The mission of the New Jersey Commission on American Indian Affairs is:
  • To ensure that the American Indian Tribal members and communities within the State of New Jersey have full opportunities for their own cultural, educational, social, economic, physical, mental health, and welfare development, as well as continue to contribute to and participate in the on-going life and development of the State's extended family.
  • To develop close communication among the state's American Indian communities, with the State and federal governments, educational institutions, organizations, as well as the people of the State in general.
  • To promote understanding and knowledge about the history and culture of the American Indian communities of the State, in order to improve the quality of life for all people in the State of New Jersey.
Commission Members
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno
ex officio

Lewis J. Pierce, Jr.
Commission Chair
Representing the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe

Urie Ridgeway
Representing the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe

JoAnne Hawkins
Representing the Powhatan Renape Tribe

Barbara D. Jefferson
Representing the Powhatan Renape Tribe

Steven Burton
Representing the Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation

Representing the Inter-Tribal People

Representing the Inter-Tribal People

Member Bio's

Rowena Madden, Lt. Governor’s Designee


Contact the NJ Commission on
American Indian Affairs
NJ Commission on American Indian Affairs
P.O. Box 300
Trenton, NJ 08625

Tel: (609) 633-9627
Fax: (609) 777-2939

Email: Feedback@sos.nj.gov
Translator Disclaimer
NJ Commission on American Indian Affairs banner

Image of Autumn Wind ScottThe New Jersey Commission on American Indian Affairs is saddened by the passing of its Chair, Autumn Wind Scott, who represented the Ramapough Lunaape, and was an voice for American Indian rights for over 20 years. She was a lecturer and public speaker on American Indian contemporary social issues, was an award winning artist, and worked in the fashion industry for over three decades. As part of her Commission work she co-authored the New Jersey State Cultural Sensitivity Training for the law enforcement community. As a result of her commitment to Native People, she was honored to have been asked to give the opening remarks at the United Nations, for the World’s Indigenous People’s Summit in 2002. Autumn Wind was devoted to her family and her community, and she will be greatly missed.

About the Commission

The New Jersey Commission on Native American Affairs was created by P.L.1134, c. 295, and signed into law on December 22, 1995, by Governor Christine Todd Whitman. It was placed within the New Jersey Department of State. Later legislation changed the name to the New Jersey Commission on American Indian Affairs. Its first meeting was held on April 18, 1997 and it continues to meet regularly in Trenton, usually on the third Wednesday of the month. The Commission is covered by the Open Public Meetings Act.

The Commission serves as a liaison among the tribes and the State and Federal governments. It is empowered to develop programs and projects to further understanding of New Jersey's American Indian history and culture.

There are nine members of the Commission: the Secretary of State, serving ex officio, and eight public members. The public members, who are recommended by their tribes and organizations and appointed by the Governor, consist of two members from each of the following: Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indians, Powhatan Renape Indians, Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation, and Inter-Tribal People. Inter-Tribal People refers to American Indian people who reside in New Jersey, but are members of federally and/or State-recognized tribes in other states.


Government Resources

The Office Minority and Multicultural Health located in the Department of Health and Senior Services is committed to helping people in New Jersey's diverse communities live longer, healthier lives.

For more information, contact Linda J. Holmes at (609) 292-6962 or visit their website

Office of Native American Affairs in the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Office of Native American Affairs ensures that American Indians, Native Alaskans and Native Hawaiians seeking to create, develop and expand small businesses have full access to the necessary business development and expansion tools available through the Agency's entrepreneurial development, lending and procurement programs. We encourage you to locate us at: http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html or you may contact us at (202) 205-7364.

US Department of the Interior - Indian Affairs


Frances C. Allen Fellowships
This fellowship is for women of Native American heritage, to encourage them in their studies of the humanities and social sciences.
visit their website

Native American Political Leadership Program
Reminder that the NAPLP Scholarship is offered during the Spring semester only
SIW Admissions
George Washington University, 1922 F Street, NW, Room 404-B
Washintgon, DC 20052
Phone: (202)994-8908
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American Indians Committee of the DAR
American Indian Scholarship
This scholarship is intended to help Native American college/university and technical school students of any age, any tribe, in any state at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Deadlines: For Fall term, April 1; For Spring term, October 1.
This is a one-time $500 award.
visit their website