: https://anthropology.sas.upenn.edu/people/margaret-bruchac). Her 2018 book – Savage Kin: Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists (University of Arizona Press) – received the inaugural Council for Museum Anthropology Book Award. She directs a restorative research project – “The Wampum Trail” – that focuses on the history, meaning, materiality, curation, repatriation, and revitalization of historical wampum objects over time (see: https://wampumtrail.wordpress.com). She is also the author, with Laura Peers, of a forthcoming article for the Journal of Museum Ethnography, titled “Recovering Wampum in English Museums: The Search for Metacom’s Belts.”


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Cinnamon Caitlyn-Legutko

Cinnamon Caitlyn-Legutko

Working in museums for more than twenty years, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko has served as a museum director since 2001. Cinnamon is a frequent presenter at national museum meetings and is often asked to comment on national museum issues. As the President/CEO of the Abbe Museum (Bar Harbor, ME) from 2009 to 2019, she was the motivational leader behind the museum's decolonization initiative, working with the Wabanaki communities in Maine to develop policies and protocols to ensure collaboration and cooperation.

Prior to joining the Abbe, Cinnamon was the director of the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum in Crawfordsville, IN where she led the organization to the National Medal for Museum Service in 2008. In 2019, Cinnamon was awarded the Neal Allen, Jr. award by the Maine Historical Society for her outstanding contributions to the field of Maine history. In September 2019, Cinnamon became the new director of the Illinois State Museum.

In 2016 Cinnamon gave her first TEDx talk, We Must Decolonize Our Museums and she's been featured on the Museopunks podcast series. She's the author of Museum Administration 2.0 (2016) and numerous other books and articles. She currently serves as a board member of the American Alliance of Museums.

 

Robert (Bob) Charlebois*

Robert (Bob) Charlebois

Robert Charlebois (Abenaki) has been employed by Plimoth and Patuxet in Plymouth for the last fifteen years. He is an artisan who makes Porcupine Hair Headdresses, a traditional headdress worn by native warriors all over North America.

By training Bob is a teacher. He taught at Mashpee High School as a full member of the history faculty. He has also taught at the Aniishnaabe Bimaadziiwin Cultural Healing and Learning Centre in Burleigh Falls Ontario, which is just outside of the Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario. Bob is an enrolled member of the Nulhegan Abenaki Band, and follows the traditional way of his people.

*Bob is an alumnus of Bridgewater State University.

Mark Charles

Mark Charles

Mark Charles (Navajo) is a dynamic and thought-provoking public speaker, writer, and consultant. The son of an American woman (of Dutch heritage) and a Navajo man, he teaches with insight into the complexities of American history regarding race, culture, and faith in order to help forge a path of healing and conciliation for the nation. He is one of the leading authorities on the 15th-century’s Doctrine of Discovery and its influence on US history and its intersection with modern-day society. Mark co-authored, along with Soong-Chan Rah, the new book entitled Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery (IVP, 2019). Mark is also an independent candidate for the US Presidency in the 2020 election.

Michelle L. Cook

Michelle Cook

Michelle L. Cook is a human rights lawyer and an enrolled member of the Diné (Navajo) Nation born of the Honagháahnii (One Who Walks Around You) Clan. For several years, Michelle has worked locally and globally with indigenous peoples on issues such as access to justice, customary law, and human rights. In 2015 she received her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of New Mexico School of Law with a certificate in Federal Indian law. She was appointed as a Commissioner on the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission from 2016-2020. She is a founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective and the founder of Divest Invest Protect (DIP) and the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegations (IWDD) an indigenous-led international human rights campaign pressuring banks, insurance, and credit rating agencies to divest from harmful extraction companies and invest in the cultural survival and self-determination of the world’s indigenous peoples. Currently she is a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) Candidate at the University of Arizona's and her dissertation concerns the intersections of indigenous human rights, divestment, and gender in the United States. She is now developing the Indigenous Human Rights Defenders and Corporate Accountability Program (IHRDCAP) at the University of Arizona.

Darius C. Coombs

Darius Coombs

Darius C. Coombs is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag community, and is the Director of Wampanoag and Algonquian Interpretation at Plimoth Plantation. He has worked at Plimoth for more than 30 years, starting as an Interpreter on the Wampanoag Homesite, and subsequently becoming the Program Manager. He presently organizes and conducts interpretative training for all staff; constructs and maintains traditional Wampanoag homes, or wetuash, for a number of exhibit sites at the museum; and presents Wampanoag history and culture programs to various groups coming in, at conferences, schools and other public speaking engagements. Darius assisted in the development and presentation of an NEH funded teacher institute in 2020.

Eleanor Coombs

Eleanor Coombs

Wunee keesuq. My name is Eleanor Coombs, and I'm a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag community. I currently work as a Teacher of the Wampanoag language /culture for WLRP The Wôpanâak language Reclamation project and the Numukayuhsunônâk “Our Children Speak two languages” After school program at KC Coombs and Quashnet public schools in Mashpee. I was working for Plimoth plantation for about 5 or 6yrs as the Wampanoag food ways manager when I was asked to work as an apprentice back in 2009. Now I have the opportunity, honor and privilege to become more connected with my ancestors and people through learning and teaching our mother tongue through songs and prayer in the voice and words of our ancestors. Now here it is 11 years later still doing what I love. Kutâputunumuw Thank you all!


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Carol Dana

Carol Dana

Born and raised on Indian Island, Carol Dana has six children and fourteen grandchildren. In 2008 she earned her MA in Education at the University of Maine. She has devoted years to Penobscot language revitalization, working with linguist Frank Siebert on the Penobscot dictionary project during the 1980s, and teaching Penobscot at the Indian Island School during the 1990s. Carol currently works at the Cultural and Historic Preservation Department for the Penobscot Nation where she uses her skills as a language master to teach and continue learning the language teaching methods. She teaches at the Penobscot Nation Daycare center, Boys and Girls Club, and with the elders in the community. In 2010 at the Algonquian Language Conference, Carol was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her dedication to the Penobscot Language. She is the author of two books of poetry, When No One Is Looking and Return to Spirit and Other Musings, both published by Bowman Books.

Hartman Deetz

Hartmann Deetz

Hartman Deetz is an artist/ educator who is an enrolled member of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. Deetz has been involved in activism advocating for native rights and environmental preservation for the majority of his life, traveling nationally and abroad to learn from and advocate for issues affecting native people.

Christine DeLucia

Christine DeLucia

Christine DeLucia is Assistant Professor of History at Williams College, and was formerly Associate Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College. Her first book, Memory Lands: King Philip's War and the Place of Violence in the Northeast, published by Yale University Press in the Henry Roe Cloud Series on American Indians and Modernity in 2018, won book awards from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, Massachusetts Historical Society, and New England American Studies Association, and honorable mention from the National Council on Public History. Her articles have appeared in The Journal of American History, The William and Mary Quarterly, Native American and Indigenous Studies, New England Quarterly, and other venues. She teaches and is involved in public humanities projects centering Native American and Indigenous Studies, material culture, place-based ways of knowing and remembering, and decolonial approaches.


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James E. Francis, Sr.

James Francis

James E. Francis, Sr., is the Penobscot Nation Tribal Historian, and also an accomplished historical researcher, photographer, film maker, and graphic artist. Recent projects include a study of the relationship between Maine Native Americans and the Landscape; implementing with the Wabanaki Studies Commission the Maine Native American Studies Law into the schools; co-producing a film on race relations in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes; and conducting an Oral History Project for the Penobscot Nation.

He has been involved in curating many exhibits, including for the Bangor Center for History, the Hudson Museum in Orono, Maine, and Harvard University. He was the guest curator for “Aunt Lu: The Story of Princess Watahwaso” at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor.

James serves on the Board of Directors of the Four Nations Development Corporation, and the Board of Director of the Bangor Museum and Center for History. He has also served on the Native American Advisory Committee for the Abbe Museum, the Native American Advisory Board of the Boston Children’s Museum, and the Advisory Board of the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine.

James has served as the Chair of the Penobscot Nation Cultural and Historic Preservation Committee, and recently returned to the University of Maine to pursue an Intermedia Master of Fine Arts degree.


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Doug George-Kanentiio

Doug George-Kanentiio

Doug George-Kanentiio was born and raised on the Mohawk territory of Akwesasne. He served the Mohawk Nation Council as a land rights negotiator and as editor of the journal Akwesasne Notes. He co-founded the Native American Journalists Association and was a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian. He is the vice-president of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge and resides on Oneida Territory with his wife Joanne Shenandoah.

Adriana Giles Ignacio

adriana Giles Ignacio

Adriana Giles Ignacio was born in 1951 on Martha’s Vineyard Island and grew up in what was known as Gay Head and is now Aquinnah. She is an enrolled member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe. She completed her high school education while attending the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexican, majoring in performing arts. There she met and married her future husband and spent time on his reservation in Utah.

Adriana and her family returned to Aquinnah where they built their home and raised their daughters.For some time Adriana was the program director for the Title IV Indian Education Program serving the Island Wampanoag children in the Martha’s Vineyard Schools. This program worked with the native children and their parents teaching and learning native culture, foods,music and traditional dances. This program also provided the students with help in tutoring during and after school.

Adriana has served as a board member for the Aquinnah Cultural Center for the last ten years. The mission of the ACC is to preserve,interpret and document the Aquinnah Wampanoag self-defined history,culture and contributions - past, present and future. Along with her two daughters, Adriana is the owner of On The Cliffs, a seasonal store of contemporary jewelry and clothing at the top of the Gay Head Cliffs in Aquinnah.

gkisedtanamoogk

gkisedtanamoogk

gkisedtanamoogk, is a member of the Wampanoag Community of Mashpee he is family member of Nkeketonseonqikom, the Longhouse of the Otter, and T8nuppatonseonqikom, the Longhouse of the Turtle; married to Miigam’agan, of Esgenoôpetitj, Mi’kmaqki and together have three Children and four Grandchildren. He was one of five Commissioners on the Maine Wabanaki State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission and taught for 10 years at the University of Maine, Orono Campus as an Adjunct Instructor and lecturer in the Native American Studies and the Peace and Reconciliation Programs. His applied occupation includes Cultural and Legal Theory with particular interests pertaining to the social, political, legal, scientific, and spiritual Life of Wampanoag and Wabanaki Nations; he also engages in many activities of advocacy and interest to Indigenous Peoples including, Indigenous Law, Science, Linguistics, and Education. gkisedtanamoogk resides with his Family at Esgenoôpetitj on the Burnt Church Reserve, occupied by New Brunswick Canada.

Rae Gould

Rae Gould

Rae Gould is a member of the Nipmuc Nation of Massachusetts and Associate Director of Native American and Indigenous Studies at Brown University. She has worked on projects related to federal acknowledgment, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), and historic preservation. She has taught anthropology and Native Studies courses at Connecticut College, University of Connecticut, American University, Catholic University of America, and University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her publications include contributions to volumes on federal acknowledgment, NAGPRA, indigenous[1] archaeology, international cultural heritage issues, and Native American culture and history. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.


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Dr. Nitana Hicks Greendeer

Nitana Hicks Greendeer

Dr. Nitana Hicks Greendeer, a citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has worked for the past 15 years with the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project as a teacher, researcher, and curriculum developer, and currently as the Head of School for the Wôpanâak Language immersion school, Weetumuw Katnuhtôhtakamuq. She has served her tribal community as the Director of the Education Department for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

Dr. Hicks Greendeer teaches in the Native American and Indigenous Studies program at Brown University, previously as a Presidential Post-doc and now as an adjunct professor. Her broader interests include culture-based education and culturally appropriate curricular models, language education, and Indian Education. She teaches these and other topics of Native Studies at Brown University.

Through her education, language, and academic work, Dr. Hicks Greendeer works to give Wampanoag children positive, culturally relevant educational experiences as a means of prevention and to increase personal and community wellness.

Kristina Hook

Kristina Hook

Kristina Hook (Aquinnah Wampanoag) was born and grew up in Aquinnah, and is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah). She grew up in a house without electricity or running water, and also attended the Gay Head one-room school house. She grew up roaming the woods of Gay Head, learning how to forage from her elders. Now herself an elder, she has been very involved with the community, having worked with the children and youth, passing knowledge of the land and the waters to younger generations. She worked with the Tribe's Human Services Department, and presently serves on Tribal Council.

Elizabeth Hoover

Elizabeth Hoover

Elizabeth Hoover is an associate professor in the Environmental Science and Policy Management department at the University of California Berkeley. Elizabeth is descended from Mohawk and Mi’kmaq communities and focuses most of her work on food and environmental justice for Native communities. Her first book The River is In Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community, (University of Minnesota Press, 2107) is an ethnographic exploration of Akwesasne Mohawks’ response to Superfund contamination and environmental health research. Her second book project-in-progress From Garden Warriors to Good Seeds; Indigenizing the Local Food Movement explores Native American community based farming and gardening projects; the ways in which people are defining and enacting concepts like food sovereignty and seed sovereignty; the role of Native chefs in the food movement; and the fight against the fossil fuel industry to protect heritage foods. She also recently co-edited a book Indigenous Food Sovereignty in the United States with Devon Mihesuah (University of Oklahoma Press, 2019). Elizabeth has published articles about Native American food sovereignty and seed rematriation; environmental reproductive justice in Native American communities; and tribal citizen science and community based participatory research. Outside of academia, Elizabeth serves on the executive committee of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance (NAFSA) and the board of North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS).

John Christian Hopkins

J C Hopkins

John Christian Hopkins, 60, is a member of the Narragansett Indian Tribe. He served as a tribal councilman from 1994-1996. He is the author is several books, including Carlomagno: Adventures of the Pirate Prince of the Wampanoag, Loki: God of Mischief, Two Guns” and Writer on the Storm. His latest book (release date pending) is Crockett’s Gold.

A graduate from the University of Rhode Island, he has been a professional journalist for more than 30 years, including working at USA Today, the Fort Myers (FL) News-Press and the Westerly (RI) Sun. Hopkins also wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column for Gannett News Service. He also worked as a radio DJ for KGHR in Tuba City, Ariz. In 2017 he performed a multi-city stand-up comedy tour in Colorado.

His native name is Standing Bear, and he is a descendant of his tribe’s royal Ninigret bloodline. Hopkins is the nephew of former Narragansett Chief Sachem George “Broken Arrow” Hopkins and the great-nephew of U.S. Olympian and two-time Boston Marathon champion Ellison “Tarzan” Brown. Hopkins currently lives on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona with his wife, Sararesa (Begay) Hopkins, and their two cats.


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Paulla Jennings

Paulla Jennings

Paulla "Sunflower" Dove Jennings was born to Eleanor (Clan Mother Pretty Flower) and Ferris (War Chief Roaring Bull) Dove. Her family is of mixed Niantic and Narragansett tribal identification. The family hails from the Turtle Clan, known as keepers of history, tribal lore, and legends. Jennings was one of four children, she learned her tribal and family history from her grandmother.

Jennings also obtained a degree from the Community College of Rhode Island and has worked as a curator for both the Boston Children's Museum and the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum in Exeter, Rhode Island. She has performed as a storyteller at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. In 2010, Jennings served as the Tribal Historian in Residence for the certificate program in Native American Studies at the UMASS Amherst. In addition to her work as an educator and storyteller, Jennings has been politically active in her tribe. She has served on her tribal council.

Jennings is the author of Strawberry Thanksgiving, written for the Multicultural Celebrations at The Children's Museum of Boston as part of a series of books designed to educate children about different cultures. Written by Jennings and illustrated by Ramona Peters, the book tells how a young boy, Adam, learns to forgive his sister by hearing his grandmother tell the story of Strawberry Thanksgiving.


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Robin Wall Kimmerer

Robin Wall Kimmerer

Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, plant ecologist, writer and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She serves as the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment whose mission is to create programs which draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared goals of sustainability. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people. She is active in efforts to broaden access to environmental science education for Native students, and to create new models for integration of indigenous philosophy and scientific tools on behalf of land and culture. She is engaged in programs which introduce the benefits of traditional ecological knowledge to the scientific community, in a way that respects and protects indigenous knowledge.

Dr. Kimmerer has taught courses in botany, ecology, ethnobotany, indigenous environmental issues as well as a seminar in application of traditional ecological knowledge to conservation. She is the co-founder and past president of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America. Dr. Kimmerer serves as a Senior Fellow for the Center for Nature and Humans. Of European and Anishinaabe ancestry, Robin is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. Dr. Kimmerer is the author of numerous scientific papers on the ecology of mosses and restoration ecology and on the contributions of traditional ecological knowledge to our understanding of the natural world.

She is also active in literary biology. Her essays appear in Whole Terrain, Adirondack Life, Orion and a number of anthologies. She is the author of Gathering Moss which incorporates both traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific perspectives and was awarded the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005. Her latest book Braiding Sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants was released in 2013 and was awarded the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. She has served as writer in residence at the Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue Mountain Center, the Sitka Center and the Mesa Refuge.

She holds a BS in Botany from SUNY ESF, an MS and PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers on plant ecology, bryophyte ecology, traditional knowledge and restoration ecology. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.

Lisa King

Lisa King

Lisa King (Delaware) is Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics in the Department of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research and teaching interests are interdisciplinary, and include cultural rhetorics with an emphasis in contemporary Native American and Indigenous rhetorics. More specifically, her focus rests on the rhetorics of cross-cultural sites such as Indigenous museums and cultural centers, and theorizing cross-cultural pedagogy through the teaching of Indigenous texts in rhetoric and composition classrooms. Her scholarship has appeared in journals such as JAC, Pedagogy, College Literature, Studies in American Indian Literatures, and American Indian Quarterly. She is the co-editor (with Joyce Rain Anderson and Rose Gubele) of Survivance, Sovereignty, and Story: Teaching American Indian Rhetorics (2015), and author of Legible Sovereignties: Rhetoric, Representations, and Native American Museums (2017). Her current work focuses on decolonization as part of the relationship between public Indigenous self-representation and place, including museum sites in Europe such as the Karl May Museum, the Humboldt Forum, and the British Museum.


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Mishy Lesser, Ed.D.

Mishy Lesser

Mishy Lesser, Ed.D., is the learning director for the Upstander Project and Education Fellow at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut. She is co-director of the Upstander Academy, a weeklong professional learning experience for teachers and museum educators that focuses on genocide, decolonization, and developing the skills of upstanders. Currently Dr. Lesser spends much of her time researching and writing the Teacher’s Guide for Bounty. Mishy authored the twelve-lesson Dawnland Teacher's Guide to help students explore the relationship between the taking of the land and the taking of the children, as well as authoring the four-lesson Coexist Teacher’s Guide to promote learning about the complexity of reconciliation in post-genocide Rwanda. She is a Circle Keeper and has been featured on WBUR (Boston) and PRI/BBC’s The World. Mishy was a Fulbright Scholar in Ecuador and spent 12 years learning and working in the Andes.


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Camille Madison

Camille Madison

Camille Madison, a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gayhead (Aquinnah), has been an educator for well over a decade and strives to create classroom environments that are not only peaceful and nurturing but also full of adventure, curiosity and critical thinking in order to mold life-long learners who are happy to come to school day after day. She joined Mukayuhsak Weekuw (The Children’s House), the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project’s Pre-K and Kindergarten classroom, four years ago where she has been able to combine her love of teaching with her ability to incorporate Wôpanâak language, traditions, and values into her classroom. Her love for her people and the revitalization of the language is her passion.

Dr. Jason Mancini

Jason Mancini

Dr. Jason Mancini is Executive Director of Connecticut Humanities and cofounder of Akomawt Educational Initiative. During the past 30+ years, he has worked with the tribes and indigenous peoples of southern New England, Alaska, Hawai’i, and New Zealand. He is an ally to these communities, collaborates on community histories, and works to improve their access to historical and cultural resources held in settler-colonial institutions. His academic interests include indigenous social networks and ethnogeographies, Indian mariners and maritime traditions, cultural landscapes, and indigenous erasures. Jason holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Connecticut with expertise in the archaeology and ethnohistory of New England.

Alyssa Mt. Pleasant

Alyssa Mt. Pleasant

Alyssa Mt. Pleasant (Tuscarora descendant) grew up in Syracuse, NY. Trained as a historian, she works at the intersection of American Indian history and Native American and Indigenous Studies. Mt. Pleasant is a member of the faculty at the University at Buffalo (SUNY); she has taught at Yale University and served as founding Program Director of the Native American Scholars Initiative at the American Philosophical Society. Currently completing a book about Haudenosaunee people in the post-Revolutionary War period that focuses on the history of the Buffalo Creek Reservation near today's Buffalo, NY, Mt. Pleasant is also at work on a related project about public memory of the Sullivan Campaign. Her publications include articles and book chapters about 18th and 19th century Indigenous history. A 2018 co-authored essay “Materials and Methods in Native American and Indigenous Studies: Completing the Turn” (published by the William and Mary Quarterly and Early American Literature) won two prestigious awards: Most Thought-Provoking Article in Native American and Indigenous Studies prize and the Lester J. Cappon Prize for best article in The William and Mary Quarterly. Beyond her work as a faculty member, Mt. Pleasant has been elected to leadership positions in scholarly organizations, including the Council of the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture.

Terlena Murphy

Terlena Murphy

Terlena Murphy is a proud St. David's Islander from Bermuda and is the Chairman of St. David's Islanders and Native Community (SDINC) since November 2019. Ms. Murphy has served on the committee since 2007 - first as Secretary, then Vice-Chair.

Ms. Murphy is the eldest daughter of Christina Ina Lugo, nee Millett, one of the Organization's founding members. And it was she (through her research) who helped make the connection with our eastern cousins. Ms. Murphy has lived in St. David's for all of her life and her family members. She loves her community and has deep ties to its cultural heritage. Her family has a rich legacy of piloting and seafaring. Her grandfather was also a sailmaker and used to make sails by hand. Her uncles were pilots of cruise ships and tugs.

Ms. Murphy has over 18 years of experience as a Human Resource, Talent Development professional, and she currently owns a Human Resource and Business Management Consultancy - Force Multiplier Consulting. She has worked with The Government of Bermuda, the Private Sector, and Hospitality. She believes that achieving performance excellence is not through osmosis. It results from smart strategies, talented people, and determined pursuit of continuous development and excellence.

Robert Miller

Robert Miller

Robert J. Miller (Eastern Shawnee) is a professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University where he teaches Indian law classes and Civil Procedure. From 1999-2013, he was a full time professor at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland Oregon. Upon graduating from Lewis & Clark in 1991, Miller clerked for the Honorable Diarmuid O’Scannlain, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He then practiced law with the Stoel Rives firm in 1992-1995 and Indian law with Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker in 1995-1999. Miller is the Interim Chief Justice of the Pascua Yaqui Court of Appeals, and is a justice on the Court of Appeals of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and the Northwest Inter-Tribal Court System.

His published articles, book chapters, and editorials cover a wide array of federal Indian law issues, and includes four books: Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny (Praeger Publishers, 2006); a co-authored book, Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies (Oxford University Press, 2010); Reservation ‘Capitalism:’ Economic Development in Indian Country (Praeger Publishers, 2012), and a co-authored book, Creating Private Sector Economies in Native America: Sustainable Development through Entrepreneurship (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Bob was a board member of the Oregon Native American Business Entrepreneurial Network from 1998-2010 and the National Indian Child Welfare Association from 1995-2004. He has been a board member of the Tribal Leadership Forum since 2003. He helped create, and was on the executive committee of, the Oregon State Bar Indian Law Section. Miller speaks regularly on Indian law issues and has given presentations in more than thirty-one states and in Australia, England, Canada, and India. He is an enrolled citizen of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.

Sherri Mitchell

Sherri Mitchell

Sherri Mitchell -Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation. She received her Juris Doctorate and a certificate in Indigenous People’s Law and Policy from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. Sherri is an alumna of the American Indian Ambassador program, and the Udall Native American Congressional Internship program. Sherri also received the Mahoney Dunn International Human Rights and Humanitarian Award, for research into Human Rights violations against Indigenous Peoples. She was a longtime advisor to the American Indian Institute’s Healing the Future Program and currently serves as an advisor to the Indigenous Elders and Medicine People’s Council of North and South America. She is the Founding Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous rights and the preservation of the Indigenous way of life. Prior to forming the Land Peace Foundation, Sherri served as a law clerk to the Solicitor of the United States Department of Interior; as an Associate with Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan Law Firm; a civil rights educator for the Maine Attorney General’s Office, and; as the Staff Attorney for the Native American Unit of Pine Tree Legal. Sherri is the author of the award-winning book Sacred Instructions; Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change.


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Alice Nash

Alice Nash

Alice Nash is a historian with an interest in how Native American history is taught in schools. Together with Linda Coombs (Aquinnah Wampanoag), she co-directed Teaching Native American Histories, a Summer Institute for K-12 teachers funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (2017, 2019). She received two prior NEH grants (2013, 2015) for a Summer Institute on Native Americans of New England. Her research interests range from the impact of colonization on family and gender relations in Wabanaki history before 1800 to current matters such as the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Her most recent publication is an essay on “Indigenous Peoples of the Americas to 1900,” published in The Routledge Handbook to the History and Society of the Americas (Routledge 2019) which she co-edited with Olaf Kaltmeier, Josef Raab, Michael Stewart Foley, Stefan Rinke and Mario Rufer.

Dawn Neptune

Dawn Neptune

Dawn Neptune Adams is a member of the Penobscot Nation and a Journalist with Sunlight Media Collective. Her grassroots environmental activist résumé begins with protecting Indigenous Sacred sites in Huntington Beach, CA in 1998 and continues in the present with Indigenous advocacy at Penobscot Tribal, local, state, and national levels.

Dawn is a Racial Justice Consultant to the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, an active member of Racial Equity & Justice of Bangor, and is a former Indigenous Peoples' Policy Advisor for the Hunter/Elias 2020 Presidential campaign. Finally, Dawn is directly involved in politics for change, serving as the Wabanaki Liason to the Maine Independent Green Party as well as the current Vice Presidential Candidate to the Dario Hunter 2020 Presidential campaign.

When not battling polluters, plutocrats, and patriarchy, Dawn spends her time raising a pre-teen and building fine furniture. She dreams of a day when we can all eat Salmon from the Penobscot River and live together in peace.

Chris Newell

Chris Newell

Chris Newell is Executive Director and Sr. Partner to Wabanaki Nations for the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. He was born and raised in Motahkmikuhk (Indian Township, ME) and a proud citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township. Chris is a co-founder of Akomawt Educational Initiative, an educational consultancy working with schools, universities, museums, and all areas of education to incorporate Native perspectives in a culturally competent manner. He is an award-winning museum educator dedicated to expanding the presence of Native content and making a better, more informed world for all peoples.


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Jean M. O’Brien

Jean M. O’Brien (White Earth Ojibwe) is Distinguished McKnight University Professor and Northrop Professor in the Department of History and is affiliated with the Departments of American Indian Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, and Heritage Studies and Public History at the University of Minnesota. She has published six books, including Dispossession by Degrees: Indian Land and Identity in Natick, Massachusetts, 1650-1790; Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England, and Monumental Mobility: The Memory Work of Massasoit (with Lisa Blee), and numerous articles and is co-founder and Past President of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, and Past President of the American Society for Ethnohistory. O’Brien was selected for the American Indian Historian Lifetime Achievement Award by the Western History Association in 2014, and was elected to the Society of American Historians in 2016.

Marjory O’Toole

Marjory OToole

Marjory O’Toole has been the Managing/Executive Director of the Little Compton Historical Society since 2006. Her work focuses on returning the voices of underrepresented people to the local history. Marjory holds an MA in Public Humanities from Brown University and has served the university as a Community Fellow for the past two years. She is the author/co-author/editor of eight local history books, including If Jane Should Want to Be Sold: Stories of Enslavement, Indenture, and Freedom in Little Compton, Rhode Island which is now in its second printing. Most recently she has worked on the Little Compton Women’s History Project, a web-based public history project ( littlecompton.org) that includes the biographies of Awashonks, Bettey, Betts Howdee, Sarah Howdee, Sue Codamonk, Experience Tobe, Fal Solomon, and Sarah Jehu, all Sakonnet women. In recent years Marjory and the Little Compton Historical Society have received a number of awards for their work from the New England Museum Association, the Association for State and Local History, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, the Garden Club of America, and the Association for Gravestone Studies. She speaks frequently on local slavery, indenture, and freedom.


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Paula Peters*

Paula Peters

Paula Peters is a politically, socially and culturally active member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and owner of SmokeSygnals Communications. As an independent scholar and writer of Native, and particularly Wampanoag history, she is a producer the traveling exhibit Our”Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History and is currently engaged in The Wampum Belt Project in search of the lost treasures of Metacom including an effort to restore the art and tradition of wampum making among her people. She is the executive producer of the 2016 documentary film Mashpee Nine and author of the companion book. She lives with her extended family in Mashpee and travels internationally to speak and educate on the true Wampanoag story.

*Paula Peters is a Bridgewater State University alumna.

Robert Peters

Robert Peters

Robert Peters is a Mashpee Wampanoag artist, writer, poet and the artist/author of Thirteen Moons. A 2020 calendar featuring thirteen acrylic paintings accompanied by poetry, essays and thoughts - written over a span of twenty years entitled, A Meditation on Indigenous Life.

Thirteen Moons was created to promote understanding and healing among indigenous people everywhere - it’s 2020 and we are still here!

Robert published his first book Da Goodie Monsta in the fall of 2009. Da Goodie Monsta is an illustrated children’s book based on a dream his son had when he was three years old. The story depicts a monster that is part lion, part bird and part dragon wearing roller skates. Da Goodie Monsta chases away nightmares.

Today Robert continues writing, painting, and working with people. He is a fire keeper and a keeper of oral traditions. He is currently working with the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse and Services developing Native youth drug prevention booklets and curriculum. To date two booklets are in use, Coming Home and Stories and Poems For Eastern Native Families.

Tia Pocknett

Tia Pocknett

Tia Pocknett (Mig ‘maw)

Sherry Pocknett

Sherry Pocknett

Chef Sherry Pocknett is an indigenous chef and educator, specializing in the Bounty of the Season, Indigenous foods, and New England cooking.

Sherry was born and raised in Mashpee, MA to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. She credits her love and passion for food and educating to her parents, Bernadine and Vernon Pocknett. Sherry grew up in the 1960's with parents who were traditional, living their life-ways as Wampanoag people, with the bounty of the seasons.

Sherry started cooking at a young age, and started her "Sly Fox Den" catering business. She has served delicious traditional Wampanoag food up and down the East coast at powwows, museum events, schools and universities. In Mashpee, Sherry held weekly youth culture classes to educate about the seasonality of the Wampanoag way. She believes the best way to teach is hands-on, not just with the kids, but also their parents and adults. Her classes were often attended by up to 100 kids and families.

Sherry now owns "The Sly Fox Den Restaurant & Bar" in Connecticut between Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. She also does catering from her "Sly Fox Den" food truck.


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Melanie Roderick

Melanie Roderick

Melanie Roderick WLRP Language Teacher/Mashpee Middle High School Wunee Keesuq, I am a Tribal Member of the Assonet Band of the Wampanoag Nation and have been involved,first, as a student, and now, as a teacher with the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project since 1997. It has been an honor for me to be teaching within the Mashpee Public Schools for the past three years, giving our young tribal members the unique opportunity to learn their traditional language in the public school setting. I live in Wareham, Ma with my three children, our 2 cats and young dog. I enjoy spending as much time as possible outside in my garden and being among our plant and animal relatives.

Tyler Jackson Rogers

Tyler Rogers

Tyler Jackson Rogers (Narragansett descent) is currently living and learning in Kumeyaay homelands, where he serves as a research fellowship program coordinator at the University of California, San Diego. Tyler is also completing his PhD in American Studies--with a certificate in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies--from Yale University. Tyler’s scholarship and teaching span the fields of indigenous studies, feminist theory, and early colonial American history. Broadly, his research examines the interwoven relationship between slavery and settler colonialism in the Americas. Tyler’s current research project considers the unfreedom of indigenous people in settler colonial New England, with a focus on how and why the lives of bound indigenous women emerge in documentary records. His research has received support through grants and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Abolition, & Resistance, and Williams College, where he previously served as Gaius Charles Bolin Fellow in American Studies.


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Cheryl Savageau

Cheryl Savageau

Cheryl Savageau (Abenaki) poet, memoirist, storyteller, and educator, is the author of Out of the Crazywoods, a memoir that navigates her experience of living with bipolar/manic depressive illness; and three collections of poetry -Mother/Land, an “unhistory” of the Northeast; Dirt Road Home, which was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; and Home Country. She has won Fellowships in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Program, and is a three-time fellow at MacDowell. Her children’s book, Muskrat Will Be Swimming, was a Smithsonian Notable Book and won the Skipping Stones Award for children’s environmental literature and the Wordcraft Circle’s Best Children’s Book of the Year award. Savageau mentored Native writers through Wordcraft Circle of Native Poets and Storytellers and was awarded Mentor of the Year in 1998. She has taught workshops through Gedakina and is former editor of Dawnland Voices 2.0. Her work has appeared most recently in Yellow Medicine Review, The Cape Cod Review, and Hinchas de Poésia, and is widely anthologized. She teaches Indigenous literatures and creative writing at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College.

Donald Soctomah

Donald Soctomah

Donald Soctomah is the Passamaquoddy Tribal Historic Preservation Office Director. He is the great grandson of Sopiel Selmore – Passamaquoddy Wampum Keeper and Oral History Keeper. He is a father to 11 children and grandfather to 20. He holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Maine in Machias and a B.S. in Forestry Management from the University of Orono.

Donald has been working since 2003 as a Passamaquoddy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. He works with federal agencies from the United States and Canada on the protection of culturally significant sites and other information. He also provide further outreach of tribal history in Maine and New Brunswick communities.

He has previously worked as a Passamaquoddy Language Project Administrator and Tribal legislator at the Maine House of Representatives where he was elected to represent the Passamaquoddy Tribe introducing legislation affecting native people, environmental and historic preservation issues and social changes.

He has written three award-winning children’s books and eight tribal history books and appeared in many films concerning Wabanaki history.

Theresa Secord

Theresa Secord

Theresa Secord (b.1958) is a traditional Penobscot basket maker and the founding director of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA). During her 21 years of leadership, MIBA was credited with saving the endangered art of ash and sweet grass basketry by: lowering the average age of basket makers from 63 to 40; and increasing numbers of weavers from 55 to more than 150; in the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes.

Among honors for this work and for her own artistic excellence, Theresa received the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2016. In 2009, she was honored with the First Peoples Fund Community Spirit Award and in 2003, the Prize for Creativity in Rural Life by the Women’s World Summit Foundation, presented at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland; for helping basket makers rise out of poverty.

Theresa learned to weave ash and sweet baskets on Indian Island from her mentor, the late Madeline Tomer Shay (Penobscot) beginning in 1988. She weaves family and tribal styles on antique wooden forms, using tools handed down to her from her great-grandmother. Theresa has taught more than a dozen apprentices to weave baskets and her own work resides in museum and private collections across the nation.

Siobhan Senier

Siobhan Senier

Siobhan Senier is a Professor of English and Chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of New Hampshire. She is the editor of Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Writing from Indigenous New England (U of Nebraska P, 2014) and dawnlandvoices.org. Her other publications include Voices of American Indian Assimilation and Resistance (U of Oklahoma P, 2001), Sovereignty and Sustainability: Indigenous Literary Stewardship in New England (U of Nebraska P, 2020) and essays in journals including American Literature, American Indian Quarterly, Studies in American Indian Literatures, MELUS, Disability Studies Quarterly, and Resilience.

Tim Shay

Tim Shay

Tim Shay, Penobscot sculptor, was born on Indian Island, Maine Tim’s mother is Maliseet. His father is Penobscot. He grew up in Maine and Studied at the Institute of American Arts, Santa Fe, NM. In 2004, he came back to Maine after 20 years away to sell his art and stayed since then. The spirit drew him back. The Native American church is important to him. Suffolk University owned the land at what is now known as Nibezun for about five years. The University allowed Indigenous people to use the site for ceremony. The Wabanaki Cultural Preservation Coalition was established as a non-profit. As a sculptor, Tim has had many exhibits locally and nationally and has won numerous awards for his art.

Cassius Spears

Cassius Spears

Cassius Champlin Spears Sr. has dedicated his life to the preservation of Narragansett culture throughout New England and the world. He has served as Cultural Advisor for numerous educational projects including the PBS documentary “We Shall Remain – After the Mayflower”. Spears has remained active in the practice of ethnobotany, traditional home building and has demonstrated eastern woodlands culture at powwows, museums, college campuses, and film sets across North America.  

He has served on Plimoth Plantation's Wampanoag Indigenous Program's Advisory Board, and the New England Foundation for the Arts, Native Arts Advisory Committee. In his most recent capacity as an Agricultural Technician he has performed as a liaison for the Narragansett Indian Tribe and the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service.

He was appointed to serve on the Regional Tribal Conservation Advisory Committee(RTCAC) and the National Association Conservation District (NACD) Tribal Policy Group for the Eastern Region. He is a 2017 Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) Fellow where he was one of 30 who participated in the year-long, national intercultural leadership program. Spears’ passion for healthy traditional lifeways led to the establishment of the Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative­ with a primary focus on sustaining a healthy community through traditional lifeways and relationships inherent to us as tribal people. Spears represented the Narragansett community in Marrakech, Morrocco, at the COP22, UNESCO preconference sharing the effects of climate change from the Narragansett perspective.  In addition, he also serves on the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) Steering Committee, and is now President of Rhode Island Association Conservation District (RIACD).

Dawn Spears

Dawn Spears

Dawn Spears, (Narragansett/Choctaw) Executive Director of Northeast Indigenous Arts Alliance (NIAA), formed from her prior role as the Native Arts Program Manager for New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) in Boston, MA. This newly formed organization works to support the Native American artist population regionally by sharing resources and artist opportunities, addressing artist needs and seeking ways to increase the visibility in the northeast. In 2016 NIAA partnered with IFAM and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum bringing the first large indigenous market to the east with “IFAM East”. Dawn joined the staff at the Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor, ME in 2017 to produce the inaugural 2018 Abbe Museum Indian Market. Markets and providing opportunities for artists continues to be a priority.

Prior to joining NEFA, she devoted a decade to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation where she was involved in a variety of cultural initiatives, which included cultural education, powwow and dance troupe coordination, and language revitalization work. Dawn served as the Narragansett Tribe’s Tribal Secretary for two terms, and has also served on the board and volunteered at the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum. She was a member of Native Americans in Philanthropy, serving two terms on the Executive Board, (Secretary, Vice Chair). Dawn currently serves on the Narragansett Tribes’ Election Committee and Economic Development Commission.

She is a 2020 Assets for Artists grantee, a 2015 RI State Council for the Arts (RISCA) Master Apprenticeship grantee, and 2015UPP Arts teaching artist and also served on the HopArts Artist Studio Trail planning committee and is now a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Institute for New England Native American Studies. In 2014, along with her husband they formed the Narragansett Food Sovereignty Initiative to bring a concept of healthy living by providing the Narragansett people access to food, health, and wellbeing, now and into the future through sustainable agriculture, economic development, community involvement and educational programs.

Dawn and her husband Cassius have been married for thirty-five years, with three children: Cassius Jr., Kiowa and Coty and seven grandchildren, their work together truly supports the belief in the preservation and education of our culture and traditions, Dawn has been teaching and demonstrating for over 25 years in many forms of art and still works creatively when time allows, exhibiting and selling at local galleries and markets.

Lorén M. Spears

Loren Spears

Lorén M. Spears, Narragansett, Executive Director of Tomaquag Museum, has been an educator for 25 years, has served as an adjunct faculty at Brown University and at University of Rhode Island. She shares her cultural knowledge and traditional arts learned through her family with the public through museum programs. She has written curriculum, poetry, and narratives published in a variety of publications such as Dawnland Voices, An Anthology of Indigenous Writing of New England; Through Our Eyes: An Indigenous View of Mashapaug Pond; The Pursuit of Happiness: An Indigenous View , From Slaves to Soldiers: The 1st Rhode Island Regiment in the American Revolution Recently, she co-edited a new edition of A Key into the Language of America by Roger Williams.

She works tirelessly to empower Native youth and to educate the public on Native history, culture, the environment and the arts. She was appointed by Governor Gina Raimondo to serve on the Board of the RI State Council on the Arts and the RI Historical Records Advisory Board and serves on many other boards including The Pell Center’s Story in the Public Square and South County Tourism Council.

Paulette Steeves

Paulette Steeves

Paulette Steeves. PhD – (Cree- Metis), was born in Whitehorse Yukon Territories and grew up in Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada. She is an Associate Professor in Sociology at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, and a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous History: Healing and Reconciliation. She holds an adjunct faculty positions at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB. Her research focus is on the Pleistocene history of the Western Hemisphere, reclaiming and rewriting Indigenous histories and healing and reconciliation . In her research she argues that Indigenous peoples were present in the Western Hemisphere as early as 100,000 years ago, and possibly much earlier. Dr. Steeves argues that counter stories to Western narratives of Indigenous histories address issues that remain critical to Indigenous people; sovereignty, self-determination, healing and reconciliation. Dr. Steeves has stated that rewriting and un-erasing Indigenous histories becomes a part of healing and reconciliation transforming public consciousness, and confronting and challenging racism. Long standing academic denial of the deep Indigenous past fosters’ racism, and discrimination among the general or Settler population. Re-writing Indigenous histories, framed through Indigenous knowledge, will create discussions that counter racism and discrimination.

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Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel

Melissa Tantequideon Zobel

Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel (Mohegan) Melissa grew up in Mohegan, Connecticut where she was trained in tribal oral tradition, traditional lifeways, and spiritual beliefs by her great-aunt and great uncle , medicine woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon and chief Harold Tantaquidgeon. From a young age she gave tours at the families Tantaquidgeon Museum (now owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribe). Melissa earned a B.S.F.S. In history/ diplomacy from Georgetown University, an MA in history from the University of Connecticut and an MFA from Fairfield University in creative writing. As a young adult she worked as Mohegan Federal Recognition Coordinator researching and organizing her tribe successful bid for federal acknowledgement. She was appointed Tribal Historian in 1991 and Medicine Woman in 2008. She has worked in many areas of writing but began playwriting last year. This year she was a finalist in the Eugene O'Neill Theater's National Playwright’s Conference for her play Flying Bird’s Diary. That play was also selected for the Oklahoma Indigenous Theartre’s 2020 New Native Play Festival, a finalist with Storylines Vitruvian Award, a winner in the New York Screenplay Park Contest’s stage play categories, and a Chrysalis Picture Selection. She has also written for film, received in any for her work on the movie, The Mark of Uncus, as well as numerous screen writing awards. Tantaquidgeon Zobel’s books include the biography Medicine Trail: The Life and Lessons of Gladys Tantaquidgeon (University of Arizona press, 2000) and the mystery Wabanaki Blues (Poison Pen Press, 2015). Her goal is to share the enduring traditions, human humor, challenges, joys, and spirit of historic and contemporary Native New England by various means.

James Taylor

James Taylor

I am a member of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe of Vermont as well as a Tribal Councilman. My Mom’s family are Abenaki and my Dad’s people are Removal Cherokee’s of KY. I currently live in East Providence, RI with my wife Claudine and our little dog Lola. Our two daughters Ashley 28 and Jillian 22 both live on their own in Manchester NH and Providence RI.

As an Elnu Tribal Councilman, I was part of the group that worked for many years towards state recognition for our tribe. Elnu is part of the Vermont Native Alliance which consists of three of the four historical tribes of Vermont. I am pleased to announce that in 2011 we were granted State Tribal recognition in Vermont.

I have been employed as a Graphic Artist for the past 35 years for a Company in North Attleboro, MA for the past 34 years designing Police, Fire, Security badges and other insignia for Law Enforcement agencies worldwide. I have always been and Artist, My Maternal Aunt (Abenaki) Dorothy who was and accomplished Artist herself in a host of mediums was instrumental in helping me become the Artist I am today.

I am and accomplished Eastern Style Quillworker which was a style that was synonymous with peoples here in the north east and throughout the upper Great Lakes during the early Colonial periods, before the large trade of seed beads came through trade. Most of my work revolves around the period of the French & Indian war 1703 thru 1780’s, which there are many extent pieces that survive through private collections in various museums throughout the world. My work today that I do for people are individual pieces that have that persons power exhibited through the designs quilled onto the Braintan Deer skin as were the originals, hence why I never duplicate original pieces from that time period because they still hold the power that was the original owners. I also enjoy commissioned items where I can quill a bag or other item without any direction, which allows me to design something that will have a power of its own and those pieces for me are the most rewarding.


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Juli Vanderhoop

Juli Vanderhoop

I was raised in Aquinnah, the seventh child in my family and the only girls. While my family worked, I was often under the supervision of my brothers or elders in our community. I was taught to forage my way through the day, finding energy in whatever plants that I was surrounded by. Today, I am the mother of two, and a select person for the Town of Aquinnah. I have served on the Wampanoag Tribal Education Committee for over 8 years; and have also served on the boards of the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish group, Island Housing Trust and Island Grown Initiative. I am the owner of the Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah, and make a wide variety of baked goods in an outdoor stone oven, which I sell at the bakery, at the Orange Peel Cafe at the cliffs, and to grocery stores around the island.

Tobias J. Vanderhoop, M.P.A.

Tobias J. Vanderhoop

Tobias J. Vanderhoop, M.P.A., is an enrolled member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) in Massachusetts. He has over 20 years of experience working with tribal governments including service as a Tribal Council member, Tribal Administrator and Tribal Chairman, and has previously served as a member of the Self Governance Advisory Committee for BIA and IHS. Mr. Vanderhoop has expertise in strategic and community planning, tribal program and policy development, education and political advocacy and youth leadership development. He has focused on incorporating tribal culture and traditional values into all aspects of his professional career. Mr. Vanderhoop earned a Bachelor of Arts – Community Planning and Management from University of Massachusetts Boston and a Master of Public Administration from Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


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Annawon Weeden

Annawon Weeden

With a great many miles on his moccasins, Annawon Weeden has traveled extensively throughout Turtle Island & beyond. Blistering cold trips to remote Alaskan villages, workshops within the desert of the southwest, performing on tropical islands such as Hawaii or Bermuda, Annawon has witnessed firsthand how other tribes maintain their sovereignty, which has reinforced his pride within his own New England native tribal roots. With ancestry representing his Pequot & Narragansett lineage, Annawon is also an enrolled member of his mother’s Mashpee Wampanoag community of Cape Cod. Currently employed as a cultural instructor for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal government, much of his free time is spent creating indigenous art such as his wampum jewelry fashion line (First Light Fashion) or representing the indigenous voice while conducting educational programming under the label of First Light Fun.

David Weeden

David Weeden

Mr. David Weenaatainnini (One Who Walks Alone) Weeden’s recent work began with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in 2015 as the Deputy THPO for the Tribal Historic Preservation Office. In December of 2019 Mr. Weeden assumed the responsibilities of Tribal Historic Preservation Officer/Director; a job which he is extremely passionate about. Past professional accomplishments are working as a cultural educator, interpreter with the Wampanoag Indian Program at the Plymouth Plantation, union laborer, union laborer foreman, and draftsman/detailer; before taking his recent positions.

Educational background includes certificates in Geographic Information System (G.I.S.), Bryant University Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) certified. Mr. Weeden also attended Cape Cod Community College studying liberal arts technology and acquired an A.S., Architectural Building and Engineering Technology degree from the New England Institute of Technology.

Raised in a very traditional and culturally oriented family and grounded in Wampanoag cultural beliefs and practices that influence and guide daily responsibilities. Guiding principles are to confront all systemic oppressions facing Tribes, for the benefit of those yet to come.

As an actively involved Tribal member Mr. Weeden’s civic services include sitting on the Town of Mashpee - Board as Selectman (elected 9/2019-present), Mashpee - Planning Board Member (4/2016 – 5/2019), Native American Representative on the Cape Cod Commission as an appointee to the County regulatory authority (4/2016 -present) and also serves as Tribal Councilman (2/2016-present).

Mr. Weeden draws from all his accumulative experiences in his current roles today and enjoys the opportunity to work in the preservation field.

Berta Welch

Berta Welch

Berta Welch is a Wampanoag artisan of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. She is co-owner of a gift and craft shop on the Gay Head Cliffs that has been in her family for 80 years. The shop features her work as an artisan jeweler. Inspired by her parents, her cultural upbringing and the traditions of the Wampanoag who have inhabited the region for more than 12,000 years, Berta is self-taught in her craft creating authentic wampum jewelry with a distinct contemporary design that features a unique blend of raw materials including silver, turquoise, mother of pearl and other shell. The most striking element of every piece is undeniably the wampum, the purple and white shell honed from the quahog harvested for sustenance from the Aquinnah Town Pond. Berta’s work is recognized throughout Indian Country and by collectors of fine Native arts and jewelry. She is often requested to create pieces to honor significant members within her community. She is highly regarded among Wampanoag artisans responsible for wampum becoming as much an indicator of Northeast tribal adornment as turquoise is to Southwestern tribes.

Jennifer Weston

Jennifer Weston

Jennifer Weston (Hunkpapa Lakota, Standing Rock) is a writer and producer who has worked for the past 25 years with Tribal community programs focused on environmental justice, Indigenous education, and language revitalization. Currently she directs the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project. Prior to joining WLRP in 2012, Weston managed Cultural Survival’s endangered languages program in Cambridge, MA, building a network among 350+ Indigenous communities, serving as researcher and producer for the 2011 documentary WE STILL LIVE HERE: Âs Nutayuneân, and the film’s companion website, OurMotherTongues.org

Weston also worked as an associate producer on the PBS documentary series WE SHALL REMAIN, and as a correspondent for the Lakota Nation Journal. As a student and staffer at Brown University, she developed Native studies curricula and community programs to support Native student retention, and worked as a research assistant on Native youth projects focused on cultural resiliency. Weston trained as a journalist with Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters in Providence, RI, the founding editor of Indian Country Today, and a Visionmaker Media apprenticeship at WGBH. From 2014 - 2017 she co-designed and led the course, “Native American Women in North America: Indigenous Mother Tongues, Leadership and Self-Determination,” as part of the UMass-Boston Civic Engagement Scholarship Initiative. Jennifer is an active learner of Lakotiyapi and Wôpanâôt8âôk.

Tom Wickman

Thomas Wickman

Tom Wickman is the author of Snowshoe Country: An Environmental and Cultural History of Winter in the Early American Northeast (Cambridge University Press, 2018). He received a PhD from Harvard University and is associate professor of History and American Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. His current research examines histories of environment and power at Suckiaug/Hartford, along the lower Kwinitekw, or Connecticut River.


Conference Organizers

Dr. Joyce Rain Anderson

Joyce Rain Anderson

Dr. Joyce Rain Anderson (Wampanoag) is Professor of Rhetoric and Composition in the English Department at Bridgewater State University. She is the mother of two and grandmother of four. Guided by principles of relationality, respect, responsibility, reciprocity, her focus is on decolonial pedagogies and embedding Indigenous ways of knowing into interdisciplinary frameworks and reshaping the university. In addition to teaching first-year writing, cultural rhetorics, Indigenous rhetorics and a variety of other writing courses, she coordinates the Native American and Indigenous Studies Program and is the Faculty Associate for the Pine Ridge Partnership. Dr, Anderson also serves as a faculty advisor for the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice and as a faculty member of Bridgewater State University’s Racial Justice Task Force. In 2013, she was awarded BSU President’s Award for Diversity and Social Justice. She was the recipient of the 2015-16 BSU Presidential Fellowship for her project “Strengthening Our Indigenous Partnerships.” With Lisa King and Rose Gubele, she is the co-editor of the award-winning collection Survivance, Sovereignty, and Story: Teaching American Indian Rhetorics (2015 Utah State Press). Her chapter “Walking with Relatives: Indigenous Bodies of Protest” appears in Unruly Rhetorics (2018 Pittsburgh Press). Current projects include research on Indigenous presence at BSU including writing about Walter Battice (Sauk and Fox) who attended Bridgewater Normal School in 1887 and a long-term project on New England Native artists. In the community, she serves on the board for the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, the Education subcommittee for Plymouth 400, and works with Indigenous intellectuals and scholars to bring curricula change in teaching about Native peoples. With Linda Coombs, she is an organizer of the 2020 Indigenous History Conference.

joycerain.anderson@bridgew.edu

Linda Coombs

Linda Coombs

Linda Coombs (Aquinnah Wampanoag) I am a member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe on Martha's Vineyard, and have lived in Mashpee for more than 40 years. My two grandchildren are enrolled with the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, as was their father and grandfather.

I have worked for 45 years as a museum educator and spent 11 years total at the Boston Children's Museum, 30 years in the Wampanoag Indigenous Program at Plimoth Plantation, and 9 years at the Aquinnah Cultural Center, a small house museum regarding the Aquinnah Wampanoag. I have been an interpreter, an artisan, a researcher; led workshops and teacher institutes; written children's stories and articles on various aspects of Wampanoag history and culture; and developed and worked on all aspects of a wide variety of exhibits.

bornagainpatuxet@yahoo.com