The varied ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay provided the Native Americans with an abundance of natural resources. The rivers allowed them to travel in order to trade these resources across different regions.
The National Park Service identifies the tribes in the Chesapeake Bay when English settlement began.
The National Park Service provides an overview of the Powhatan tribe at the time of English colonization.
Bucknell University provides some information on the Susquehannock tribe in the early 1600s.