University of Maryland gives nod to Indigenous history with new dining hall name

Yahentamitsi will be the first dining hall erected on campus in more than half a century.
University of Maryland campus
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The University of Maryland’s forthcoming dining hall will bear the name Yahentamitsi in honor of the Piscataway people, a group indigenous to the state.

Yahentamitsi means “a place to go to eat” in the language once spoken by the Piscataway tribe, and it will be the first dining hall erected on the College Park campus in more than half a century, the university says.

"The naming of our new dining hall in honor of the Piscataway people is a symbolic way in which we are ushering in a new era of inclusiveness at the University of Maryland,” Darryll Pines, university president, said in a statement. “Acknowledging our storied past is one of the most important steps in creating a community that is TerrapinSTRONG.”

When it opens in 2022, the 60,000-square-foot dining hall will house 11 "food platforms" and seating for 1,000, and will honor the Piscataway people throughout, with art, artifacts and more.

Its name was chosen in collaboration with students, staff and faculty, as well as members of the Piscataway tribe.


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