Melissa Ferretti

Born in Wareham (Toby Hospital), the daughter of Bernard Marsden Harding (Herring Pond Wampanoag), raised in Cedarville/South Plymouth by Verna May Harding (Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribal Elder). Melissa attended Plymouth Carver School system most of her life and graduated from Pembroke Academy, NH. She attended Cape Cod Community College and studied Information Technology. She is a happily married Mother of two wonderful sons and a proud Grandmother of four.

Her professional career began in early 1998 in a position at the Town of Mashpee, Town Clerk’s office.  She then worked for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe as the Executive Administrative Assistant for a few years.  In 2003 Melissa went on to become a Commonwealth of Massachusetts licensed Real Estate Sales Associate and Notary Public -- she still holds these designations today and is currently affiliated with Jack Conway & Company.  She is the former Vice President of Operations for Select Staffing of MA, a position she held for over 6 years. Currently alongside her real estate work she does freelance research, consulting, and back office/bookkeeping.  

Melissa is proudly beginning her third term as the elected Chairwoman of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe located in Plymouth / Bournedale MA. She volunteers much of her time to better her community. In her dedicated role as chairwoman she has worked tirelessly on the many initiatives and challenges that indigenous communities face on an everyday basis. Some of the work she has dedicated her time to, includes but is not limited to the youth empowerment and grant programming, protection of sacred sites and ancestral burial grounds, tribal archival research, documentation and digitization, advocacy for tribal rights and self-determination, mental health, substance use, addiction and prevention. She is passionate about educating the non-native public about the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe and its rich, well documented history. In Spring 2020 she co-taught an undergraduate course alongside Dr Amy Den Ouden at the University of Massachusetts Boston in the Women’s Gender Studies Department, namely Indigenous Women’s Leadership and Tribal Nation Self Determination.