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Lunch & Learn: Mayaisuwàk (They Speak in One Voice): The Oral History and History of Place of Maryland’s Eastern Shore Tribal Communities and Remnant Descendants

Lunch & Learn: Mayaisuwàk (They Speak in One Voice): The Oral History and History of Place of Maryland’s Eastern Shore Tribal Communities and Remnant Descendants

Registration not required, but encouraged. Please register for the event here.

Meet Drew Shuptar-Rayvis (Pekatawas MakataWai’U/ Sëk Xàskwim – Black Corn) a Citizen and Cultural Ambassador of the Pocomoke Indian Nation. In 2023-2024, Drew worked for the Maryland State Archives as a research and preservation specialist under an extension of the Mayis Indigenous peoples project known as T.O.H.P. (The Oral History Project, which is also the phonetic spelling of the Algonkian word for friend) to record the oral histories, life ways, traditions and regional memories of places with Maryland’s Eastern Shore tribal communities and several who are or were in the bounds of the eastern shore. 

In this lecture Drew will discuss his work with Mayis and T.O.H.P., and go into highlights from the oral history interviews, speaking of some of the joys and issues tribal communities still face, among them climate change and cultural erasure.

Drew Shuptar-Rayvis (Pekatawas MakataWai’U/ Sëk Xàskwim – Black Corn) holds a cum laude Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Sociology from Western Connecticut State University and a Certificate Degree in Archaeology from Norwalk Community College. 

A true American of the mid-Atlantic region, his family includes indigenous Pocomoke, Pennsylvania Dutch, Welsh, Swiss, English, Scots Irish, Boyko Ukrainian, and Ashkenazi/Sephardic Jewish heritage. He honors all of his ancestors as a practicing living historian and regularly participates in colonial-era reenactments, interpretations, and public educational events.

He works diligently in the research and preservation of the Eastern Woodland languages, particularly Renape, Nanticoke, and Southern Unami Dialect. He is also educated in the many European languages in use during the Colonial period. He was the first garden manager of Western Connecticut State University’s Permaculture Garden, and practices Native horticulture. In July 2021, Drew was elected Cultural Ambassador of the Pocomoke Indian Nation of Maryland.

Drew currently works for the Maryland State Archives as a research and preservation specialist, working with tribal oral histories and lifeways, as well as an Algonkian historical consultant with the New Amsterdam History Center and. He has also been featured in various historical films and has modeled for historical artists Don Troiani, Michael Keropian and David Hasseler.

ASL interpretation will be available for attendees.

Presented in partnership with The Maryland State Archives and The Maryland Four Centuries Project.

Thursday, April 11 at 1:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Virtual Event, Maryland Interest

Age Group

Adults, Seniors

Compass Category

Programs For Adults

Event Publisher

Emily Levine, Manager of Adult Services

Digital Signage

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