Our Tribal Council

Tenah Richardson, Tribal Chair

My name is Tenah Richardson. I am an enrolled member of the Nipmuc Nation and currently serving as Chair on the Tribal Council. I am a direct descendant of the Pegan/Wilson family line. Currently I reside in Ware, Massachusetts and work as a Home Health Care Aide. I also own and operate my own salon business. I have proudly served our community on council as a councilwoman for over 14 years.

My leadership focus as I work with my team of councilors is to help foster unity, encourage community involvement, and create strong working connections between the Bands.

As Tribal Chair, I hope that you would feel comfortable to ask me any questions as aid relates to my commitment and experience serving the Nation. Thank you!

Candia Flynn, Vice Chair

My name is Candia Flynn. I am an enrolled member of the Nipmuc Nation and currently serving as Vice-Chair on the Tribal Council. I am the daughter of former Sub Chief, Charles Everett Richardson, and am a direct descendant of the Pegan/Wilson family line. Currently, I reside in Unceded Mohawk Territory just outside of Montreal where I am an educator at Kahnawake Survival School here on the reserve. I prioritize my traditional values and teachings as they are essential in my role as an Indigenous Educator. I use my medicines and love to share what I have learned with others and am thankful for the teachings I receive in return. I enjoy crafting with a heavy focus on ribbon skirt making as I feel strongly it provides a connection to our ancestors and healing. 

I believe It is the concerns, needs, and goals of the membership that should drive the Tribal Council’s vision and agenda. We are in a very exciting time of transition and are blessed to have a  community full of talented individuals with many gifts to share.  I am excited to see us continue to grow as a tribal community and provide greater member access and to cultural learning and maximize participation for all. 

As a Tribal Council Councilor, I hope that you would feel comfortable to ask me any questions as it relates to my commitment and experience serving the Nation. Thank you!

Jennifer Vickers, Treasure

My name is Jennifer Vickers, Nippi88e Tinnogkukquas, Pond Frog.  I am an enrolled member of the Nipmuc Nation and currently serving as treasure on the Tribal Council.  I am the daughter of Daughter of Albert C Vickers-Drifting Eagle feather, Granddaughter of Albert C Vickers Sr. Fields, Great Granddaughter of Frederick Chandler Vickers, and am a direct descendant of the Curliss family line.  Currently, I reside in unceded Territory of the Duwamish Peoples and Co-Salish Tribes just north of Seattle, Washington. 

As an Indigenous granddaughter, daughter, busy mother of 2, sister, auntie, cousin, advocate, and member of my local Indigenous community, I’m passionate, outspoken and committed to building a sustainable future for the next seven generations. 

I bring experience from my current 13 years in philanthropy managing investment, both grants and contracts. I currently sit on the executive board of the Potlatch Fund, a Pacific Northwest Native nonprofit. I work with many of the local urban Seattle area Native organizations and lead the Employee Resource Group (ERG) where I am employed bringing about awareness and education opportunities regarding both domestic and global Indigenous topics. As a relatively newcomer to tribal council matters, I accepted this position to assist in bringing structure, unity and creating access for all of our Nipmuc relatives. 

Fran Richardson Garnett, Council Member

My name is Frances Richardson Garnett.  I am an enrolled member of the Nipmuc Nation and currently serving as a member of the Nipmuc Nation Tribal Council.  My direct descendant 5th generation grandfather is Joseph Peagan. He was a US War Veteran; a  Revolutionary Soldier. 

The succession of my grandfather’s are Edward, James, George M. and George M.M. Pegan/Wilson who is Chief Thunderbird and was Medicine Man of Hassanamisco.  I reside in the Nipmuc Homelands of Middlesex County  in Massachusetts. I am retired from the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Having worked there as a Human Resources Professional in Recruitment and Employee Relations.  I have served my Nation on the Tribal Council for many years serving on several committees.

It is my hope for the future generations that the Nipmuc Nation continues to move forward through these challenging times. And, with the participation of the Nipmuc Nation people. 

 

 

Tia Eady, Council Member

My name is Tia Adams (Wilson) Eady.  I am an enrolled member of the Nipmuc Nation and currently serving as a member of the Tribal Council.   I am the great granddaughter of George M. “Chief Thunderbird” Wilson, direct descendant of the Pegan/Wilson family line.  I currently reside in unceded Chickahominy Territory just outside of Williamsburg, VA.   Professionally, I am Assistant Vice President, Head of Digital (Cloud) Architecture for a fortune 500 professional services company and honored to service the executive sponsor for our Black, Latinx and Indigenous affinity group (BLING).   

I have served our illustrious tribe for many years, as an organizer of children’s activities at tribal functions, directed and participated in educational initiatives including primary school programs and also Indigenous cookbooks, to name a few.  I prioritize my traditional values and ancestorial connection as they are essential to our community’s health and well-being. 

I answered the call of the tribal council to continue in service to our members.  Using my technical background, I hope to assist the council in building a solid technical foundation to ensure we can effectively and efficiently serve the needs Nipmuc community.  The concerns, needs, and goals of the membership drive the Tribal Council’s agenda. We are excited to see the membership grow as a tribal community as we provide greater member access to cultural learning and maximize participation for everyone.

Thank you for affording me the opportunity to serve you.

Justin Wilson, Council Member

My name is Justin Wilson, I was born on the 5th day of November 1973 in Worcester Massachusetts. In 1982 my mother, younger sister and I moved to Southern California where I remain a resident of Los Angeles county in the city of Long Beach. I maintain the head of household as a single parent to my youngest son, however I am a supportive father of five.

My childhood was full of love with many lessons extended from my mother, and inherited traits from my father who was on paper George M. Wilson III however in reality was George M. the 4th one of the Grandsons of Chief Thunderbird of the Wilson/Pegan Family. Suffering from a culture shock from leaving Worcester to growing up in South Lod Angeles, I had to adapt to my new environment, which caused me to execute my determination and motivation to survive. The misunderstanding of my feelings and emotions led to bad decision making and practices that resulted in loyalty that confined me to the streets for many years.

In 1992 at the age of 18, I graduated from Westchester High School in Los Angeles, which was preceded by the birth of my oldest daughter and the admission into a Community College to master the trade of carpentry like my father. My ambition and dedication to a lifestyle that I once embraced definitely contributed to the spiritual, physical, and mental consequences that I endured.

Moving forward, carpentry for me became a thing of the past as I was then transitioning into a grateful, appreciative, obedient, and humble soul. I have taken so much away, my solution was to give back, so I wrote a book that was self-published in 2017 titled “The Art of Bangin’” with the intent to encourage strength and hope to our struggling youth. Due to my compassion and wanting the best for others, also in 2017 I began my career as a Drug & Alcohol counselor. In 2020, I graduated from Long Beach City College with an Associate in Arts degree in Human Services Addiction Studies.

My goal is to attend Cal State University Dominguez Hills to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and then obtain a Masters degree in Social Work. I have a passion for helping others in any kind of way that I can, which also helps me to stay honest with myself about who Justin is and provides me with the qualities I need to continue to extend the care and support that our people need.

Glenda Hines, Council Member

My name is Glenda Vernell Wilson-Hines, I am the great granddaughter of Chief Thunder Bird also known as George M Wilson. In November 1960 I was born in Worcester Massachusetts to Paula Mae Wilson-Goolsby and Calvin Ford. Currently I serve as a member of The Nipmuc Tribal Council.

We moved to Springfield mass in the late 60’s. Where I began my early childhood education then graduated from Springfield Technical High School and the Reserve Officers Training Program. In 1979 right after giving birth to me oldest daughter I began a 30-year career in behavioral health. I worked as direct care staff at Monson State Hospital, where I learned to work with severely challenged and disabled people. Working with disabled people helped me to quickly gained a unique perspective of life. One of appreciation, respect, and the need to help others. From here I started a life of service to others.

My second daughter was born in 1982. Now a mother of two I was ready to expand my life experiences beyond my hometown of Springfield. In 1992 we moved to California. While raising my daughters as a single mom, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Service and continued to work as Case Manager and Operations Manager Chemical Dependency Facilities. 

The highest form of service came into my life when I became a member of the Morningland International Community a Sanctuary of Peace and Meditation, I spent 25 years within this larger community of good people helping others in need. While developing a new mindset for modern living.  

Throughout the years, the history and struggles of the Nipmuc have always been kept alive and close to my heart. Many of my family member have served on the Nipmuc Tribal Council and have endured the struggle to make sure our voices have been heard. Because of them I am here today as a member of the Nipmuc Tribal Council.