Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs Goals
The Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs began 2016 with a list of goals and initiatives that would reflect growth and opportunity, including celebrating its 40th year. The commission will continue to uphold the tradition of service and outreach, and work to develop new partnerships and strengthen existing ones in order to promote awareness and better understanding of both historical and contemporary American Indian contributions and issues moving forward.
The Native American Graves and Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was enacted on November 16, 1990, to address the rights of lineal descendants, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations to Native American cultural items, including human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects. The commission partners and assists by having commissioners, American Indian community members, and staff work with the Maryland Historical Trust, Department of Planning, Department of Human Resources, and other state agencies.
American Indian Heritage Month
Each year, the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs work to increase awareness of the important roles that Maryland’s Indigenous communities play. The commission participates in lectures, panel discussions, dance presentations, and luncheons with a variety of entities in Maryland. On November 1, 2016, the commission celebrated American Indian Heritage Month at Salisbury University on the Eastern Shore. This event honors the historic passage of HB40 by the Maryland General Assembly that officially established November as American Indian Heritage Month – now one of Maryland’s commemorative months. Maryland is home to more than 58,000 people who identify as having American Indian ancestry.