This article was published by The Baltimore Banner on April 25, 2023.

By Clara Longo de Freitas

Natalie Standingontherock Proctor from Wild Turkey Clan rushed through the cultural center last week making a mental list of what had already been removed — the tribal documents that Hugh Bird Legs Proctor meticulously signed; the books about indigenous history in the library that Gladys Keeper of the Pipe Proctor curated from scratch; the showcases that Pete Papa Bear Proctor built by hand. The sacred artifacts, stored in cases that were broken as the tribe prepared to move, a time of chaos and mourning.

For the past two weeks, Proctor and the Cedarville Band of the Piscataway Indians have been operating under the assumption they will be forced to leave their ancestral winter hunting grounds. In the beginning of February, the state-recognized tribe and nonprofit organization received a notice from Charles County commissioners to vacate the property near Waldorf. The tribe, one of three recognized by the state of Maryland, had until April 9 to leave the area, but it’s still there. Tribe members hope they don’t have to leave at all.

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