All of us at Running Strong for American Indian Youth® offer our sincere congratulations to our 2022 Dreamstarter Kyle Swann, his father and Dreamstarter mentor Piscataway Conoy Chief Jesse J. Swann, Jr., founder of Kyle’s mentor organization, Through Piscataway Eyes (TPE) and all the tribe’s 3,500 enrolled members on the recent purchase of a piece of its ancestral homelands in Southern Maryland.
(Press release March 25, 2023)
For the First Time in 400 Years, the Piscataway Conoy Tribe Owns Land in Maryland:
Tribal Leaders, Community Members, and Government Officials Held Historic Groundbreaking on Sunday
The Piscataway Conoy Tribe, one of two Piscataway tribes recognized by the State of Maryland, now proudly own tracts of land on both the northbound and southbound sides of Crain Highway in Charles County, Maryland. This marks the first time that the tribe has owned a piece of its ancestral homelands in over 400 years.
“This is a new beginning for the Piscataway Conoy Tribe,” said Tribal Chief Jesse Swann, Jr. at the groundbreaking ceremony last Sunday. He intends to construct an office for the tribe on the land, followed by a cultural center, a museum, and other projects. The groundbreaking was attended by over 100 tribal members, Maryland State Senator Arthur Ellis (who presented a proclamation on behalf of Delegate C.T. Wilson, who was unable to attend), and Charles County Commissioner for District 1 Gilbert Bowling, III.
The Piscataway homelands are vast and include all of the western bank of the Chesapeake, Southern Maryland, present-day Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia and the Northern Neck, parts of the panhandle of West Virginia. After being dispossessed of their lands by the colonial governments, the ancestors of today’s Piscataway Conoy Tribe lived in isolated villages throughout the region, where they kept their cultural practices largely intact.
The land was purchased by Through Piscataway Eyes™, the official nonprofit serving the needs of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe, as well as Chief Swann and his wife, Rosanna Swann. The land will be put in trust for the use of the tribal community.
About Through Piscataway Eyes ™, Inc.:
Through Piscataway Eyes ™, Inc. (TPE) assists tribal members though direct services and by preserving the unique cultural contributions of our people.
TPE addresses immediate needs among our tribal members: Hunger, homelessness, and lack of adequate medical care. We provide nutritious food and emergency funds for rent, mortgage payments, medical care, and health insurance premiums, serving as a safety net for low-income families who are at risk of facing homelessness or health emergencies. The organization also works towards preserving the culture and traditions of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe for future generations.
Learn more at https://throughpiscatawayeyes.org.
Chief Jesse J. Swann, Jr.