About Us

 Welcome  to the Assateague People of Delmarva's website. We are a tribal group  comprised mainly of local people with Native American Indian blood in  our heritage. Many believe that there are no longer Native Indians on  the Eastern Shore, this is far from the truth. Granted, our Ancestors’  numbers were decimated by a combination of diseases that were unknown to  them and by being forced from their homeland by the ever growing number  of European settlers in search of land for themselves. Although many  perished in the hundreds of years following the settlers’ arrival, some  were able to survive by hiding along the swamps, marshes, bay and ocean  of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Historically we  were known as the Kickotanks (because of the location of the Kegotank  Bay), or the Great Assateagues (Assateague means “swiftly running water”  or "place across the water"). After we realized the atrocities brought  by the settlers and started fighting back to reclaim our lands and  protect our people, we gained the reputation of being the most warlike  of the Shore Indians. Unfortunately, it was too late to be able to have a  major impact. Native Indians as a whole were very trusting, giving and  had no concept of “owning land”. We believe that the Creator owns the  land, we are only the caretakers of Mother Earth.
        As with  most overrun cultures, many of us became assimilated into the intruders  way of life. It became a growing disgrace to be Native. Our stories and  traditions were only spoke about in small, quiet circles since it  was illegal for Natives to gather in groups larger than three at a  time. We were even altered in the census records. Despite efforts by the  invaders to destroy beliefs and traditions, our strong spirited  Ancestors were able to pass some of them on to us. We know it is  our responsibility to teach the next seven generations and so on to keep  our history alive. Because many of our tribal ways have been lost  throughout the years we have also adopted some from our plains brethren  that are willing to share their traditions.
        Living in this  modern world and trying to stay as traditional as possible is not an  easy task. Yes, we live in typical homes, hold jobs, use cell phones and  drive vehicles. We use electricity and indoor bathrooms. Our children  watch T.V. and play video games. We also understand it is important to  remember what it means to be Native and to pass that knowledge on to our  young ones. As our Ancestors before us, we try to instill in our  children a sense of values that we hold dear. Knowing our place in this  natural world and our responsibility to protect and respect all  of it. To honor The Great Spirit every day and remember that we are all  connected, including all of our brothers and sisters: the two-legged and  the four-legged, the winged ones and the finned ones, the crawly ones,  the plants and the trees. Mitakuye Oyasin (All my relations).