The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Aquinnah (WTGHA) Leadership Exchange

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah (WTGHA) Leadership Exchange

In 2021, The SNEP Network awarded technical assistance to the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah to help with the finalization of their Tribal Climate Adaptation Plan. The Network helped identify priority actions and funding solutions for the implementation of their priority projects. In May of 2022, The SNEP Network worked with the Wampanoeg Tribe to host a Tribal Climate Leadership Exchange on Martha’s Vineyard. As part of the Leadership Exchange, the SNEP Network has produced Season 2 of The Leadership Exchange Podcast, hosted by SNEP Network Partner, Kyle Gray (Throwe Environmental. LLC). 

To learn more about the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Aquinnah, you can visit their website at wampanoagtribe-nsn.gov. Special thanks to community leaders from the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Aquinnah that were generous enough to share their stories throughout this season.

The Leadership Exchange Podcast is presented by the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) Network and Throwe Environmental. The SNEP Network is a project of the New England Environmental Finance Center and is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Southeast New England Program. To learn more about our work with WTGHA, please visit throwe-environmental.com/WTGHA or SNEPNetwork.org. And don’t forget to catch up on earlier seasons of The Leadership Exchange Podcast with Wareham, Massachusetts!

Episode 0: Trailer
Description:
Welcome back to Season 2 of The Leadership Exchange Podcast, hosted by Kyle Gray (Throwe Environmental. LLC). This season you’ll learn about the climate challenges faced by Martha’s Vineyard’s earliest inhabitants, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Aquinnah (WTGHA). You’ll hear directly from Tribal members, learning about their unique perspectives and experiences, and how these experiences open doors to new opportunities.

Episode 1: The Wampanoag Tribe and Climate Change
Description:
Get ready to meet the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head, Aquinnah, in this introductory episode of Season 2 of The Leadership Exchange Podcast. In this episode, you’ll hear directly from Wampanoag Tribal Council member and Elder, Kristina Hook; Historic Preservation Officer, Bettina Washington; and Tribal Ranger and Keeper of the Gay Head Light, Chris Manning. Our guests will discuss ways in which they are already seeing the impacts of climate change in their community. We’ll also ask them about the idea of “trust responsibility” before ending the episode with a simple question – what does the land mean to you? As you’ll come to learn throughout this episode, the answer is quite plainly “everything.”

Episode 2: Natural Resource Protection
Description: 
The Wampanoag Tribe relies on the natural resources found on Martha’s Vineyard for sustenance, medicine, and more. In this episode of The Leadership Exchange Podcast you’ll hear from the Tribe’s Director of Natural Resources, Bret Sterns; Chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltias; Tribal member Barbara Gentry; and Tribal Ranger and Keeper of the Gay Head Light, Chris Manning. They’ll discuss the various resources found on the island, such as scallops, herring, and cranberries, and how these resources have changed over time. They’ll also tell us about sustenance rights and describe the programs the Tribe’s “small but mighty” natural resources department has put in place to ensure these rights for future generations. Finally, we’ll end with ways the Tribe is overcoming obstacles to keep its history and culture alive for generations to come.

Episode 3: Housing and Economic Development
Description:
While the environmental impacts of climate change are often front and center, the social and economic impacts can be just as important. In this episode of The Leadership Exchange Podcast, you’ll hear from WTGHA Tribal Elder, Carole Vandel; Historic Preservation Officer, Bettina Washington; and Tribal member, Barbara Gentry, as they discuss the WTGHA’s mission to bring members home. Throughout the episode you’ll learn that for the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), separating climate chance from critical community conversations around housing and economic development are impossible. 

Episode 4: Capacity and Investment 
Description:
Sufficient funding and capacity are two of the biggest hurdles-and  catalysts- when it comes to acting on climate change. Communities across the country, including Tribes, often face funding and capacity constraints that limit how quickly and the scale at which they can implement priority climate projects. In our final episode of the season, the WTGHA Chairwomen Cheryl Andrews-Maltais; Tribal Elder and Council member Kristina Hook; and Acting Chief of Staff share how the Tribe is funded and their experience navigating the world of climate funding, financing, and investment. 

Visit SNEP Network Partner, Throwe Environmental’s website for more project information: