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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.

October week of the 21st, 1994 in Swanton, Vermont....

One day, while residing outside the "Tribal Office" in my own 1975 Dodge van with my Walker hound dog, I decided to throw out alot of my previous research records, of which consisted of documents pertaining to my 1st adoptive family, the Kingsley's whom horribly abused my twin and I when we were younger, etc. I didn't see any reason at the time, to hold onto the material evidence. I was living in Swanton, Vermont, I had a "new" life road to experience. I was 26 or 27 years of age, and I didn't want to keep lugging that material around in a box like carrying some green monkey on my back, into my future. I thought better of throwing some of the "stuff" away. Phenix Hearn, whom I have mentioned previously in a blog, lived in a small mobile home which was put up on blocks, next to the "Back Barn" and so after the Tribal Office would close and people would go home, Phenix and I would "hang out" and talk/socialize. One day, I felt at ease to mention my own pervious judicial involvement of some years before, in my hometown, prior to relocating to Swanton, Vermont and thinking nothing of sharing such information with a friend. How very stupid and naive I was at that age. I trusted so easily in people.
Entering the Tribal Office soon thereafter, Michael Delaney, the then Tribal Judge as Homer appointed him to be, decided that I was to take this "reporter" fella out to the "Back Barn" where Dorcus Churchill (the new coordinator for the Artist Coop-Trading Post) worked, and have this man, take photographs of the artist's works. Bob Wells, the Elder would accompany me in this task. Going into the Back Barn as they called it, Bob noticed a label on a plastic retangular container which read, "Medicine Bags $6.00". Bob Wells requested I remove the adhesive label completely, that it would be inappropriate to "sell" medicine bags, for a gathering of People coming in for the upcoming Grand Opening for the Artist CO-OP/ Trading Post to be held on October 21, 1994 at 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. As I was changing the label on this particular plastic container to simply display/ show merely "bags $6.00", Phenix Hearn walked in the door of the Back Barn, saw what I was doing, quickly and promptly turned around and left, without saying a word to either the reporter, me, or Bob Wells. Later, while at Doris Minckler's visiting with them and the Obomsawin's (whom were living out back of the Minckler's place at the time) Michael Delaney called up Doris's place, and requested I go into his office and discuss a matter. When I arrived there and entered the office, several people were in attendence. Phenix Hearn being one of them, Dee Brightstar, Mark Mitchell, John Lawyer a.k.a. Grey Wolf, and Bob Wells (who quickly and unhesitantingly defended my integrity and character throughout this "meeting") was there too. Immediately, Mike Delaney began asking me about my previous involvement with the Judicial System out in my hometown of Port Angeles, Washington. What had happened, etc. Before I could get a word in edge wise, he began shouting at me, proclaiming that he had telephone'd the Clallam County Court and recieved all the information as to my alledged guilt and (according to him) my conviction of said charges. I began to explain. Then he demanded that I hand him my Sovereign Republic of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi "membership card", which I handed to him. He quickly pulled out a pair of sissors from his desk drawer and promptly cut the card in two, putting it into a folder. He informed me "that I was in Indian Country" and they could do whatever they wanted to. Then I was told to immediately leave Swanton, Vermont and never show my face in town again. Phenix Hearn and/ or Dee Brightstar had told them of my non-conviction information regarding a judicial misdemeanor offense of some years previous, of which obviously these people were simply "using" to hurt me (but knew nothing about as to why I was charged or any truthful details of such case). They simply had been, unbeknownst to me at the time, "against me". Looking back on this time frame of Oct. 1994, I can see the events "connect". Dee Brightstar was against me because I wouldn't pay her more "rent" above and beyond what we had agreed upon; Phenix Hearn was against me because Al Greyhawk up in Athens, ME had slanderously badmouthed me saying I had said things against these people in Swanton, Vermont; and Michael Delaney was against me the very minute he heard from Phenix Hearn that I had manipulated the adhesive label on the container that held his wife Ina's Naugahyde Leather car seat made medicine bags. John Lawyer and Mark Mitchell were in on this situation while my "membership card" was cut by Delaney, perhaps simply because they were "allies" with Dee Brightstar; etc. (See in another blog Abenaki Newsletter of Feb. 1995 "Chief's Corner" where Homer St. Francis mentioned "And with all the back-stabbers and cut-throats out there himself and those who worked with him to my thinking, the less the better). I was traumatized by their sudden angrily harsh verbal treatment of me at that time. When I was leaving the Tribal Office per their request, John Lawyer a.k.a. Grey Wolf had got into his vehicle and followed my van all the way to St. Albans, Vermont and at a stop sign, while behind my vehicle, got out of his vehicle and walked maliciously yelling towards my vehicle, loudly threatening to do bodily harm to me. I went to Ed Verge's place in Island Pond, Vermont and arranged to rent a room from him thankfully, all the while wiping the tears out of my face. I stayed in Island Pond during the cold snowy months of November through near the next spring time of the following February or March of 1995. While there, residing with Ed Verge, kind as the man was towards me, I met Melody Nunn who claimed to be Micmac Indian.
Later, I found out that such particular rectangular plastic box of car seat leather "medicine bags" had been made by none other than Mike Delaney's wife, Ina Delaney; and in his anger towards my manipulating the adhesive label on that container, Mike Delaney, with the help of Phenix Hearn and Dee Brightstar, "collected" if you will, "as much information as they could discover about my person", to use it against me, to "remove me", take my "membership card" away, and in simply terms "throw me out" of their group with as strong a reason(s) as they could. They were clever. But what legitimate Native Community takes a Tribal member's status/membership card away from that person, simply because that person has a Judicial history?! Lots of Native People have had far worse Judicial histories and even convictions, even Homer St. Francis himself, and they were not treated as I was. This is why I know that the Sovereign Republic of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi "Group" as they want to call themselves, is merely a SOCIAL GROUP, a MICKEY MOUSE CLUB, and NOT a legitimate Native American Community of people, led by or whose tribal official's such as Mike Delaney acting as a so called Tribal Judge, were geniunely legitimate in their self created and self promoted "title's" of being anything. I left Swanton, Vermont, having my "membership card" that was signed by Michael Delaney himself, get cut in two. That told me those "membership cards" didn't mean anything at all to anyone except to those who were issuing them to everyone and anyone who these people thought they could manipulate, use, and promote this "group" into alledgely being legitimate, when in factuality they were not. Yet, I did not simply "walk away" from this group of people. I was not malicious, and I was not going to tuck tail and disappear either.

Ok, now for a little bit more history....

First, I will start with Daisy Goodman. She was "with" Phenix Hearn, a self-identified Creek Indian descendant woman from down south in Virginia, I think, or perhaps it was North Carolina somewhere's. Well, anyway "down south" in that part of the country was where Phenix Hearn's family or ailing mother was at. Phenix Hearn was the (Abenaki) Cordinator of the Missisquoi River Project, which was created and promoted to restore, preserve, and protect the natural and cultural heritage of the river through a partnership with Abenaki and other communities throughout the Missisquoi River watershed. Well, that was what she was doing in August 1994 anyway. But before that, she was "with" Daisy Goodman. They were "companion's" and then in that mobile home, they had a fist fight and one and the other went after each other, blood and fists flew I was told by none other than Phenix herself. Subsequently, Phenix Hearn and Daisy Goodman "parted ways" with each other, and Daisy went to live under the roof of Homer St. Francis Sr. She was their "Grant Writer". That was/is an important position to have, when a group of people is seeking grant monies.
And there was Thomas Obomsawin, who came down from Odanak, Quebec, Canada under the "story" that he was being harassed by the Odanak Reserve Police for either drug possession (weed) or running around on the Odanak community with one of Homer's License Plate's on his vehicle, I ain't sure which "story" was really the reason or whether neither was the truth but thats what I was told by Doris Minckler herself one night at her kitchen table. The Odanak folks pitched him sh** and he relocated to Homer's place as well. Thats how Tom Obomsawin and Daisy Goodman "met" each other. She wanted to be Indian, and there was only one way to do that, since she was a non-Native descendant, or else she was just through with being "with" another of the same gender. Maybe it was just "job security" getting together with a known bonefide "Abenaki", I don't know. Later on, because of their conflict with the Swanton Zoning Board and "issues" with the Shelburne Limestone Corporation who owned Swanton Limestone began the conflict on April 01, 1994 was never resolved to the Obomsawin's satisfaction, subsequently Thomas Obomsawin and Daisy Goodman, packed up and left Swanton, Vermont taking with them alledgedly items that belonged legally to Homer's group. They ended up pulling the mobile home over to Daisy Goodman's mother' home along the Connecticut River in North Stratford, Coos County, New Hampshire and lived there for some years. So much for Grant writing being an important position and all. So much for trying to switch a surname from Obomsawin to Abomsawin; etc in order to sway a legal court of law into trying to stay here under the May 25th, 1765 Robertson's Lease wherein Joseph Abomsawin and leaders of 15 other Abenaki families leased the land in question to James Robertson of St. Jean, Quebec, Quebec. Before Thomas Obomsawin and Daisy Goodman left Swanton, Vermont I too had left the Swanton community as well for other reasons which I will explain/ share of that "event" in the next blog posting.

Brunswick Springs a.k.a N'biz8bek Photographs; etc.

Here is an older RRPC (Real Photographic Postcard) of Brunswick Springs, in Brunswick, Vermont ca. 1910 I think. I bought it from the Potato Barn Antiques up the Connecticut River some years ago. Then there's the color photographs of N'biz8nbek (Medicine Waters) that I took several years ago too.
Around this time of August/September 1994 Edward "Ed" Verge went to "Grandmother" Doris Minckler, the Swanton appointed Medicine woman and subsequently he (Ed Verge) was alledgedly appointed "caretaker" of Brunswick Springs by Doris Minckler. He had "issues" with "Treehawk" a.k.a. Joseph Pelltier, Carlene Pelletier's son who was staying at the "Springs" under the arrangement and "o.k." from Homer St. Francis, to have his companion/wife have their infant son there at the Springs. Ed Verge wanted Treehawk to leave the Brunswick Springs Property asap. Well, anyway, Ed Verge was in an alledged relationship with a woman by the name of Penelope Newcomb over in Orleans County, Vermont and she had "Stock's" and/ or "Bond's" in some Telephone Company. $100,000.00 dollars worth of Blue Chips as they call them. She donated that amount, giving it to Edward Verge "to save Brunswick Springs", as a downpayment for obtaining that property. That was 1/2 (half) the selling price of $200,000.00 dollars. It was a nice gesture.
As it reads on page 15 of this August newsletter, if they (meaning the Swanton group led by Homer St. Francis) could raise (get) $50,000.00 towards the remaining payment, the other $50,000.00 dollar payment is pretty much guaranteed.
This is where the Pequot's donation of $50,000.00 comes into the picture, and Nancy Lee Millette "claims" (in later email communication's) that she was the one who got that "donation" from the Pequot People, for Brunswick Springs.
So my question is this, if they got $100,000.00 from Penelope Newcomb, and the $50,000.00 from the Pequot's, and that was "matched" by some other funding source......well then, how much did Homer and his group really pay towards obtaining Brunswick Springs? Where did the donations of money go that members of their group and or the public contribute really go towardsThe morgage, the taxes on this property, or into Homer's pockets? Where is the accountability for all that fund raising?
Also around this timeframe, Tom Obomsawin was going by the spelling of his last name as "Abomsawin", in his fight to stay living behind Doris Minckler's place next to the Stone Quarry then called Shelburne Limestone Corporation. He said he had "verbal agreement" and the accuser stated that the Obomsawin's were living in the mobile home without permission whatsoever, and were asked to leave, and would not do so, when asked.
Well, a little bit of "history" is in order about how Daisy Goodman and Thomas/ Tomas Obomsawin/ Abomsawin came to be residents in Swanton, Vermont. I'll work that out in my next blog posting.

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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