Rudy Hall, right, chief of Maryland's Accohannock tribe, poses with North Carolina's Meherrin Tribal chief Calvin Hall, left, and Mervin Savoy, center, at the Nottoway Tribe’s first annual pow wow in Southhampton County, Va., in 2002.

The tiny Accohannock Native American Tribe, largely based on the Eastern Shore, has received Maryland Indian Status from Gov. Larry Hogan (R). It is the third tribe in Maryland to receive the distinction.

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R) presented members of the tribe with an executive order at the Statehouse on Tuesday.

"It was important for the Accohannock Indians not to become a lost and forgotten people," said Mike Hinman, the tribal chairman, in a statement. "Today we can say with more meaning than ever, we are still here, where we have always been, and where we will go into the future until the creator tells us we are no more."

Maryland Indian Status qualifies the Accohannock Native American Tribe for federal, state and nonprofit assistance for its work.

Five years ago, former Gov. Martin O'Malley gave similar status to the Piscataway-Canoy Tribe and the Piscataway Indian Nation.

There are 58,000 people with American Indian heritage living in Maryland, according to the governor's office. About 400 of them are a part of the Accohannock Native American Tribe.