A message written by Bee Van Hall (they/them), Social Media Coordinator for Progressive Maryland.
My name is Bee and I am Mvskoke (more commonly known as Creek or Muskogee), a Native American tribe originally located in the Southern United States before it was forcibly relocated to Oklahoma during the Trail of Tears. In honor of my Mvskoke ancestors, I am writing to you from my home in Annapolis, on stolen Susquehannock and Piscataway land.
On this U.S. Indigenous People’s Day, we acknowledge all Indigenous peoples in Maryland, including those who are displaced and detribalized, who have had their identities and cultures stolen through the larger effects of colonialism and assimilation.
We acknowledge the Accohannock Indian Tribe, Assateague Peoples Tribe, Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians, Piscataway Conoy Tribe, Piscataway Indian Nation, Pocomoke Indian Nation and Youghiogheny River Band of Shawnee Indians as the original stewards of Maryland's lands. See the historical boundaries, languages, and treaties of the tribes in Maryland here.
We also acknowledge how Indigenous values influence our Progressive mission and campaigns, from drug policy to police reform. We are honored to aid in creating policies that are informed by Native community-oriented models of Vrakkueckv (Respect), Fvtcetv (Integrity), Mecvlke (Responsibility), Eyasketv (Humility), and Hoporenkv (Wisdom). We see these policies align with our grassroot campaigns as we strive to implement community-led policing models working parallel to Indigenous wisdom.
When we say we are working toward a more just and equitable future for Marylanders, that includes all of our Indigenous communities. There is so much work to be done — passing federal and state legislation for reparations; formally acknowledging Indigenous history and land rights; and, of course, ensuring that Indigenous residents have affordable healthcare and housing, access to quality education, clean air and drinking water, and the many other basic human rights that everyone deserves. Progressive Maryland is committed to this work.
Bee Van Hall (they/them)
Social Media Coordinator for Progressive Maryland
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