28th Annual Native American Festival — COVID-19 Update

In spite of the global pandemic, the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians are moving forward in the planning of our 28th Annual Native American Festival. We realize no one can predict what will be happening in September, however, it is easier to cancel the event at the last minute than it is to plan it at the last minute; as it takes a lot of planning to host an event such as this. We are praying we will not be canceling.
The NWBI is in search of quality vendors. However, there is a certain criteria we are looking for. We are looking for vendors who have quality wares. Vendors who are honest and have good retail ethics. We are looking for items that are related to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delmarva, Eastern Woodland Indians, Native American, Nature, Natural, Earthy or Indigenous. We are also looking for demonstrators and exhibitors that meet the same criteria. HOWEVER, space is limited and we are looking for a variety of people so we will not be allowing multiple vendors to vend the same merchandise. If you are a vendor, demonstrator or exhibitor and you think you would be a good fit for our event, please reach out. I would love to chat with you. My email is: nausewaiwash@gmail.com. As always,, our festival is scheduled for the 2nd weekend after Labor Day. This year is our 28th year and is September 19th & 20th.
For the last 5 years we have tried very hard to accommodate everyone involved with our festival and meet their needs and wants. That hasn’t worked so well for the tribe. The Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians and this festival are my priorities. As the old saying goes, “you can not please everyone.” With that said, I want to make everyone aware, we are going through a major re-structuring of our event. These changes have been discussed in length and the Council have made many difficult decisions. Please be respectful of these decisions.

As always, the following has not changed:
There is no admission fee for head staff, vendors,
exhibitors, demonstrators
and volunteers.
The grounds and event are handicap friendly.
No animals/pets allowed.
Service animals are welcome.
No drugs, alcohol or attitudes
No electricity available.
Vendors, demonstrators, exhibitors are responsible
for their own tent, table and
Vend Spaces are 20′ X 20′
We are in need of volunteers
We are in need of baked goods that meet the
DCHD requirements.

Please note, the following are changes that will be implemented in 2020. Changes may not be limited to what is published in this PSA and are subject to change.
Our admission fee for visitors and guests has increased
to $7 per person.
The age for free admission has been lowered to age 4
years and under.
We have new head staff and music groups lined up.
New food vendor is in place.
There will be no catered meal for vendors and head staff
after the close of Saturday’s event. Instead, there will
be homemade soups and cold cut sandwiches
available at the festival grounds.
The Security team is in place for additional nights.
Security will not be used for any other purpose other
than what is intended.
Silent auction changes
Changes to our beverages
Once a vendor has been assigned to a space on the
field, there will be no changes.
There is a reason for this. If you have special needs, we
will try to accommodate them. However, we need to
know this 2 weeks before the event.
Live auction changes.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation and understanding. I look forward to hearing from any potential vendors, demonstrators, exhibitors and volunteers. Pleasant journeys.

Chief Donna Abbott and the
Council of the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians, Inc.
410-228-0216 (leave message)

27th Annual Native American Festival Live/Silent Auction Items

Be sure to check back often as we are continually updating our list of auction items.

Live Auction Items:

Model Boat

Image 1 of 5

*Live Auction Item* Hand-made model work boat Crafted by triabl elder Lee Hughes Value: $150

  • Hand-made model work boat
  • Greenwing teal decoy
  • “Visions of the First Americans”
  • Pendleton “White Sands” Blanket
  • Women’s Ribbon Dress

Silent Auction Items:

  • Books
  • Snake head fishing gift box
  • Shawl material
  • Overnight bag
  • Pamper chef casserole baking dish
Plus Gift Certificates to:
  • Island Creamery
  • Chili’s
  • Old Salty’s
  • Texas Roadhouse
  • Cheesecake Factory
  • Blackwater Adventures
  • Olive Garden
  • Cabot
  • Applebee’s
  • Medieval Times
  • Fisherman’s Inn
  • Layton’s Chance

State of the Tribe, 2019

I hope this update finds everyone happy, healthy and safe. I have had several people inquire about Turtle Tracks. I am flattered our publication means so much too so many people. Thank you. That warms my heart. My apologies to each and every one of you for not providing it to you. I have been extremely busy and that was one of the things I let slide. My intention is to bring Turtle Tracks back. I cannot promise when. Our festival planning is in full swing right now. So I know it will not happen before festival. However, I would like to share with you some of the goings-on with the tribe. We have had a lot of exciting things happening.

We hold our tribal meetings every other Thursday. The Hyatt Regency-Chesapeake, Cambridge, MD has been most gracious in allowing us to use a training room to hold our meetings. Thank you Hyatt and Holly for facilitating this arrangement. Our meetings start promptly at 6:30 P.M. Our meetings are open to the public and any tribe member. They are not exclusively “Council” meetings. If there is anything that is restricted to the council only, a closed session will be called to order at the end of the regular meeting or at a later date. Everyone is welcome and we hope to see you soon. Attached is a copy of our meeting schedule.

In June 2018, the long house was listed on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks. Dr. Jeff Kirwan prepared the application. He invested a lot of time and hard work. There were interviews conducted, phone calls made, and lots of research, effort and patience. But it happened. Thank you, Jeff. The long house is now on the Historic Registry at the state and national levels. How exciting and what an accomplishment!

A grant writer from Fruitland, MD has graciously helped us get funding. We are just over our halfway mark in our fundraising for a new roof on the long house. Thank you, Mann & Mann Grant Writing Services. So, let me back track a bit here. We are having electricity installed in the long house. The electricity was two-thirds complete when it was discovered a rotten spot of wood on the Greenbrier side of the building. The rotten spot was caused by a leaky roof. Once the roof is replaced, the rotten wood will be replaced and the installation of electricity will be completed. From that we will move forward with other things. So far, all our money has come from private donations. Though there is plenty of grant money available, we would like to keep everything private. Once government money is used, there will be guidelines to follow. Right now, since there is no mortgage and our donations have been private, we can do whatever we want to the building. I like that idea.

The tribe had an election for a new council in 2018. Let me introduce you to your new council. Your Vice-chairman is Jerry “Gentle Bear” Hughes. Your Secretary is Katie “Dancing Dove” Lipsius. Other councilmen/women are; Elder Windsor “Walks With Out Sound” Meyer, Elder Steve “Morning Crow” Abbott, Eva “White Raven” Bartrum, Brenda “Morning Marsh Woman” Abbott. Your new council has lots of great ideas and seem determined to follow through with them. If you have any ideas of what you would like to see your tribe do or be, please stop by a meeting and share your thoughts and ideas. We would love to hear them. 

The Nause-Waiwash is on social media. Your social media administrator is Jerry “Gentle Bear” Hughes. We are on Face book, Instagram and Twitter. Just search @TheNWBI on either platform. Jerry has done a phenomenal job with our social media. We have had inquiries from people wanting to know who maintains our social media pages. Doctors, administrators and executives are wanting to know who maintains our pages. Gentle Bear has even had a job offer to this. I am proud of him and his work and feel we are very lucky to have him. Let’s show him how grateful we are that he does our social media. :0). On face book we have gone from 600 followers in September 2018 to 1000 today. As a matter of fact, we reached 1000 followers on July 22, 2019. Once we reached 1000 followers we had a random drawing. The winner receives a gift basket valued at $150. Congratulations go to winner Jennifer Baird Davis of Poquoson, Virginia! Jennifer is our lucky winner. We are thinking of our next great give-a-way. Keep up with our social media platforms for more details.

As many of you know, I had been appointed the representing commissioner for the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians at Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs. My term will be ending soon. Your new commissioner will be tribe member and former tribal councilman, Hubert F. Brohawn III. I promise, I will be departing this seat and leaving you well represented. After discussing with Hugh, I believe he is the best fit and will do an excellent job for you.

The Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians, Inc. has decided to publish a pictorial of our tribal history. No one’s personal history will be published. It will be a book of just pictures with captions. The compilation of this book has been completed and publication is in the works. We worked very hard on this book and are extremely proud of it as I know you will be, too. We are hoping to have it ready for retail sale at the festival. If not, definitely by Christmas.

In March of 2019, we hosted our fourth successful Bingo fundraiser. We had been bingoing designer handbags. This year we bingoed designer bags as well as outdoorsy stuff; tents, ammunition, fishing rod, etc. Our jackpot prize was a cooler packed with goodies valued at $625. Congratulations to jackpot winner Elise Jones! Elise made just a few people a little jealous.

Last fall, tribe member, Matt Kirwan who works for Virginia Institute for Marine Sciences- College of William and Mary, was doing research on local marshes. Matt arranged for tribe members of high school and college age to participate in his research. Matt arranged a weekend camping trip for the students which included participation from historian Gary Marshall, Blackwater Refuge and the U.S. Geological Survey. Some points of interest were: a visit to Blackwater Refuge, brief lesson on sein nets and fishing, a boat ride on the Blackwater River, Shorter’s Wharf, Back Garden Creek, Robbins Landing, Abbott Town, Snake Island, Guinea Island, Grogg Point, Chance Island, camp fires and storytelling around the fire. Thank you Matt for including us in your research, thank you to Jerry Hughes for being the fire keeper and everyone who made the weekend happen. Fun! Fun! Fun!

In September 2018, our 26th Annual Native American Festival had to be cancelled due to the impending Hurricane Florence. As it turned out, it was a gorgeous weekend after all. However, I had a decision to make and I still, to this day, stand by my decision. What I would like people to understand, is most of our staff, drum groups, etc. would have had to drive through Florence to get here. I did not want to put anyone’s life in danger. Safety first and always! Secondly, it was the better business decision. Cancelling the event prior to the date, financially was better than to have the event and lose money. Since we had silent auction items, raffles to be drawn, etc. we decided to have a “Retribution” night. Greg and Millie Cusick of Millie’s Road House in Vienna, MD generously loaned us their restaurant to host our event. It was another successful event. We managed to recuperate our losses and all ended well. Thank you Greg and Millie.

This year, the 27th Annual Native American Festival, is scheduled for September 14 & 15, 2019 at the Ball Field in Vienna, MD under the Water Tower. Gates open at 10:00 A.M. both days and Grand Entry is at Noon both days; Featuring host drum group: Red Fire Singers and Drummers, guest drum group: NaMaWoChi, (just a bit of trivia for you; NaMaWoChi is an acronym for Native Man Woman and Child.) head male and female dancers: Marcos and Dorothy Almanza, arena director: Steve Miller, educator/historian: Rie Miller, flutist: Jerry Smith, storytelling by: C.J. Cole, Raven’s Wing Gang Sleigh Dogs and a special guest performance by: the Aztec Fire Dancers. It has not been confirmed yet but, it is in the works to have Talbot Special Riders, Spot the Leopard Appaloosa and a group of Alpacas. Stay tuned for final details. We are always looking for volunteers, baked goods and silent/live auction items. Attached is a festival flyer.
Brenda “Morning Marsh Woman” Abbott, Jerry “Gentle Bear” Hughes and myself have taken our next generation muskrat trapping. We have had people from less than two years to adult ages join in the excitement. Muskrat trapping is a dying art. We are trying to keep our traditions and culture alive. Thank you Morning Marsh Woman and Gentle Bear.

It seems to me, there is so much more I need to share. For now, I will end this update here and do my best to keep you updated and get Turtle Tracks back in circulation. Thank you and pleasant journeys to All.

Chief Donna “Wolf Mother” Abbott

Facebook Giveaway!

The Nause-Waiwash are hosting a giveaway! All you have to do is find us on Facebook @TheNWBI, then Like and Follow our page. When we reach 1,000 followers, a winner will be drawn at random to receive a gift yet to be determined.

Find us here:

4th Annual Bingo Event

The Nause-Waiwash will be hosting our 4th Annual Bingo Event on March 14, 2019. The event will be held at the Elk’s Lodge # 1272 in Cambridge, MD. This year, in addition to designer purses, we will also have prizes for the native Delmarva outdoorsman.

We have a Craftsman toolbox, a nine-person dome tent, a bucket of .22LR bullets, a tackle bag, binoculars, a game camera, and much more in addition to the usual purses and handbags from Versace, Rebecca Minkoff, Zac Posen, and other famous designers.

Doors open at 5pm, with the first bingo numbers being called at 6pm. The entry fee is $25 dollars and tickets will be available at the door. Any questions can be answered by contacting us on social media @TheNWBI or by contacting the tribal office at 410-228-0216

Food and drinks will be available from the Elks’ kitchen, with adult beverages being served at the bar. There will be door prizes, and a tricky tray being called throughout the evening.

Come join us Thursday, March 14 at 5pm for a fun evening of Bingo, food, drinks, and prizes for men and women alike.

Robbins’ Landing Camping Trip

Nause Waiwash Band of Indians tribal member and Professor, Matt Kirwan of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences; the College of William and Mary collaborated with the Nause Waiwash tribe, Blackwater Refuge, and the U.S. Geological Survey to travel the marshes of Dorchester County on November 3 & 4, 2018 to do research for Matt’s project. Matt is studying the salt marshes of Maryland and Virginia. Why did Matt pick the marshes of Dorchester County? The Kirwan family has ancestral ties to Dorchester County and the Nause Waiwash. The Kirwans follow the Robbins ancestral bloodline. So, Matt decided to incorporate his research with a history lesson of the ancestral land of his ancestors in our great and beautiful county.

On Saturday morning, Jerry “Gentle Bear” Hughes, Brenda “Morning Marsh Woman” Abbott, Maddie Foxwell, Matt Kirwan, Ben Kirwan, Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Tyler Messerschmidt, David Walter of the U.S. Geological Survey and Erin Kennedy were greeted at Blackwater Refuge by Matt Whitbeck and other Blackwater staff. Everyone was showed a demonstration of sein fishing. From there, everyone traveled to Shorter’s Wharf. Upon arriving at Shorter’s Wharf, boats were launched into the Blackwater River and boarded by all. The boats were captained by Blackwater Refuge’s Matt Whitbeck and the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences’ Tyler Messerschmidt. Attendees sailed up the Blackwater to a location near Barbados Point. At this location, measurements were taken, mud, roots and grasses were investigated and discussed. There was some discussion of how Barbados Point got its name. After leaving the location near Barbados, it was back to Shorter’s Wharf.

A traditional, all-American lunch of PB&J with chips and cookies was served at the boat ramp. The group then met up with tribe member and historian Gary Marshall. It was back on the Blackwater to go down river. The group stopped at a location in the marsh that the government has been working on restoring. Mud has been pumped back in to help restore the marsh that erosion and tides have destroyed. On to Back Garden Creek to an old hunting/trapping shanty. Gary shared a few stories and memories.

Camp was set up at Robbins Landing near Abbott Town. Dinner of soup, oysters, burgers, dogs and all the sides was delicious. Gentle Bear started a campfire and everyone sat around the fire under a star-studded sky and shared stories. A few of the constellations were picked out in the sky and there was talk about some traditions and history.

The Creator blessed everyone on Sunday morning with a breath-taking sunrise. It was back in the boats and back on the water. On Sunday, Miles Simmons, from Blackwater Refuge shared the day with the group and captained one of the boats.

First stop: Snake Island. For those who are not aware, you have to go through a part of Fishing Bay to get to the Snake. The Snake is always exciting. To be November, there was still a lot going on there. Butterflies, green vegetation and an active bee hive were among the discoveries. Morning Marsh Woman shared stories of the Snake that her father and grandfather had shared with her. On to the Transquaking River. Next stop: Guinea Island. Guinea is ancestral grounds. There is a lot of history there. People lived there many years ago. The land was farmed and there is still evidence of the old cart path. While there, the group discovered the fresh water spring, Gentle Bear found a prime piece of red cedar to be used as a walking stick/staff and a small woodpecker took time to speak to the group. There was discussions on the type of trees and plants found on this majestic island that sits 14 feet above sea level located in the middle of the marsh. Next: Chance’s Island. Chance’s Island sit next to Guinea and is connected by a small piece of marsh. Chance’s has a completely different atmosphere. Some have described it as being “Heavy.” People in the group explored the island and found evidence of a community that once lived there. The ground there is very sandy versus the rich soil found on the neighboring island of Guinea. Others were uncomfortable exploring the island and chose to explore the Transquaking by boat. Next stop: Grogg Point. There was evidence found at Grogg point of a community from long ago. Morning Marsh Woman shared more of her stories on the history of the area. Last stop: Robbins landing and Abbott Town. Sadly, camp was broke down, trucks were loaded up and everyone departed taking with them many happy memories, history lessons stored away to share with future generations and hope of another wonderful experience in the future.

The Nause Waiwash Band of Indians, Inc. would like to thank Matt Kirwan for organizing this weekend camping trip and including the tribe in this adventure. This gave several of our people the opportunity to visit ancestral grounds that may not otherwise have the means or opportunity to visit these remarkable and precious places. It was a pleasure to have made new friends and hope to continue to develop these new relationships. Thank you; The Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences; the College of William and Mary. Matt Kirwan and Tyler Messerschmidt of VIMS. David Walter of the U.S. Geological Survey, Matt Whitbeck and Miles Simmons of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Dr. Jeff Kirwan, Ben Kirwan, Gary Marshall, Erin Kennedy, Morning Marsh Woman, Maddie Foxwell and Gentle Bear. Thank you to anyone who was unintentionally omitted from this publication and to everyone for a fascinating and exciting weekend.

See all 209 photographs from the camping trip here…

A very special Thanks!

Thank you to all who came out to the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians’ Retribution for Florence​ event on Friday, November 2, 2018 at Millie’s Roadhouse Bar & Grill​ in Vienna, Maryland. The event was a huge success that never would have happened without all of your support and dedication. It was a long day for some of us, but well worth it in the end. It was fun and exciting. We were happy to see familiar faces that we haven’t seen for a while. Welcome back. We were also thrilled to have met many of you in person for the first time, and look forward to continuing to build on those relationships.

Thank you to Mickey Lomax​ for donating his time and auctioneering skills. Thank you to BP Productions​ for donating the use of your audio equipment. Congratulations to Wes Cummins, Richard Ball, and Robin Abbott​; winners of the pelt, blanket, and 50/50 raffles.

There were a few happy people with new t-shirts, some will have warm ears this winter, and maybe a new decal on their car. Plenty of gift certificates to local businesses were sold, so be sure when you use them to acknowledge where you got them, as each new supporter will help us bring you better events in the future.

None of this would have been possible without each and every one of you! We extend our thanks to all of you, and look forward to seeing you in the future. Pleasant journeys. Aho!

See the entire photo album here…