The Charles County Commissioners must immediately stop the eviction of the Cedarville Band of Piscataway Indians off their ancestral lands, and return the land to its original stewards.
The Cedarville Band of Piscataway Indians are a band of the larger Piscataway-Conoy people, who were and still are victims of genocide, forced assimilation, dispossession, and discrimination. The Piscataway-Conoy people originally had 7 million acres of ancestral land in Maryland, and the 16 acres that the Charles County Commissioners are evicting them from holds their ancestral winter hunting grounds and cultural museum, the only Piscataway-focused museum in existence today. The 30-day eviction notice from the commissioners came at the end of a 40-year lease, during which the Cedarville Band of Piscataway Indians established services and resources for the Piscataway people, as well as hosting Pow-Wows, school trips, and events for the wider community.
Progressive Maryland stands with all Indigenous peoples of Maryland and their land sovereignty. We envision a Maryland where justice, equity, and dignity exist for all. We envision a Maryland where Indigenous nations and people have sovereignty and the ability to self-determine. That Maryland cannot exist while the government, institutions, and individuals around us continue to enact exclusions, erasure, and neo-genocide of Indigenous people. We believe that stopping the eviction and returning the land back to its original stewards is where reparations start, not end. The LANDBACK movement is essential for Maryland and the wider Turtle Island, colonially known as the United States, and is the first step to establishing Indigenous sovereignty. You can learn more about how you can specifically support the Cedarville Band at their website and Instagram.
We stand with the Cedarville Band of Piscataway Indians in their fight to stay on their unceded ancestral lands. We encourage all Marylanders to use this email tool created by the ACLU of Maryland where you can demand the Charles County Commissioners return the land to its rightful stewards.
Our organization and the spaces in which we work stand upon the unceded ancestral homelands of the Indigenous people of Maryland, including 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. See the historical boundaries, languages, and treaties of the tribes in Maryland here.
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