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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Step 2 Forward Along The Yellow Brick Road of the ReInvented Abenakis of Vermont and New Hampshire:

Document 01: June 29, 1976 North Adams, Massachusetts "The Transcript" Newpaper Page 07. Indian push for hunting rights in Vt. "Charging that fish and game are so plentiful they die of natural causes while Indians go hungry, alleged Abenaki Indians are pressing state officials for return of their unrestricted hunting rights. They presented Fish and Game Commissioner, Edward Kehoe with a petition yesterday bearing more than 1,400 signatures, asking the state to "immediately recognize the rights of the people of the Abenaki Nation to fish and hunt on all lands and waterways throughout the state." "Kehoe said he would forward the petition to Gov. Salmon F. Thomas, and told the alleged Indians that only the state legislature can approve their demands." "We want it known that we aren't going out hunting and slaughtering everything," said Homer St. Francis, the newly appointed chairman of the allged Abenaki Nation. He said the alleged Indians were owed the rights to fish and hunt, and that they needed the food to survive."

Document 02: June 29, 1976 Page 01 Bennington Banner Newspaper. Abenakis call state 'racist'. An angry but peaceful group of alleged Abenaki Indians and their supporters has charged Gov. Thomas Salmon with refusing to meet with them and accused state governemnt of 'racist' Indian policies. Indian leader Ronald Canns said the alleged Abenakis, acting alone, have been ignored by state officials. He said only by joining non-Indian members of the Native American Solidarity Committee were they able to get any response. "That's a racist policy...." Cannes said. St. Francis said there were about 1,500 registered alleged Abenakis in the state, with an equal number afaid to identify themselves for fear of being "harassed." If their demans are rejected by the legislature,  St. Francis said, "we're not going to state a war or bomb anyone, the way others are doing." On page 101 (of the Summary under the Criteria for the Proposed Finding on the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Abenakis of Vermont, prepared in response to a petition submitted to the Associate Deputy Secretary for Federal acknowledgement
that this group does not exist as an Indian Tribe Appoved on November 09, 2005 by James E. Cason, Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior) it states, "Petitioner researcher Frederick Wiseman asserts that the formation of the "Tribal Council" was an outgrowth of informal meetings which had taken place in previous years. However, documentation included in the petition narrative and in support of the petition indicates that the real catalyst in the organization of hte group was Ronnie Cannes, who worked for the Boston Indian Council in the early 1970's. Cannes came to Vermont to establish an Indian Manpower Office and to take a census of Indians in Vermont. 83. Although the 1982 referred to Cannes as "a young Abenaki from St. Johnsbury," the 2005 membership list includes Cannes in the "3" category ("Needs More Information"). Before the early 1970's, there is no available evidence that Cannes had ever met or associated with members of the Swanton group. Cannes is cited in the 1982 petition as providing a "vision of organization and social action" (SSA 1982.10.00 Petition, 105), and encouraging the group to organize itself into a council. 84. Wiseman, however, does not mentioin Cannes or the Boston Indian Council in his discussion of the origins of the group's council (Wiseman 2001, 151-160). The body that was formed appears to have been the Abenaki Selp-Help Association, Inc. According to documents submitted by the petitioner, ASHAI was established in 1975 (ASHAI 1984.00.00, 2), and there is some indication that ASHAI served as the group's governing body. For example, Cannes testified at a hearing of the American and Terminated Indians in 1976 and was introduced as a representative of the "Abenaki Tribal Council" (AIPRC 1976.04.09). The "Abenaki Tribal Council", was not formed until 1976 or 1977 (Abenaki Tribal Council 1977.00.00, 1).

Document 3: June 29, 1976 Page 10 of the Berkshire Eagle Newspaper. Pretty much the same article as Documents 1 and 2.

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