Leidos honors Native American Heritage Day
U.S. National Native American Heritage Day is November 25, and it is a day to celebrate the cultures and traditions of Native Americans and their many contributions. Leidos Global Headquarters in Reston, Virginia sits on the traditional land of the Manahoac and Piscataway Peoples past and present.
The Manahoac (Man·a·hoac) People inhabited the western part of the area and their name was understood by early explorers to mean "The people were very merry.” They are an indigenous group that were part of a Siouan-speaking population that made the Northern Piedmont woodlands and Appalachian foothills home. They are believed to have been semi-nomadic, having learned to burn the forests to create grasslands to attract deer and buffalo as their primary sources of food, while supplementing their diets with crops of corn and squash.
While other Tribes in the area dwindled in size due to the introduction of European diseases and the overwhelming firepower of the settlers in battle, the Manahoac had much less contact with the settlers since they occupied land in the area beyond the main aggression. However, the Manahoac eventually found themselves dispossessed and moved westward where they come under attack by the Iroquois and had disappeared from Virginia by 1753.
The Piscataway (Puh·ska·tuh·way) People were a Confederacy of Tribes under the premier authority of the Tayac or Emperor. Their name means “The people where the rivers bend.” The tribal alliance extended between the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay to the watershed of the Potomac River in the area now known as Virginia, and from the southern tip of St. Mary’s County, Maryland, north to include Baltimore, Montgomery and Anne Arundel Counties, Maryland, and Washington D.C.
The Piscataway People were farmers owning large tracks of land and were revered for their expert hunting and fishing skills. In the 1660’s, the English began encroaching on the Piscataway’s land. Several treaties were created and broken ultimately resulting in the loss of the Piscataway homeland.
The Piscataway People persevered, and in 1976 the elders lobbied the Maryland government to pass legislation to form The Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs. They submitted a petition in 1995 for formal state recognition status to The Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs. On January 9, 2012, the Piscataway Conoy Tribe received official recognition by the State of Maryland, therefore reestablishing the government-to-government relationship that had been dormant since the 1700s.
With the Leidos global headquarters situated on these traditional Tribal lands, it is important to recognize the historical significance of our location and to pay respectful homage to the indigenous peoples who are the original stewards of this great land. We also commit to being good stewards to the land we inhabit, securing it and its sustainability for future generations.