Guiding Council

GEDAKINA follows a traditional indigenous methodology of leadership where leadership has equal Voice – and decisions are made through consensus; with careful deliberation of how decisions will impact the current and next seven generations.

Judy Dow, (Winooski Abenaki), Executive Director of SABA, and a life-long award-winning educator who specializes in sharing indigenous knowledge with children. Judy is also on the Board of Directors for OYATE and the Native American Scouting Association. (Essex, Vermont)

Ashley Smith, PhD, (Abenaki descent) – received her Ph.D. in Anthropology and American Indian Studies at Cornell University and is currently an Assistant Professor at Hampshire College. Prior to attending college, Ashley was a resident of Madison, Maine, where her family still resides and that has family ties to Nanrantsouak/Norridgewock Village. (Belchertown, Massachusetts)

Elizabeth James-Perry – an enrolled member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe on the island of Noepe (Marthas Vineyard). With a degree in Marine Science from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth 2001, she has off-shore commercial fisheries research experience, and published independent Native research projects. Her work has appeared in Native People’s Magazine, Native Fashion Now, and First American Art magazine. She was a recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Councils 2014 Traditional Arts Fellowship from Massachusetts Cultural Council, resides in South Coast Massachusetts and is employed in her communities Tribal Historic Preservation Office.

Kristi Ricker, ADN, (Passamaquoddy) – working to serve Native communities is a passion and a career.  With degrees in Social Studies and experience working in the health and public health sectors she is focused on developing programs and services for those tribal people living with substance use disorder and those who are actively in recovery.