Chris Newell (Passamaquoddy) is manager of museum education at the Pequot Museum in Mashantucket, CT and co-founder/director of education for the Akomawt Educational Initiative (Akomawt.org). He leads the development of educational programs for the museum and beyond, changing the narrative of how Native history and contemporary issues are taught at all levels of education. Akomawt Educational Initiative is a natural step enlarging the scope of his work beyond the museum mission to one that encompasses and challenges the way Native peoples are taught about in all aspects of public education and contemporary society.
Urie Ridgeway is a citizen and former Councilmen of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation from Bridgeton NJ. Known throughout the Pow-wow trail as the “Tasmanian Devil” due to his fancy dance style, Urie has served on numerous pow-wow committees as Sound Engineer, Area Director, Master of Ceremonies and Event Coordinator. In addition to his committee roles and abilities as a dancer, he is also a member of the southern style drum group “Red Blanket Singers” that originate from his Tribal nation.
Professionally, Urie is a civil engineer and owner of Red Blanket Entertainment and Sparrow Landscapes. He and his wife Cory reside in South Jersey and travel the pow-wow trail with his seven children.
Head Woman Dancer
Dinée is a citizen of the Navajo Nation, her family is from Tséhootsooí (Ft. Defiance, AZ) and she grew up in Be’eldííl Dah Sinil (Albuquerque, NM). She is Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge) born for Naakai Dine’é (Mexican People). Her maternal grandfather’s clan is Tótsohníí (Big Water) and her paternal grandfather’s clan is Naakai Dine’é. She is also of Yacqui descent.
She received her B.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale University in 2015 and was a member of Ezra Stiles College. She currently serves as the Associate Director of College Horizons, a national pre-college program for Native high school students based out of Bernalillo, New Mexico. Dinée has been fancy shawl and jingle dress dancing since she was 5 years old. This past Spring, she represented the Navajo Nation in the Miss Indian World Pageant and placed as 2nd Runner-up and Best Public Speaker at the Gathering of Nations powwow.
Head Man Dancer
Our Head Man Dancer is EJ Plainbull Jr.! More information to come shortly.