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Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Celebrates American Indian Heritage Month at Salisbury University

ANNAPOLIS, MD –┬áThe Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives and the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs today hosted a 2016 American Indian Heritage Month kick-off event at Salisbury University. Festivities included traditional food, guest speakers, cultural presentations, and dancing.

“Today, we reflect on the history of American Indians in our state, celebrate the present, and share hopes and goals for the future,” said Steven McAdams, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.

Members of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs all played a role during the celebration, from presenting tribal flags in the Grand Entry to specially acknowledging those veterans in attendance. Natosha Norwood Carmine, the first female chief of the Nanticoke Indian Tribe, delivered the keynote address and spoke of the positive changes that have occurred within the state and her own tribe.

New this year was special recognition of six native persons. Jovina Chavis, Lumbee Indian Tribe; Crystal “Cryz” Nkechehosi Proctor, Cedarville Band of Piscataway Indians; and Barry Wilson, Choptico Band, Piscataway-Conoy Tribe, were all honored as Native Adults of the Year. Loren Bowman, Piscataway Conoy Tribe; Lourdes Minor, Choptico Band, Piscataway-Conoy Tribe; and Trevor Rodriguez, Lumbee Indian Tribe, were all Native Youth of the Year.

“This year is especially important as it marks the 40th anniversary of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs,” said Keith Colston, administrative director of the commission. “We’re excited for new opportunities for Maryland’s American Indians and continued partnerships.”