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Chief Dwaine Perry

Dwaine Perry is the elected Chief of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, with about 3,500 members in New York and New Jersey. He is also a Vietnam War veteran and an environmental and human rights activist. Upon returning to the US after Vietnam, Perry enrolled at Rockland Community College, where he was instrumental in establishing the College’s first student organization for people of color. He later earned a bachelor’s degree from Pace University and an MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University.

Mentoring under the honorable Conrad Lynn, Perry aided in establishing an indigenous-rights group that was to become the precursor to the reformation of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation’s modern restructuring. Chief Perry continues to champion human rights today, focusing primarily on issues concerning the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, decolonization, and the indigenous community at large. He has sat with Elders and indigenous leaders in the Himalayas, the Andes, and throughout North America, and his recent journey to Standing Rock resulted in the establishment of the Split Rock Sweetwater Prayer Camp in northern New Jersey. He is also currently working to establish the first Embassy of Sovereign Indigenous Nations of the Western Hemisphere.

Perry lives with his wife, Pat, at his childhood home in Hillburn. He has two daughters and a granddaughter.

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