Ramona Peters, Chairwoman & Acting Treasurer
Ramona is a Bear Clan member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and lives in Mashpee on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Ramona recently worked for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, 1990) Director. Her work focuses on repatriation, indigenous rights, historic and cultural preservation, and many other endeavors of the Wampanoag. She also serves her tribe in a variety of capacities including as a Traditional Chief’s Councilor and a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Woman’s Medicine Society. She is the sole proprietor of the Peters Wampanoag Consulting Company, assisting other tribes, universities, museums, archaeological service companies, historic preservation agencies, and community development organizations. Ramona has a Master’s degree in Applied Human and Community Development from the California School of Professional Psychology and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Arizona.
Leslie Jonas, Vice-Chairwoman
Leslie is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and has spent many years as an avid landscape designer and gardener; working with the natural flow of land instead of trying to alter it. Leslie has a BA in Mass Communications, is a CPA level certified federal Grants Manager, and holds a Master of Science degree in Community Economic Development. Leslie joined the Native Land Conservancy in 2012, and since has helped to build and run the organization; helping to create awareness and education on Climate issues from Indigenous perspectives. In our Wampanoag culture, our family clans are symbolized by animals from the 3 earth elements of: Land, Water and Air. A member of the Wampanoag Eel Clan, Leslie is heavily committed to conserving water and protecting the natural world by shrinking her family’s carbon footprint. Her lifestyle includes examining her commitment to various healthy environmental practices like reducing water waste, using “green” products that don’t hurt the environment, utilizing Solar as an alternative energy resource and always pursuing ways to live life without harming the planet. The Native Land Conservancy speaks to her passion as a “green” native of Cape Cod whose interests lie in the rescue, restoration and preservation of precious Lands and Water.
Sharman Brown, Clerk
Sharman Brown is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and joined the Native Land Conservancy upon moving to Cape Cod in 2016. Sharman worked in the Tribal Historic Preservation Office for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and was a cultural guide at the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian Museum. She is an award-winning media producer and has served as a development officer for non-profit companies. Currently she is in training to teach the Wampanoag language and is also learning sign language. “Decolonizing thought and embracing an indigenous approach to the land and water is the only way these natural resources will be protected."
Marlene Lopez, Board Member
Mashpee Wampanoag Elder, and Rabbit Clan Mother. As a Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Elder and Clan Mother, I take on the privilege and responsibility of caring for, not only my immediate family, but in cooperation with other tribal clan mother's, our tribe’s spiritual needs, directions, guidance and welfare. The preservation of our land, our waters, our ceremonies, and our way of life is vital for the remembrance /existence of our past, present and future generations.
David Vanderhoop, Board Member
David Two Arrows Vanderhoop is an Aquinnah Wampanoag elder who was born and raised in a traditional family on Noepe (Martha’s Vineyard). David is the founder of Sassafras Earth Education a nature connection mentoring organization that reconnects people to nature, self and community. David serves on the board of the Nature Connection Network and coordinates it's Indigenous Council. David has served as a selectman for 18 years for the Town of Aquinnah, and for 6 years as vice president of the Wampanoag Tribal Council. David loves to listen to the language of the birds, and is an avid hunter, fisherman, and naturalist. David has over 20 years experience in mentoring youth, instilling respect for the earth and has profound knowledge of Island ecosystems and relations. David specializes in consulting with organizations on creating right relations with first peoples.
Gail Melix, Board Member
Gail is a Manomet Wampanoag and Quaker. She is the Quaker Earthcare Ministry Co-clerk of the New England Yearly Meeting. Gail believes that addressing local environmental concerns and global warming are imperative for survival of all living things. Science has proven what indigenous peoples have known all along; that humans and all forms of life on earth share common DNA, are related, interconnected and interdependent upon one another for existence and wellbeing. She asks that you learn which actions you can take to save and sustain our beautiful earth wherever your feet touch the ground. Helps us stay in right relationship with nature for the benefit of all, today and for the generations to come.
Miles Burnadette-Peters Board Member
We created a Native-run land conservation group with a mission to preserve healthy landscapes for all living things and help restore land back to its original state wherever possible. We draw upon our collective traditional cultural knowledge as indigenous people with generations of direct experience in the woodlands, coastlines, and waterways of New England. We presently have the honor of receiving guidance from two land conservation champions serving as our advisors; Mark Robinson of the Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts, Inc. and Kris Clark of the Barnstable Land Trust..
Hazel Currence Board Member
Pam Ellis Board Member