Chief Dwaine Perry, of the Ramapough-Lunaape Nation Munsee, is no stranger to the front line. Chief Perry mentored under the Honorable Conrad Lynn, an internationally-known civil rights attorney who throughout his career had walked with Dr. King, John Lewis, and many others. Chief Perry helped to integrate the first barbershop in Suffern, N.Y. in 1966 when he and other young friends were refused service for reasons no one understood.
In 1971, Chief Perry was instrumental in establishing Rockland Community 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.
Perry continues to champion human and environmental rights today whereby the Ramapough are proposing a constitutional amendment stating that all people have a right to clean water.
Chief Perry’s primary focus today is over issues concerning the Ramapough Lunaape Nation’s survival—as the Ramapough face quiet genocide; the challenges of the care of the land, and the protection of the water; and
The harkening of an ancient Prophesy which says:
Much Danger is coming upon the people, the land and the waters, you are to remember the old ways, do not be afraid but to join in unity, hold ceremony and Gather in your lodges at night and pray….
To that end, Chief Perry is more than humbled as he continues to be among those who stand for peace.