Our Team

Our Convening Circle...

...has four members from southeast Indigenous communities and our allies. We all share a vision for an Indiginized East Coast.

As our network grows, we are adding more people to our steering committee to make sure everyone's voice is heard. Together, we make decisions that benefit all our communities.

ALEXA SUTTON LAWRENCE, Ph.D. founded Indigenous East. She also started Kedge Consulting, LLC, which helps environmental nonprofits with equity issues. 

She's on the board of NDPonics and is a member of the Saponi Nation of Ohio. Alexa's work focuses on finding and protecting important cultural places for Indigenous, African American, and Afro-Indigenous / Aframerindian peoples.

In her thesis titled "Seeking Home in the Ohio Country: Indigenous Place-Making in the Wake of Forced Migration for Yesą’ Communities in Ohio, Indiana & the Midwest from 1805 - 2005" she explore her family history. They were like many other Saponi, Monacan, Sappony, Occaneechi, and other Yesáh communities forced to relocate to the Ohio River Valley between 1805 and 1860. She explores how these communities preserved their Indigenous or Aframerindian culture and identity despite being uprooted from their original lands.

DOMINIQUE DAYE HUNTER is the Program Manager for Indigenous East. 

She has a BS degree in Non-Profit Leadership Management with a focus on American Indian Studies. Dominique's job is to help communities tell their stories, heal, grow, and feel empowered. She's particularly dedicated to supporting Black, Indigenous, Afro-Indigenous, neuro-divergent, and disabled communities. Dominique is a poet, artist, and fashion designer. Through her work, she explores the connections between history, trauma, and healing in Black and Indigenous communities. The author and illustrator of Seeds: Stories of Afro-Indigenous Resilience, Dominique was a 2021 and 2022 Arizona Commission on the Arts Artist Investment Program cohort member.

DAISY PURDY, Ph.D. started the Inclusive Community Cooperative (ICC) to help communities with engagement, equity, advocacy, and access.

She is dedicated to community-based conservation that centers Indigenous priorities in her roles as Vice President at National Wildlife Federation, and co-founder of Honor Water.  

Daisy participates in ultra-marathon roller skating to raise awareness about environmental justice and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives movement. 

She has served as an Associate Provost, a professor, and a student affairs professional at both domestic and international universities and has applied research in land management policy and practice, and queer Afro-Indigeneity.

Daisy's first PhD is in Politics and International Affairs from Northern Arizona University, and her second PhD is in Ecology (Sciences) from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.  

She co-chaired the Commission for Disability Access and Design, and taught as an experiential Field Instructor for Wild Rockies Field Institute.  Her maternal family is of Shaconage and her paternal family are colonizers from Canada. 

CRYSTAL CAVALIER KECK, Ph.D., Crystal Cavalier Keck, Ph.D., is an advocate for environmental and policy issues. She has a strong background in nonprofit and government work, specializing in global information management.

Skilled in negotiation, policy analysis, and environmental justice, Crystal plays a key role in developing strategies and policies for campaigns. She also leads mass communications to delegates and the public.

Crystal earned her Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina (Greensboro), her Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina (Pembroke), and her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Development from the University of Dayton.

LIA CHEEK, the Senior Regional Director of the East for The Wilderness Society, leads the expansion of TWS's programs across the East and ensures they match the organization's conservation goals. The Wilderness Society's Eastern region stretches from Maine to Georgia.

Before joining The Wilderness Society, Lia was the National Field Campaign Director for the Endangered Species Coalition. There, she developed and managed wildlife conservation campaigns country-wide. Lia holds a Bachelor of Science in Ecology from Dartmouth College and is completing her Master's in Global Environmental Policy from American University this Fall. She spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, focusing on community-based marine conservation.

Lia brings extensive experience in strategy, grassroots organizing, and environmental policy to her work. She's dedicated to finding globally relevant solutions to decolonize and strengthen conservation efforts. Lia received the 2020 Mardy Murie Spirit of Conservation award for emerging leaders.

Lia lives in Washington DC with her husband. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, reading, and planning her next trekking or diving adventure. Lia is Afro-Latina, Taino, and African American.