Chief Dwaine Perry, of the Ramapough-Lunaape Nation, is no stranger to the front line. Chief Perry mentored under the Honorable Conrad Lynn; who was an internationally known civil rights attorney whom 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 were by the Ramapough are proposing a constitutional amendment stating that all people have a right to clean water. Chief Perry’s primary focus is on issues concerning the Ramapough Lunaape Nation’s survival, the care of the land, 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 of the Ramapo, you are too remember the old ways, do not be afraid but to join in unity, hold the ceremony and Gather in your lodges at night and pray…. To that end, I am more than humbled to be among you and all who stand for peace.”