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Sunday, May 31, 2009

July 8-9th Littleton, N.H. Remich Park Pow-wow Event etc.

I am sure I attended the May 1995 Swanton, Vermont Pow-wow since during the month earlier, I had recieved a "new" 2nd "Abenaki Membership Card" from "Tribal Judge" Michael Delaney, after "Chief" Homer St. Francis Sr. "o.k.'d" my regaining "membership status" in his "Band/Tribe/Group".
The images here in this posting are of the July 08th, and 09th, 1995 annual Native American Cultural Weekend created and promoted by Nancy Lee (nee: Millette) Cruger (from the Littleton Courier Newspaper), who was the "Promotional Coordinator for Littleton". She herself began self-proclaiming to be Native American herself. Chief Walter Watso of Odanak, Quebec, Canada was at this event, as master of ceremonies.
The Soda bottling "First Nations soft drink" article as it relates to it's creator's and promoters, of which one of these two men, Alfred Lea, was the "Company's" Chief Executive Officer, is quite interesting too. As you can see, there was some interest in doing the same thing "business wise" from the folks up in Swanton led by "Chief" Homer St. Francis. I recall some "talk" about "commercializing Brunswick Springs" a.k.a. N'bezonbik or N'biz8bek's seven (7) springs in this Bottled Water endeavor of theirs.
Ok, now here is a tidbit I want you all to pay close attention to. In June of 1995 "a series of walk-overs (site evaluations) was conducted by two men, Edward Bouras and Paul Bock. Later you will understand why I want you to be paying attention to this bit of information. Now remember, there was no mention of anyone else doing this series of walk-overs, and certainly there was no Nancy Lee (nee: Millette) Cruger stomping around the country-side of Jefferson, New Hampshire showing anyone any potential or documentarily known Abenaki Village site! You'll understand why I bring this up when you read future postings. These two men discovered lithic debitage (stone fragments), including the base of a fluted point in November 1994 led to a series of SCRAP (State Conservation and Rescue Archaeology Program) excavations that began in 1996. Remember these dates.

Early Spring 1995 Photograph of my 1975 Van etc.

This is my Walker Coon Dog named Nipper. The 1975 Dodge van in the background is the one I bought east of Port Angeles, Washington in March 1994 in which to drive me, and the hound dog Nipper, out East to Vermont in late March 1994. The van was painted in grey auto spray paint, after having sanding down and removing the artistic activist wording (while up in Athens, Maine). This photograph was taken outside of Ed Verge's house that Spring of 1995. I had spent the winter at his place, during the cold wintery months of December 1994, Jan.-Feb.-Mar.-and perhaps even April 1995. Then I found a rental down behind John Emerson's Store.

The illustration in The Northern Forest Forum of Lancaster New Hampshire was drawn by me in January 1995, so I was in communication by January 15th, 1995 with Tomas Obomsawin (notice he didn't spell his surname as Abomsawin in this article, once he and Daisy Goodman relocated to North Stratford, N.H. from Swanton, Vt.) while they were living in Daisy Goodman's mothers place down along the Connecticut River. I was encouraged to draw illustrations for this quarterly newsletter called The Northern Forest Forum by Daisy Goodman. I actually quite like this one I did of years ago which was published.

Now here is what is interesting about this quarterly newsletter, of what you don't "see" on the surface, as they'd say.

Remember when in Swanton's "Abenaki Chief" Homer St. Francis' Tribal Newsletter of August 1994 Pages 6, 7 wherein Tomas/Thomas Obomsawin was in conflict with not only the Swanton Limestone/ Shelburne Limestone Corporation "for alledgedly illegally living out behind Doris and Stanley Minckler's home". Then in this same newsletter, on pages 14 and 15, Thomas/Tomas Obomsawin was again in the conflict regarding Brunswick Springs (while Tom was still residing in Swanton, Vermont). Brendon Whittaker, Brunswick Selectman and spokesman for that said township in Vermont is the father of Andrew Whittaker, and said Andrew Whittaker was the Executive of The Northern Forest Forum, a quarterly newsletter. James "Jamie" R. Sayen was also an Executive Director. Both Andrew Whittaker and Jamie Sayen were on the Board of Directors for this organization. It is quite interesting to see that, while the father (Mr. Brendon Whittaker, a minister of the Episcopalian denomination) helped clean up Brunswick Springs in May of 1993, Mr. Whittaker then wanted to collect taxes on the property. Interesting that the son of Brendon Whittaker was more of a activist. In reaction to Brendon Whittaker's demand to impose taxes on Brunswick Springs and the lawsuit against Wobanaki Inc., the financial arm of the "Tribal Council of the Abenaki Nation", Tomas Obomsawin etc., then claim that Brunswick Springs (N'biz8nbek) was a "church", and then attempted to say that the property was "a sacred place", and said Brunswick Springs was an Abenaki cemetery.

So, when Thomas Obomsawin and Daisy Goodman, with their children left Swanton and came to North Stratford, New Hampshire, they simply politically picked up where they left off. When they saw me living over in Island Pond, Vermont with Ed Verge, they had encouraged me to join their "group".

It is interesting that in the Mid-Summer 1996 The Northern Forest Forum on page 28, it states and I quote from Tomas Obomsawin's own written article, "A once great and powerful leader of a branch of the Abenaki people has recently traded the traditional principles he claimed to adhere to, for a contract with a Gambling Casino Corporation." Did you just read what I just typed? For years he solicited support from the people for the traditional principles he said he stood for. Now it appears that he used the people who supported those principles to gain political power. Once he became notorious enough he was approached by an attorney representing gambling interests. He entered into a contract with unknown gambling interests in the name of the people. Less than one-tenth of one percent of the people he supposedly represented vote on anything. Few even know know what's really going on."

I remember "talk" back then in 1994 of "Chief" Homer St. Francis had alledgedly recieved monies from this Gambling Casino Corp. and that he had used those monetary funds, not to "help" the Abenaki People of which he claimed to represent, but rather he used the monies to landscape his "Camp" up in Berkshire near Lake Carmi! The "plot" thicken's. If you noticed, Tomas Obomsawin/Abomsawin was standing in that photograph on Page "62" of the January 1991 Yankee Magazine article I posted on this blog. He's the one in the blue baseball cap and white sweater, and wearing the flip-flop sandals, standing there while Homer St. Francis stood there "acting all that and important" while the reporter took the photograph. If you also recall, when Tomas Obomsawin came down to Swanton, he lived with Homer and Patsy St. Francis (where Tom Obomsawin met Daisy Goodman) so if anybody knew what the heck was REALLY going on behind closed doors and outside the Abenaki People of Swanton's awareness, it would have been Tomas Obomsawin and Daisy Goodman. They both were in the "Tribal Office" and they were living under the very roof of "Chief" Homer St. Francis Sr. himself before moving in behind Doris and Stanley Minckler's home! Like I said, there are those who assume Homer "helped the Abenaki People", but truth be known he was "helping himself first and formost" before anyone else saw any real help at all. It was more like with Homer, "I'll help you and support your endeavor(s) but whats in it for me?, what are you going to do for me? and the end result that he was looking for was that he'd get more than you got in the end".

April 11, 1995 Swanton Happenings

By the time April of 1995 arrived, I was living in North Stratford, Coos County, New Hampshire and getting my mail via a P.O. Box in that town. I was renting a small place down behind John Emerson's Country Store and Gas Station. Thomas Obomsawin and his companion Daisy Goodman, with their children and friends Carleen Pelletier were often times visiting together, along with myself, down at Daisy Goodman's mother's home down along the Connecticut River. Thomas Obomsawin's brother David Obomsawin and his female companion, Treehawk a.k.a. Joseph Pelletier, and Treehawk's half-brother Mark would attend "socials" down at this place. Eventually, I decided to go back to Swanton, Vermont to request my Abenaki "membership card" be returned to me by "Chief" Homer St. Francis. He been convicted of assaulting a Police Officer retrospectively and "just because I had myself previously years earlier had judiciary involvement in my hometown of Port Angeles, Washington which was non-conviction information" I felt that this "Tribal Judge" Michael Delaney was wrong in cutting my previously carried "Abenaki membership card" in two, with a pair of sissors, in his fit of anger towards my person.
So I drove all the way across the top of Vermont, over to Swanton, Vermont and went to Homer's place that day in April 1995, and I sat at his table requesting my "card" be returned to me. I had to fill out a "new application form" and with Homer's permission "O.K." to Michael Delaney, the "membership card" you see posted to this particular entry was processed, for I think $10.00 dollars. As you can see, it was signed by Homer St. Francis himself. I think he was beginning to realize that Michael Delaney (and perhaps others at the old Swanton Railroad depot building a.k.a. the "Tribal Office") were issuing these "membership cards" to people of questionable genealogical backgrounds. At the time, I submitted further genealogical material records regarding the Woodward family history as it related to Flora Ellah (nee: Woodward) Cass over in East Stratford-Groveton, Coos County, New Hampshire to the ARP (Abenaki Research Project/Archives) out in the "Back Barn". I was still at that time, thinking that these people were truely bonefide Abenaki from and of Vermont, and were relative - descendants of my native Abenaki ancestral connections. How naive and blindly stupid I was at the time! I was still legally under the name "Salmon Raven Deer".
The other document with regards to obtaining sacred Eagle feathers, which was signed by "Grand Chief" Homer St. Francis, "Tribal Judge" Michael Delaney, "Elder Grandmother" Doris Minckler, and "Medicine Man" Robert Wells was to obtain bird of prey feathers, from the Ashland, Oregon Federal "Feather Bank", for usage in Native ceremonies. Since they were preparing to seek Federal BIA Recognition and both Doris and Robert each acknowledged and accepted that I worked with particular ceremonies such as Sweat Lodge, naturally I needed their signatures on such a document, in case BIA approval for this group was given by the Fed's in the future.
Looking at this document, and seeing as how I signed "Salmon Raven Deer" as "Mskwamakw Salmon (K)chi mkasas large Black Bird Nolka Deer" at least I was picking up the language a little bit and having a better semi-understanding of the Abenaki noun forms, from working with Cecile Wawanolett and Jesse Bruchac. Yet, naming myself in this way, I was still so naive and ignorant of the Abenaki language, etc. I have to laugh at myself sometimes.

January 1991 Yankee Magazine Article Continued


Reading page "61" of this Yankee Magazine, I am reminded of the late (now deceased) Homer St. Francis Sr's "attitude" and inflated ego when I read in this article how "Chief" Homer proclaimed that he wants Missisquoi back. And that includes not only ALL of Vermont, but ALL of New Hampshire, parts of Maine and western Massachusetts, and chunks of upstate New York and southern Quebec, Canada. The man ins simple terms was in obvious denial of the reality in which he was born into. In today's reality, to make such statements such as "The Abenakis, he warned, were willing to spill anybody's blood if it comes down to that."
On page "109" it states, "A Vermont ethnohistorian and genealogist named John Moody documented the lineages of 30 living Abenaki, including Homer St. Francis Sr. (Read the "Summary under the Criteria for the Proposed Finding on the St. Francis/ Sokoki Band of Abenaki of Vermont dated November 09, 1995 by James E. Cason, Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior). I will be posted portions of this document and/or all of it on this blog in the future postings.
Later on ( you can read it in the photographs I;ve posted of this very article) Homer St. Francis Sr. stated, "We'll give the white man's courts time to do what is right. But we won't wait forever. If it comes down to violence, I'll show them more angry Indians than they ever dreamed about. We'll make what's going on with the Mohawks up in Quebec look like a picnic." Then he proceeds to inform the Yankee Magazine reporter that there were 10,000 Abenakis in Fall River, Massachusetts, alone, ready to take up arms in the defense of their people. "Chief" Homer went on to say that the has six (6) airplane air force, four wheel-drive vehicles, plenty of horses. There are Abenakis in Albany, Boston, Hartford, even Abenakis in the US Senate, all waiting for a signal from their "Chief" Homer W. St. Francis.
Talk like that, well, in today's reality, Homer W. St. Francis, Chief of this so-called Sovereign Abenaki Nation, Republic of Missisquoi would have been booking a room at Guantanamo Bay as a "terrorist" for a very long stay, had he proclaimed these statements in the media today!

Yankee Magazine Article of 1991 and Happenings in March 1995

This colorful article (no pun intended) is from the Yankee magazine 1991. Homer St. Francis "Chief" of the so called "Sovereign Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi", a group located in Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont and surrounding area, was quite "mouthy", "blunt", and had a huge inflated ego of himself. Alot of people either liked him or hated him and not uncertainly either. He was what I would call the "Whitey Bulger" of Swanton, Vermont. He thought nothing of downsizing someone verbally, or threatening someone menacingly even while sitting at his kitchen table. Sometimes jokingly but often times not. If he liked you, it might be temporary. It was all in what he thought/ concluded he could get from or out a person. That was my impression of him. Some would say he "helped" the Abenaki People. My impression is that he "helped himself" first, anything else came secondarily.

On March 30, 1995 the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed the misdemeanor judicial convictions of nine self proclaiming "Abenaki". The Vermont Supreme Court overturned Judge Wolchick's August 1989 pro-Homer St. Francis Group ruling. The Vermont Supreme Court did not listen to testimony from archaelogists, anthropologists, and historians, the experts in the field simply because the Supreme Court of Vermont very likely concluded that such "experts" were swayed and biased by Homer St. Francis's researcher Mr. John Moody; etc. My thinking on this event, was that the State of Vermont did not recieve or were provided the documentary material evidence by Homer St. Francis Sr. nor anyone such as John Moody, that was "convincing" in which to show connectedness to the Missisquoi Abenaki's historical timeframe. The State of Vermont heard the self-proclamation's by this Swanton group of people, but the State didn't have anything, in hand, of which they could verify, independantly. "The Weight of History" was a logical backdoor in which the State of Vermont Judicial System could evade the "group from Swanton, led by Homer St. Francis Sr." Homer, wanted results "yesterday not today, and definitely not tomorrow" so when the State of Vermont made their decision, he was pretty upset, and he decided not to deal with the State of Vermont anymore. He knew the State knew that "something wasn't quite right" with this bunch of Swanton folks claiming to being Missisquoi Abenakis. So he decided to seek Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs "Recognition". In essense, going over the State of Vermont's Authority and ruling(s) against his "group" he self-proclaimed was a "Band" and/ or "Tribe".

Homer St. Francis' "issues" or inability to address the "distortions" within his reality, may have been simply because the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing at all times. Michael Delaney, "Tribal Judge" for Homer, was issuing "Abenaki Membership Cards" to anyone Homer liked or thought could use, then or down the road. So when Homer St. Francis Sr. decided to seek Federal Recognition, he had to amend his making-Indian/Abenaki ways. he also had to throw alot of people (like Dee Brightstar) and anyone else he didn't like anymore, "out of the boat" as they'd say. Too many uncertain people were given "cards". It was his own fault really. The more "cards" that were given out/issued to people, the more money taken in, and the more power - control base Homer St. Francis assumed he would be gaining. He even ran for the position of Governor of Vermont. Phenix Hearn and myself on July 13th, 1994 walked and walked, selling Homer St. Francis for Governor for I think a dollar or maybe it was two dollars. We sold ALOT of them. Then "Chief" Homer St. Francis quit running for Governor all of sudden. I wonder what ever happened to all that money we collected for all them buttons with Homer's head on them?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

November 1994 Swanton Newsletter

April 1994 Swanton Newsletter

This particular newsletter of April 1994 from the "Sovereign Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi", led by at-the-time Homer St. Francis Sr. (now deceased) is particularly an interesting read. Notice how "Chief" Homer St. Francis, in the upper left corner of page 2 told everyone not to forget the other Pow-wow's ahead, making particular reference to Nancy Lee (nee: Millette) Kruger or Cruger's Pow-wow Event in Littleton, N.H. on July 16th and 17th, 1994. She must have really impressed him on the telephone quite a bit. Or else, perhaps "Chief" Homer St. Francis simply looked at Nancy Millette and he concluded that through her, what with her being the "Town Promoter" of Littleton , he had the naive stupidity to think he could and would "represent" and be "Abenaki Chief" of both all of Vermont -and- all of New Hampshire too!

February 1994's Newsletter Pages 5 to 11.

I found other Newsletters with quite interesting content and commentary dated April 1994, November 1994, February 1995, July 1997, and September 1998

I am finding all kinds of "goodies" in my "stuff" this morning...

I found another Newsletter of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi dated Fall 1993. So I will post that here instead of posting, presently, what I had intended to do this morning. I didn't think I had kept all this "stuff" but I am delighted to re-discover it amongst my "archives".
Notice that on Page 1 of this newsletter, under "Chief's Corner" there is a mention of Nancy (nee: Millette) Kruger/ Cruger and her contact information for the July 15, 16, and 17th, 1994 Abenaki Cultural Heritage weekend in Litteton, New Hampshire. As I stated previously, in 1993 the book by Joseph Bruchac entitled "Fox Song" was copyright and distributed to bookstores; etc. It was in 1993 that she began to reinvent herself into being an Abenaki. On page 2 of this newsletter, Homer St. Francis Sr. says that they got a new van donated for the youth group and elderly. Some computers and a fax machine were donated as well. Did they ever do anything for themselves or did they have most everything donated to them up there in Swanton, Vermont? Homer St. Francis was on Chemotherapy for cancer.
On page 3, again you will see the names of Mark Mitchell, Dee Brightstar, Tomas Obomsawin (notice is not Abomsawin), and April St. Francis. Yet again they begin issuing new Abenaki ID Cards. There was a fee, of I think $10.00 dollars for processing the new cards. Howard F. Knight Jr. was "selling" his membership cards over in the eastern part of the State of Vermont. Ralph Swett over in Evansville, Vermont also had his "cards". These issuing of "membership cards" was good monetary business I guess. Takes about $5.00 dollars for the materials and one could charge $10.00 dollars processing fee. Hey, thats $5.00 dollars free, of which to line the pocket of a self created, and self promoting "Abenaki Chief". Homer St. Francis Sr. claimed and concluded that all other "groups" were illegitimate. ONLY his was the real deal. Again, he assumed that he was representing ALL ABENAKI PEOPLE, which was hardly the reality or the truth. Oh, and indeed if one could get genealogically verified Abenaki descendants to "follow" you as a self created/ promoted "Abenaki Chief", it props such a "Chief" as alledgedly being "legitimate". No need to look at the "Chief's" genealogical background, because the genealogically verified Abenaki descendants "who think a membership card" is going to make them more "Abenaki" support and follow the "Chief". Go figure.
On page 5, again Homer St. Francis is asking for money to make the morgage on Brunswick Springs. I just wonder where all those "donations" really went to? Making the morgage payment, or lining someone else's pocket? The Abenaki Language Classes were being conducted by Elder Cecile Wawanolett via a grant written by Daisy Goodman. Cecile was getting $150.00 for each trip she made south of the Border, coming down from her Abenaki community of Odanak, Quebec, Canada. She was a very dear and cherished Elder by those who knew her, including myself. Tsonakwa, or Gerard as his first name is, came to Swanton Vermont in May 1994 and I was there attending his Stone carving workshop, in the company of Dee Brightstar.

Every posted blog entry ties into another.....

I've posted my Woodard relative's "Abenaki Tribal membership card" so that later on, when I discuss the merits of these "membership cards" and what they honestly mean/ represent, it will all make sense to you, why I take the position I have, about these "cards" or any "membership cards" for that matter, issued by any self-proclaiming alledged "Abenaki groups" in Vermont or elsewhere. In the next posting I will jump into April 1995. I had by then, left the arrangement with Ed Verge over in Island Pond, Vermont once warmer weather seeped into the land of N'dakinna. I had "run into" Thomas and Daisy (nee: Goodman) Obamsawin and their friend Carlene Pelletier whom were stopping in Island Pond, Vermont every now and then. They encouraged me to "jump the river" and relocate over into New Hampshire. So I did just that. I "gypsied around" in my 1975 Dodge van with my hound dog for awhile til I found a place to rent, which was down behind John Emerson's Country Store in a little house. Thus began my re-association with Thomas Obamsawin and Daisy Goodman, who were also "refugee's" from Swanton, Vermont and Homer's group. At the time, I had little awareness of the reason(s) of their departure from Swanton, Vermont. Carlene Pelletier's son was still residing at Brunswick Springs, Vermont with his companion and infant son.

March of 1994 Happenings.

My Woodard relative, residing in Richland, Washington had heard about my gaining Abenaki membership and so she sought my genealogical research material documentation and applied for her own membership card from the Swanton Abenaki Tribal Council in late 1993 or early 1994, recieving confirmation of her membership status on March 22, 1994 from the Sovereign Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, P.O. Box 276, 05488. Her Band Number was #4342. She stated in her application for membership, "Rather than rewrite stories which were recalled by my brother Louis Woodard and told to Salmon Raven Deer (Douglas Lloyd Buchholz) I am, with Salmon's permission attaching a copy of pages 3 and 4 of his own application on oral history. I wish to acknowledge that much of the information contain here came from Salmon's research. I also wish to thank him not only for the many hours he spent doing this research but also for the encouragement and inspiration which has resulted in my applying for membership in the Abenaki Nation.

The second application form dated March 10, 1995 was from my own (biological) mother Patricia Joann (nee: Woodard) Palmer. That's the surname she was using at the time. She never did recieve a "membership card" from Swanton, Vermont's Homer St. Francis group because at the time of her application having been mailed in, Swanton's Sovereign Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi group had closed down the membership enfranchisement due to their Petitioning for Bureau of Indian Affairs Recognition. Or perhaps it was because my "membership card" had been cut in two back in October 1994, and as such, anything pertaining to my person, such as my own mother's application for membership was simply ignored/rejected by Michael Delaney and or Homer St. Francis Sr. My mother had mailed with her application, along with the required two photographs of herself, her birth certificate card, and her photocopied Social Security Card. years later, after my mother's passing, I had asked for the documentary materials in my mother's application file from the late Homer St. Francis' daughter April St. Francis - Merrill (who claimed on the telephone to me, to have these items ready to mail to me) of which I have yet to recieve from April St. Francis - Merrill. My mother died of liver cancer in August 2006 in Mitchell, Wheeler County, Oregon.

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