My name is Petra Thombs, and I am the Executive Director of the Ramapough Lenape Community Center. This non profit, organization is run by the Ramapough Mountain Indians, Inc. I am a candidate for Unitarian Universalist ministry and a graduate of Union Theological Seminary. I met Chief Perry of the Ramapough through the Center for Earth Ethics. .As a woman of African American and Cherokee heritage, I am on the Red Road to learn and connect with traditions and heritage of Indigenous peoples and Nations. I am supporting the culture and traditions of the Ramapough Lenape. Last year we ran an after school program, summer camp and many cultural programs in the surrounding schools and communities. .
I have been an educator all of my life, serving as a special education teacher, and district administrator. I recognize the tremendous disparities afforded to Indigenous peoples and peoples of Color in general. I am working to be an advocate for parents and students. Racial discrimination has been particularly devastating in North Jersey, affecting education, employment and housing opportunities.
We are working to rebuild our community center, applying for grants, networking with the school system, and beginning to lay the foundation for partnerships which will have positive impacts for the Ramapough Lenape.
2 Projects Created
- SuccessfulSaving Split Rock$4,353 RaisedSTRETCH GOAL $4,000 For Indigenous peoples, a church is not a building but a part of the natural world, a sacred site which they hold dear. The Ramapough Lenape Nation is working to preserve their sacred site, Split Rock or Tahetaway, which means the Gate which Opens. Split Rock is a sacred site, located at the top of their mountain. It is a large turtle bolder, which has been known to have many healing properties. It is considered to be the gateway to the continent; archeologists have qualified it to be designated for historical preservation, like other sites located in Canada. Our goal is to reactivate the site and place a large tipi for holding ceremonies. Anushiik! (Thank you)
- SuccessfulRamapough Lenape Art & Literacy Lab, After School Program$625 RaisedSTRETCH GOAL ADDED: $800 Rampough Lenape Art & Literacy Lab, After School Program! This 8-session pilot program will motivate Lenape middle and high school students, using various forms of literature, literary techniques, history and art to promote self-confidence, creative expression in the natural world and reclaim their cultural heritage.