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Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs

The Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs:  Serves the interests Native American communities in Maryland by: 

  • Aiding in the process of obtaining State and/or Federal recognition.

Promotes awareness and better understanding of the historic and contemporary contributions of Native Americans to Maryland by:

  • Assisting in the protection of Native American burial sites and other culturally significant sites.
  • Organizing and maintaining a database of resources specific to Native American history and culture in Maryland.
  • Publishing information and giving presentations on the culture and accomplishments of Native American groups in Maryland.
  • Serving as a statewide clearinghouse of information for and about the Native American communities of Maryland.

Assists state, local, and private agencies provide resources to address the educational, social, and economic needs of Native American communities in Maryland by:

  • Identifying and providing recommendations on unmet social and economic needs.
  • Bringing awareness of and support for physical and mental health programs for Native Americans.
  • Encouraging and promoting economic development in Native American communities.


Commission Members
The Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs is composed of nine members appointed by the governor of Maryland and confirmed by the Maryland State Senate. A majority of these nine members must be American Indian residents of Maryland, and at least three members must be from American Indian groups indigenous to Maryland. Each member of the commission is appointed based on a demonstrated knowledge of American Indian culture and history, and understanding of the needs and concerns of American Indian communities. Commissioners are appointed a term of three-years, and can serve up to six years consecutively. In the event a successor has not been appointed at the conclusion of a commissioner’s term, the commissioner may continue to serve on the commission until one is appointed.

Tribal Affiliation:

Chair:
Sherry L. Ayers (Lumbee)

Vice Chair:
Claude A. Bowen (Archaeologist)

Members:
Donna Wolf Mother Abbott (Nause-Waiwash)
Peter Brooks (Piscataway Choptico Band)
Kerry Lessard 
Tiara Thomas (Piscataway Conoy Tribe)
Stanley Thompson (Lumbee)
Guy Wells (Cherokee)

2021 Public Meetings

Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs ( Held on Mondays via Google Meets from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.)

February 1, 2021 Agenda
April 5, 2021 Agenda
June 7, 2021 Agenda
August 16, 2021 Agenda
October 4, 2021
December 6, 2021

2021 Events and Programs

29th Annual Native American Festival

Piscataway Conoy Community Resource Day March 27, 2021

November 1st, 2021 – Annual American Indian Heritage Month Kickoff –  (Virtual, until further notice)
November 26th, 2021 – American Indian Heritage Day –  (Virtual, until further notice)

Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs Annual Reports
2015 Annual Report Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs
2016 Annual Report Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs
2017 Annual Report Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs
2018 Annual Report Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs
2020 Annual Report Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs

Administrative Director
Keith ColstonTuscarora (Enrolled member of Lumbee Tribe, North Carolina)

2019 American Indian Heritage Month Celebration

2020 American Indian Heritage Month Celebration
The Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives celebrated the Kick Off to the 2020 American Indian Heritage Month in Maryland by hosting a virtual celebration event, recognizing the hard work of various Marylanders in and for the American Indian community. Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed November as American Indian Heritage Month.

View Agenda for 2020 Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs Celebrates American Indian Heritage Month Kickoff Event
View Governor Governor Hogan Proclaims November as American Indian Heritage Month Here
View Photos Here
View Press Release Here

 

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