By Nicole Dotzenrod
University of Massachusetts alum Danielle Hill has dedicated her life’s work to advocating on the behalf of indigenous tribes. She works as the Senior Planner for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, helping to facilitate the strategic planning for the Tribe, as well as writing grants and creating new programs for the tribal departments.
I will always work on behalf of the betterment of Tribes, whether it be my own or for other Native organizations,” Hill said about her work.
Hill is charged with increasing the financial capacity of the Tribe and helping to expand and make positive changes to the vision and services provided by the tribal government. Hill, who is from Mashpee, Mass., has been working with the tribal government since 2010, and is dedicated to advancing community and economic opportunities for the Tribe.
I grew up on the shores of Cape Cod, living amongst friends and family of the Wampanoag Tribe and embracing the beaches and natural beauty of Cape Cod,” she said. She has also lived and worked in Washington, D.C., New York, and Chicago on behalf of Native American Affairs.
Hill earned a bachelors degree in communications from UMass in 2007.
UMass Amherst provided the outlet to some great internships and semester exchange programs. I left for a semester at studied at American University and interned with the Department of Treasury and the National Science Foundation in Washington DC with a program called WINS- Washington Internships for Native Students, I also interned in Boston with former Governor Deval Patrick and I was also the president of the Native American student support services and a senator with the student government association.
She also earned her masters in Public Administration from the SIT World Learning Graduate Institute in Vermont.
My academic career was focused on making the most of what was out there, meeting people and not obsessing over grades or who’s who. Once you are out of school, employers want to see what type of person you are, not just how well you do in the classroom.
If Hill could give any advice to an undergraduate student, it would be to, “Do whatever you want and don’t worry about money or friends, they both always come and go. Hill is a certified yoga instructor, and says she is, “in love with being healthy and happy,and is passionate about helping to preserve the natural world. She is a member of the board of the Native Land Conservancy, a native-run non-profit that conserves land and facilitates educational activities from a Native American perspective. Hill is a Wampanoag traditionalist, spiritualist, singer and dancer.
As of November 2014, she is a Commissioner and the Native American Representative with the Cape Cod Commission. She is committed to working with the council to find solutions to keep her Tribe moving forward. Learning, teaching, and believing in traditional ways and ceremonies is the key ingredient to unity, healing, and progress for tribes.
In the next five years, Hill hopes to attend Law School and start a family.
The many great new accomplishments and discoveries and realizations that happen every single day is what motivates me to keep thinking, living and loving deeper because it shows that there is more and more and more to life than we know.