Sunday, March 8, 2015

"Native American Threads Still Part of County Fabric" NAAC In the News! - Cape May County

………“Many county residents might be surprised to learn that the Leni-Lenape are still active within our area. Tyrese (pronounced Ty-ese with a silent "r" which means "flower" in Seminole) Gould is the manager of the Native Advancement Corp. She also is the daughter of the chief of the tribe that has its epicenter in Bridgeton. This organization has been implementing federal and state grants for over 20 years to improve the lives of the disadvantaged.

In 2009, the corporation was successful in applying for grants from the federal level Department of Energy administered through N.J.'s Department of Community Affairs to weatherize homes for people under a certain income level termed "impoverished” in Cape May County as well as Atlantic County.

“When we first heard we would be working in Cape May County, we thought we were going to the highest income area of N.J. but what we've discovered is quite the opposite. I would call Cape May County 'the land of the forgotten' with a huge pocket of poverty - the people are so nice but many are truly poor and these needy people live throughout the county not just in one area,' said Gould. The Native American Advancement Corp. is now serving over 375 homes in the two counties where they are presently active, Cape May County and Atlantic County.

The Corporation offers a full menu of insulation, heating replacement and energy efficiency improvements within the guidelines of DOE audits through the approximately 8.5 million dollars they have received from DCA since 2009. Corporation workers are not limited to Native Americans although the corporation itself is the only one in N.J. run by a Native American tribe in this grant program. The corporation also trains the employees who go out on the various jobs under the grants.

“We are so happy to be able to help people who are really in need," continued Gould. "My grandmother used to tell me stories that when she was growing up she wasn't allowed to ever admit outside the home that she was Native American, so I feel proud we have this opportunity to do good for others and also teach and employ people who need jobs," continued Gould.”………..

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