Representatives of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs joined others, including the Maryland Commission on African History and Culture, in an online gathering to celebrate the start of American Indian Heritage Month.
November has also been proclaimed Native American Heritage Month or National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, among others.
Community awards were announced during the virtual kickoff Monday, and there were also panel discussions.
“During the entire month, we recognize and honor the historical and cultural significance of the American Indian community here in Maryland by celebrating not just today but each day in November,” said Lisa Savoy, a Piscataway of Charles County and the chair of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs.
Many Piscataway, also known as Conoy, live in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s and Wicomico counties.
The land that became Maryland was home mostly to members of the Algonquin Indian Nation, including the Choptank, the Delaware, the Matapeake and the Nanticoke.
The first tribes recognized by Maryland in 2012 were the Piscataway-Conoy Tribe and the Piscataway Indian Nation, both part of the Algonquin Nation.
“We celebrate this month, yet are reminded of the turbulent times we all face during COVID-19 and the social climate we all face here in our great state,” Savoy said.
The Maryland commission has undertaken several initiatives, including distributing personal protective equipment to tribal communities throughout the state.