Honoring Indigenous Veterans of Turtle Island Committee

Committee Co-Chairs:

Charles B. Smith Jr., Seaconke Wampanoag Tribal Nation

Lorén M. Spears, Narragansett Tribal Nation


Maija Hill, Narragansett Tribal Nation* 

Silvermoon LaRose, Narragansett Tribal Nation

Darlene Bruce-Spencer, Treasurer, Pokanoket Wampanoag Tribal Nation 

Maryann Mathews, Manissean Tribal Council

John Pompey, Narragansett Tribal Nation* 

Ilana Rose, South County Sunrise

Angel Beth Smith, Secretary, Narragansett Tribal Nation

Robin Spears Jr., Narragansett Tribal Nation* 

Deborah Spears-Moorehead, Seaconke Wampanoag Tribal Nation 

Candyce Testa, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation*

Bella Noka, Narragansett Tribal Nation

Randy Noka, Narragansett Tribal Nation

Bobby Jones, Narragansett Tribal Nation

Kristine Jones, Seaconke Wampanoag Pokanoket Tribal Nation 

Chrystal Mars Baker, Narragansett Tribal Nation


Candyce Testa

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

"The Indigenous Veteran’s Memorial is a reminder to the world that not only are we still here, but so are the spirits of our warrior ancestors who serve and protect us regardless of genocidal efforts against them. And so in this way, we honor them, uyách!"


Maija Hill 

Narragansett Tribal Nation

Veteran Service Representative

Department of Veteran Affairs

"Hello, my name is Maija Hill, I am a member of The Narragansett Tribe, a veteran of the US Army, and proud mother of 3. The daughter of a US Air Force Korean War veteran, mother to a daughter who is currently serving in the US Air Force and mother of a son, who is also a veteran of the US Army. I am honored to serve on this advisory, which is a long overdue tribute to our ancestors who have gone before us".

 “Deeds Not Words.”

John Pompey

Tribal Council, Narragansett Tribal Nation

"I’m tribal councilman John Great Wolf Pompey of the Narragansett Indian Tribe. I’m a 21 year retired veteran of the army. All veterans are honored every year,  it’s about time we recognize and honor Indigenous veterans.  This Monument will be a great start." 

Robin Spears Jr., 

Narragansett Tribal Nation

Lt. Environmental Police, Narragansett Tribal Nation

"As a veteran, it is nice that Native Americans are being recognized for their service in the armed forces". 

Deborah Spears-Moorehead

 Seaconke Wampanoag Tribal Nation

"Native Americans, men and woman, have fought  in every war to protect our nation. They should always be honored with the highest honor and respect.  If it wasn't for their sacrifice we would not have the freedom and quality of life that we experience every day." 

Lorén M. Spears

Narragansett Tribal Nation 

Exc. Director, Tomaquag Museum

"My father, grandfathers, and many other relatives are veterans or serving in the military today. It is important for us to honor the sacrifice of Indigenous people who even to this day have the highest number per capita of service in the US armed forces."

Charles B. Smith Jr.

Seaconke Wampanoag Tribal Nation

Cemetery Specialist, RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery 

  “ Every nationality in the Rhode Island Veteran Cemetery has a memorial marker stone to commemorate their service that they gave their all for this country.  Native Americans are the only group that does not have a memorial marker stone.  This is the reason why I founded The Intertribal Monument Project. I believe Native American Veterans should be honored with a memorial at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery because of all nationalities, they have fought in every war this country has ever  been in. My father Charles B Smith Sr. fought in three wars -World War II,  Korea, and Vietnam.”  

Silvermoon LaRose

Narragansett Tribal Nation 

Asst Director, Tomaquag Museum

"Ayeuteaen is the word for warrior in the Narragansett language. In our community, our warriors are those who give themselves to the service and care for others. This monument project will recognize those who have given of themselves to serve this country and represent our tribal communities, to protect Turtle Island, our home and our people.  Native people have the highest per-capita involvement in all branches of the armed forces than any population serving at five times the national average and have served in every war since the Revolutionary war. Native people are more represented in the military than the general population! They serve and they do so proudly and we want to recognize them for their service and honor their contributions through this Veterans Monument Project.” 

Bobby "Thunderhawk" Jones

Narragansett Tribal Nation

"It's an honor to be part of this committee to give tribute to our Native American veterans. I am a Narragansett Indian tribal elder who also has family who are veterans that include my grandfather, uncle's and many other relatives. I also feel that it's so important to remember our Native veterans who sacrificed and gave so much to this country. So, it's my hope to bring to light our honored Native veterans who have passed on and also with us today. Their honorable service should always be remembered."

Angel Beth Smith

 Narragansett Tribal Nation

"This project is important to me because my dad is buried there and I am delighted that our people are being honored for their service to this country."

Darlene Bruce-Spencer, 

Pokanoket Wampanoag Tribal Nation 

"I am passionate about being on the Honoring Indigenous Veterans community because many of my family both male and female have put their lives on the line so we can live in freedom.  My earliest memories are of my family and community show respect and honor to our veterans". 

Ilana Rose

 South County Sunrise 

"Building a memorial to honor Indigenous veterans of Turtle Island is a Native-led and historical endeavor that I am excited to support!"

Maryann Gobern Mathews

Manissean Tribal Council President

"Pleased to work in an effort to show appreciation for and memorialize our tribal veterans who served proudly and honorably to protect our home lands and nations".

Bella Noka

Narragansett Tribal Nation

"Our warriors would prefer peace over war however they never hesitate to defend the people, land, and their beliefs. The honor doesn't come from man, it comes from the Creator. Our warriors must be recognized and never forgotten. Aho!"

Randy Noka

Narragansett Tribal Nation

"Native Americans per capita serve in the armed forces more than any other ethnicity. I am honored to be part of this project. My father and brother were both in the Army, specifically the 82nd Airborne Division. This monument is long overdue, our veterans must be recognized!"

Chrystal Mars Baker 

Narragansett Tribal Nation

Education Manager for Tomaquag Museum

"I am one daughter of the late Rev. Roland C. Mars, a U.S. Air Force Vietnam Wartime Veteran who is now laid to rest in the Veterans Cemetery, Exeter RI.  It is my honor to serve on a committee whose mission is to pay homage to Indigenous men and women who have given and continue to give their lives in service to Turtle Island for generations past, present, and into the future."

Kristine Jones, PhD

Seaconke Wampanoag Pokanoket Tribal Nation

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences/Clinical Faculty Member for MPH program

“I am truly honored to be part of this committee. Many of my ancestors have been in many wars and are buried in this cemetery including just recently my uncle who was a Korean War Veteran. Our Native warriors gave so much to this country and it’s an honor to be part of a project that gives honor to them.”

Team Members         Volunteers   Tomaquag Staff

Jim Bessel - RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery

Noel Corriveau - Douglas Construction

Peggy Malcom - RI Advisory on Historic Cemeteries

Craig Spears - Craig Spears Masonry

Kinter Van Horn - Keogh Construction

Briana Auclair

Evan McManamy

Armand Perault

Denise Costello

Laurel Spears

Caitee Winkler

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Honoring Indigenous Vets Monument project! This could not be complete without your help.