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Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs Celebrates American Indian Heritage Month in First-Ever Partnership with Montgomery College, Honors Tribal Leaders and Culture

Governor Larry Hogan Proclaims November as American Indian Heritage Month

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiative announced the 2019 American Indian Heritage Month in Maryland by hosting a celebration event in the first-ever partnership with Montgomery College and in conjunction with the recognition of National Native American Heritage Month. Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed November as the 2019 American Indian Heritage Month. In 2017, Governor Larry Hogan granted Maryland Indian Status to the Accohannock Tribe in Maryland to protect their heritage and culture. Nearly 60,000 people with American Indian heritage live in Maryland.

“The Hogan administration continues to celebrate the diversity of our communities by promoting and sharing the rich heritage of our citizens,” said Steven McAdams, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives welcoming a hundred attendees. “The unique cultures, traditions, and perspectives of American Indian communities highlight the accepting, understanding, and inclusive nature of Marylanders that help to make our great state the best in the nation.”

“As a community college, it is our great pleasure to support this celebration,” said Professor Ed Riggs, Special Projects, the Office of Vice President and Provost of Montgomery College. “This is a great education opportunity and way to give back to communities and advocate diversity and inclusion.”

Under the theme of “Tribal Leaders Making a Path In Today’s World,” this celebration honored dedicated youth, adults, volunteers, police officers, and leaders from different tribes in Maryland and organized a panel discussion to reflect on the history, contributions, achievements and modern day goals of American Indians and tribal communities. There were also lively cultural performances and a presentation of awards.

“The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives has played a major role in the elevation and promotion of American Indians and indigenous communities,” said Keith Colston, Administrative Director of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs and an enrolled member of the Lumbee tribe. “Under Governor Hogan’s support and leadership, our commission has identified unmet social and economic needs in the native community.”

The Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs works to serve as a statewide clearinghouse for information; to support government education programs for American Indian youth; to provide support in the process of obtaining recognition of state and federal Indian status; and to promote the awareness and understanding of historical and contemporary American Indian contributions in Maryland.

“This event reminds me of why I have been serving on this commission and marks the impact we have made together on tribal communities that our commissioners are proud of,” said Ms. Lisa Savoy, Chair of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs. “I would like to thank Governor Larry Hogan and his administration for their continued commitment to bringing opportunity, fiscal responsibility, and excellent customer service to all Marylanders.”


Presentation of Tribal Flags (Photo Credit: Pete Vidal, Montgomery College)


Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs


American Indian Dances and Songs


Nearly 100 guests from American Indian tribes and councils, the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, and Montgomery College joined the celebration.


Award Presentations by Keith Colston, Director of Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs (from top left by row): Volunteer Award, Mr. Murel Hurt; Special Acknowledgement of Police Officer, Mr. Hugh Brohawn; Adult Awards, Ms. Eva King, Ms. Lindsey Brewington, Mr. Herbert J. Sterling (Veteran), Mr. James R. Laird IV; and Youth Awards, Isaiah Robinson, Anisah Allen, Jazmine Diggs


Panel Discussion on “Tribal Leaders Making a Path in Today’s World” by Kerry Lessard, Executive Director of Native American Lifelines (left), and Natasha Carmine, Chief of Nanticoke Tribe in Delaware

More photos are available here.

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