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Ted Herrera, Coahuilteco Nation

Ted Herrera was born in the Coahuiltecan Sacred Land along the Rio Grande where the Peyote grows to Maria Lara, a Tlaxcala, Huichol  Indian.

Joe Joaquin, Tohono O'odham Nation

Joe Joaquin is a member of the Tohono O’Odham Nation (Nation). He was born and raised in Big Fields Community in the Sells District of the Tohono O’Odham Nation.

Norma Lopez, Ute Mountain Ute Nation

Norman Lopez was born and raised in the area of Marianna Springs on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. He was raised by grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lopez until the age of 11 years old.

Marie Meade, Yup'ik Eskimo

Marie is Yup’ik Eskimo from Southwestern Alaska. She was born and raised in Nunapicuaq, little village of about 300 on the tundra between Kuskokwim River and the Bering Sea, Southwest region of Alaska. Her late father Upayuilnguq and his family were from the Kuskokwim River Bay area, and her late mother Narullgiar was from the Nelson Island.

James "Billy" Smith, Poarch Band of Creek Indians

Elder Billy Smith is a member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribe, a federally recognized Tribe located in Southwest Alabama. Billy has been an active member

of the Tribe for 36 years. He served 18 years on theTribal Council and served as Vice-Chairman for 10 years.

Our Elders who have traveled Onward

Leland Debe, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior

Leland Debe, "Awsawdum," died Monday, Feb. 14, 2011, in his home.

He was born in Sawyer, Minn., on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation. He was an enrolled member of the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa. Lee demonstrated a sincere appreciation for those things of the Creator's hand and then nurtured by Sacred Mother Earth. Lee worked for the benefit of Indian people in many capacities.

Roy Doore
Roy Doore, Blackfeet Nation

Elder Roy Doore passed away December 7, 2016. He is now a guardian angel watching over us and at peace with his family members who passed on before him.


AIANEA is honored to have known Elder Roy and to have received his knowledge and support.

James Sappier, Penobscot Nation

Elder James Sappier, Penobscot Nation, passed away on March 31, 2019 after lengthy health concerns that began with pneumonia in the summer of 2018.  Elder Sappier joined the AIANEA Elders Council in 2013, after he was a local Elder presenter at a Working Effectively with American Indians session in Rhode Island.  His participation in that session demonstrated an excellent sharing of spirituality, culture and tradition, which fit well with the Elders Council.  Elder Sappier has a long history of tribal leadership, including multiple terms as Penobscot Chief.  Elder Sappier served his Nation on many levels including Director of Trust Responsibilities, Administrator, Penobscot Representative to Maine, and Lt. Governor.  Elder Sappier was also the Director of the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET).  He was 77.

Louie Dick, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla

Louie Henry Dick Jr. "Squeochs", passed away on Oct 19, 2011.

Louie was born April 11, 1935 at Red Elk Canyon in Thornhollow. He was a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

Jerry Wolfe, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Jerry Wolfe, the first Beloved Man of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in over 200 years, passed away on March 12, 2018 at the age of 93.  A fluent speaker and traditionalist, he was always willing to share his knowledge of the Cherokee culture.

Jerry Wolfe was born on September 28, 1924, to Owen and Lucy Ann Wolfe. He was the baby of the family and had three sisters: Annie, Rose, and Mary. He attended boarding school in Cherokee and joined

the Navy on July 21, 1943.

Loretta Metoxen, Oneida Nation

Born and raised on the Oneida Indian Reservation in Northeast Wisconsin, Loretta entered the U.S. Air Force after graduation from high school in 1950, serving as an Airborne Radar Technician during the

Korean War.

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