Sovereign EarthWorks acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory and homelands of the Piscataway/Pamunkey people, as well as all the Algonquian/Powhatan people who are with us and those who have returned to the stars. We honor the long tradition of Indigenous people and the struggles we have experienced at the hands of colonization and uplift the unique story of the people of this land. By the time the Europeans embarked on the New World at the dawn of the 17th century, the Piscataway was the largest and most powerful tribal nation in the lands between the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River. Traditional territory primarily included present-day Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties, extended north into Baltimore County and west to the foothills of the Appalachians.As with other tribes, smaller Piscataway bands—including the Chaptico, Moyaone, Nanjemoy and Potapoco—allied themselves under the rule of a werowance for the purposes of defense and trade. The werowance appointed leaders to the various villages and settlements within the tribe. At the peak of their power in the 16th century, the title of werowance was replaced by a tayac, which was the equivalent to an ancestral king. We are more than the pain, we our ancestors wildest dreams realized in this moment.
Sovereign EarthWorks would also like to honor and acknowledge the histories of Black people especially living in chocolate city, who have contributed and continue to contribute so much to people of this land. We want to acknowledge the long history of violence beginning in 1619 that continues to this day against Black bodies. In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port in the British colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. We want to honor the long tradition of Black people of this land, our experiences, memories, impacts and stories. We are more than the pain; we are pure starlight realized in this moment.