Maryland Indian Tribes
FEDERALLY RECOGNIZED TRIBES
(Federal List Last Updated 5/16)
STATE RECOGNIZED TRIBES
(Not recognized by the Federal Governemnt)
- Piscataway Conoy Tribe (includes the Piscataway-Conoy Confederacy and Sub-Tribes and Cedarville Band of Piscataway)
- Piscataway Indian Nation
UNRECOGNIZED / PETITIONING TRIBES
- Accohannock Indian Tribal Association, Inc. Letter of Intent to Petition 01/18/1995.
- Federation: Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc. Letter of Intent to Petition 01/23/96; determined ineligible to petition 5/15/1997.
- Piscataway-Conoy Confederacy and Sub-Tribes, Inc. Letter of Intent to Petition 02/22/1978.
- Piscataway Indians
- Youghiogaheny River Band Of Shawnee Indians
FIRST CONTACT TO PRESENT
We do not know what the Native Americans called the Chesapeake Bay. That name came from the Native American word "Chesepiuk," an Algonquian name for a village that the Roanoke, Virginia colonists discovered in 1585 near the mouth of the Bay.
Later, mapmakers used the word to name the Bay. People have said that Chesapeake means "great salt water" or "great shellfish bay," but no records exist to verify those definitions.
Most of the tribal communities left the area as European settlers arrived in the 17th century. But these early inhabitants gave their names to many of Maryland’s rivers, towns, and counties.
PRE-CONTACT MARYLAND TRIBES
PRE-HISTORIC CULTURES IN MARYLAND
- 10,000 B.C. - First humans arrived by this date in the land that would become Maryland.
- 1,500 B.C. - Oysters became an important food resource.
- 1,000 B.C. - Native American introduction of pottery.
- 800 A.D. - Native American introduction of domesticated plants; bow and arrow came into use.
- 1200 - Permanent Native American villages established.
- 1498 - John Cabot sailed along Eastern Shore off present-day Worcester County.
- 1524 - Giovanni da Verrazano passed mouth of Chesapeake Bay.
- 1572 - Pedro Menendez de Aviles, Spanish governor of Florida, explored Chesapeake Bay.
Maryland was inhabited by Indians as early as circa 10,000 B.C. Permanent Indian villages were established by circa A.D. 1000.The Paleo-Indians who came more than 10,000 years ago from other parts of North America to hunt mammoth, great bison and caribou. By 1,000 B.C., Maryland had more than 8,000 Native Americans in about 40 different tribes. Most of them spoke Algonquian languages.
These Native Americans lived in permanent communities where corn, beans, and squash were raised. They also hunted, fished, and harvested native plants to supplement their farming. Their homes, called longhouses, were usually located along the region’s rivers and streams. They also hunted, fished and traded with tribes as far away as New York and Ohio.