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News Release

Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe

Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe of Plymouth, Massachusetts, was recently awarded a one year $100,000 operating support grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation of Quincy, Massachusetts. The grant will support the continuing efforts of the Tribe’s mission to preserve, promote, and protect the cultural, spiritual and economic well-being of its tribal members, the education of Tribal youth and the preservation of their tribal homeland -- and to promote awareness among the public about tribal history and rights. 

“The Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe is extremely grateful for the generosity and support that we’ve received from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation,” says Melissa (Harding) Ferretti, Chairwoman of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe. "Like tribal nations throughout the United States today, the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe still faces the destructive impacts of colonialism. As a Native people who have retained our deep connection to our homeland, we are thrilled and honored to partner with an organization that appreciates and recognizes the valuable work that tribal nations are doing in our society today. “

As a state-recognized Tribe and a typically underserved community of color, the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe will use this grant for the long-term goal of expanding their tribal education initiatives and sharing their community-based knowledge with educators outside of the Tribe who are likewise committed to multicultural education that is genuinely inclusive of the diversity and richness of Indigenous peoples’ knowledges and histories in New England.

The one-year grant will help to establish a strong partnership between Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. It will support the Tribe’s long-term vision of sovereignty and self-determination and help to build organizational capacity, support their many educational initiatives, preserve tribal community-based knowledge, promote tribal values.

“Our Foundation is proud to stand up with and behind our partners at the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, a community at the heart of our region,” said Nicholas C. Donohue, President & CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. “We look forward to supporting their mission as they lead efforts to advance racial equity in education for youth and community members throughout the region.”

About the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe 

The Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe and its Tribal Council currently operates in the town of Plymouth Massachusetts as a non-profit 501(c)(3) and is a registered Public Charity in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Herring Pond Wampanoag homelands are in Plymouth (Plimoth Colony) to the upper parts of Cape Cod (Bourne, Sandwich). Present in this region for thousands of years.

The mission of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe is to strengthen the awareness and study of the history language and pride of the Wampanoag Nation and to preserve, promote, and protect the common welfare, cultural, spiritual, and economic well-being of our tribal members, particularly our tribal youth. Our cultural heritage, our relationship to our sacred and ceremonial places within our ancient homeland, and our community-based values are the core of our Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribal identity and heritage. Our Tribal Council and our non-profit tribal organization (Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, Inc.) are committed to ensuring that our youth will be prepared for a strong future as self-determining citizens of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe of Plymouth County, Massachusetts. In addition to the foregoing purposes the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe will also participate in the civic, educational, charitable, and religious development and needs of the Herring Pond Wampanoag community.

For more information on the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe and the valuable work the organization is doing, please visit

About the Nellie Mae Education Foundation

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation is committed to using our power and privilege as a philanthropic institution to advance racial equity in public education. We are committed to championing efforts to prioritize community goals that challenge racial inequities and advance excellent, student-centered public education for all New England youth. We are proud to have been part of efforts over the last ten years to advance personalized, student-centered approaches to learning across the New England region. We learned that for student-centered practices to flourish, the structural racial inequities present in our education system needed to be addressed. We are focusing our grantmaking on addressing structural racism and white supremacy in our education system, so that all youth have access to an excellent and equitable public education.

For more information about Nellie Mae Education Foundation, please visit

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