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Sunday, May 31, 2009

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.

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