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Sunday, May 31, 2009

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?