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Saturday, May 30, 2009

The August 1994 Abenaki Newsletter from Swanton, Vermont

Here is the front cover of their "Sovereign Republic of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi" Newsletter of August 1994. Don't they just love the long "title's", like as if the longer the title, the more important they make themselves out to being.
As you notice, Homer immediately identifies himself as "Grand Chief St. Francis. "Things are looking good from the Federal Government" he says. Really? "We have been united since the Heritage Day Weekend, all Abenaki Nations throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Canada. We also have another group joining with us at Littleton, New Hampshire." hmmm, let me see if I get this straight.....Homer St. Francis began to assume he represented everybody of Abenaki descent in all these other States? How interesting indeed. Could this other "group" have been Richard "Rick" Hunt - and their self-created and self-promoted White Bison Abenaki Council of New Hampshire ???? and his first-cousin Nancy Lee (nee: Millette) Cruger ????

It is interesting that in the same breath "Paul Pouliot was brought up on charges and banished from the Nation, and is not to speak on behalf of the Nation." And at the same time, Howard F. Knight Jr. was having his Pow-wow on August 20th-21st, 1994.
Another note of interest in this particular newsletter, is Homer St. Francis claiming that he was, "very concerned about Brunswick Springs and that they need $25,000 between August and September 01, 1994. Make the checks out to Wobanaki Inc.,; Brunswick Springs or N'bizb8nbik."
I also recall having walked into Michael Delaney's section of the Tribal Office there in the old Railway Station/depot one day, and he got a telephone call from a man by the name of "Greyhawk" who lived up around Athens, Maine or Skowhegan, Maine (not sure which township he resided in). At the time, he indicated that he was aware of Abenaki sweatlodge ceremonies of which I was most interested in learning about, etc. It was arranged that I would travel up to his home and visit him, with the intention of helping him set up for the First Light Pow-wow event that he was creating and promoting. My van I had then recently decorated with pro-Swanton Abenaki slogans, etc. like some hippie van out of the 1960's. I got caught up in the social activism going on at that time in Swanton, Vermont. Once I got up to Athens, Maine to Greyhawk's place I proceeded to "watch" this man in how he conducted himself. I was also in the process of finishing the beadwork on a Abenaki patched baseball cap, of which he lived very much. I told him I would trade him for a (full) tanned moose hide. He wanted some of my native oriented books as well, so I threw them in with the beaded had for good measure. He came out with a small hunk of hair-moose hide after we had sealed the trade with a hand shake between us in his kitchen. How naive and stupid I was at the time, yet again!
Then he procceeded to inform me that to work with "medicine" I have to be "invisible" so with his suggestion I proceeded to clean the van of it's glorified spray paint decorative activist slogans. The 1975 Dodge van became grey with a white top. I never did learn or experience an Abenaki sweatlodge while up there in his company. His son's, of I think Akwesasne Mohawk descent came to me in privacy and began to verbally alert me that their father was feeding me a line of b.s. out of books. This created a bit of an accute awkwardness in me toward Greyhawk. One day, a woman from up north in Maine called the home of Greyhawk and his Mohawk wife requesting if one of Greyhawk's sons or if he himself knew anyone with painting skills who could paint her garage and so forth. I was up for the job. Going up there and doing the work was pleasant and I enjoyed the time away from this man name of Greyhawk. Subsequently, one day soon thereafter, Greyhawk called me up on this woman's telephone and requested that I come back down to his home, and that he has to have a sit down "talk" with me. I knew something was awful negative and it sure wasn't me. So, I went back down to his place and he walked with me out to the nearby cemetery, where he wanted to talk to me "privately". He verbally assaulted me about this, that or the other, and threw the beaded baseball hat I had worked on previously, back at me claiming he didn't want it anymore. It was a pretty intense "talk" at me, and I didn't know why he was having this negative conversation with me.
Later, during the Pow-wow behind their house and next to the nearby cemetery, when the folks from Swanton, Vermont attended the event, them folks such as Dee Brightstar and Phenix Hearn came and maliciously verbally assaulted me, saying I had been saying this and I had been saying that negative b.s. about them folks in Swanton. I was bewildered and overwhelmed by this sudden situation and I had no idea what any of them were accusing me of. Later on, from his son's, I found out that their father Greyhawk had been (unbeknownst to me at the time) making nightly telephone calls to Swanton, Vermont (while I was out in my van) speaking with Michael Delaney and others "bad mouthing" me, maliciously slandering my integrity and character to the people in Swanton, Vermont. All that happened while I was at Greyhawk's house, I can only figure was because he assumed I knew about his "affair" with- this-woman-who I had painted her garage, etc., against his own Mohawk wife! I learned this later, after the "situation up there, had happened.
So, in retrospective thinking, by the time Bob Wells and I walked into that "Back Barn" there in Swanton a couple months later, Michael Delaney and Phenix Hearn, and others (unbeknownst to my awareness) were out to stab me in the back no matter how they did it, and they intended to do just that!
One point I do want to make in remembering this past-tense event is that both this man named Greyhawk's wife and her Mohawk son's were very gracious, kind- hearted, and warm loving people towards my person while I was up there in their home, and in their company.

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