Sunday, June 7, 2009
In the February 19th, 1997 Coos County Democrat Lancaster, NH Newspapaper, Nancy Lee (nee: Millette) Cruger made quite a few interesting statments. Sponsors for her event were Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Foxwoods Resort Casino, the Mohegan Tribal Nation and the Sun Casino (interesting that all of these mentioned "sponsors" are gambling casino oriented). What is REALLY INTERESTING is that Nancy Cruger says, "I am Abenaki and Irish. That must be why she's a stereotypical Indian I guess. The "Irish explains away her red hair and the alledged Indian explains why she can't hold her temper in check perhaps?! I have heard many people say, 'you don't want to mess with me, I'm Indian and Irish, and you don't want to get me mad'." This event is important to me, as it is in keeping with a promise to my great-grandmother. I promised her on her deathbed that I would find her people and do something to help them so that they would not be afraid to say they are Indian, a fear she had all her life. Her parents were born in Jefferson, and she was born on the riverback in Littleton. Her family traveled and lived in the areas between Jefferson and Monroe." Now that promise is coming true.
First of all, let me say that there has been absolutely no forthcoming docmentary confirmation or evidence "other than Nancy's own mouth" stating that her Great-Grandmother was Native, let alone Abenaki, "having been born on some riverbank in Littleton, New Hampshire". Secondly, this supposed "death-bed promise" to her Great-Grandmother Flora Una Ana (her middle name was really Eunice) Ingerson-Hunt is obviously highly suspect. Flora Eunice (nee: Ingerson) Hunt was born Mar 25, 1874 alledgely in Monroe, N.H. according to her Death Record of Mar 11, 1963. Genealogical research indicates that the mother of Flora, was born in Littleton, New Hampshire.....NOT Jefferson, New Hampshire in some "cooked up" ca. 1850 - 1874 "Abenaki Village" as Nancy (nee: Millette) Cruger - Lyons has repeatedly stated. Documentation on this subject will be posted in forthcoming postings and this all will make sense as it is provided. Put the pieces together. It doesn't add up. The math doesn't add up. Flora Eunice Ingerson-Hunt had siblings, aunts, uncles and so forth....and they had descendants themselves, so IF in fact Flora Eunice Ingerson-Hunt or her mother Almira nee:Rines - Ingerson was a full-blooded Abenaki Indian woman, well I would think there would be evidence of some definitive kind that can be SHOWN. Family Oral histories MUST support the genealogical records of one's ancestry; and genealogical records must support the oral histories of one's ancestors. Or else it is simply hearsay! Native People's did not likely live in "isolation". They might not have been jumping up and down to their neighbors and the Children's Aid Society folks that they were Abenaki/ Indian, but they were working, farming, millworking, haying, and doing other kinds of visible employment wherein they would be out-in-the-public's observations on a daily basis. They had to put a roof over their families heads and meat & potato's on the table every night just like everybody else whether they were French, Irish, English, or German; etc.
Nowhere in this February 19th, 1997 newspaper article does Nancy make any mention of Flora E. Ingerson-Hunt or Flora's mother, Almira (nee: Rines) Ingerson, having been born in a Jefferson, N.H. "Abenaki Village". ONLY later do the Nancy Millette-Cruger-Lyons Great-Grandma was "stories" begin to change and evolve.
Another pen and ink illustration I did for The Northern Forest Forum in September 1996.
The two letters regarding the Abenaki Language Lesson materials by Cecile Wawanolett up in Odanak, Quebec, Canada I was (at the time of mid to late 1996) hoping to obtain and compare to the Swanton Abenaki Language Lesson materials. These (2) letters were from a W8linak Abenaki man who attended Cecile's Abenaki Language Classes. I had met him while visiting Odanak in mid-June 1996.
The newspaper article dated October 30th, 1996 regarding the Paleo-Indian spear point having been unearthed I include because of the "stories" having been perpetuated and promoted by Nancy (Millette) Cruger - Lyons regarding the Jefferson, New Hampshire Archaeological developments. You will see further articles and newspaper clippings regarding Jefferson, N.H. and this Paleo-Indian "dig' in future postings here on this blog.
In July 1996 I was living in East Lancaster, New Hampshire up on the Bunnell Notch Trail in a log cabin built by George Glidden of Whitefield, New Hampshire whom was renting it to me. There was no "indoor" water (you had to go out back of the cabin and run to get a bucket of water from the creek! Now thats what I call "running water") and there was no electricity. There was an outhouse though. It was "remote" living for sure. It was a mile or two above the dirt road called Arthur White Road and in the wintertime one used snowshoes and a tobaggon to get in and out supplies, etc. In the photograph of myself is Bisho (a Bluetick coonhound) and my ol' Walker coonhound named Nipper. We were hanging out in the 1975 Dodge van.
Daisy Goodman and Tom Obomsawin were still quite active "environmentally speaking" against Herbicide Spraying, logging/ clear-cutting. I wrote the "speech" (which I still find quite good if I may say so myself). Of course, I also did the illustration as well, but it was not published in The Northern Forest Forum quarterly newsletter.
This event I attended, and this is the first time I think I heard this "talk" of so-called "hiding in plain sight". It has been used/ said quite frequently since then by alot of people, to brush away and avoid discussion(s) about the lack of evidence, genealogically or otherwise, about one's claims of having ancestral Western Abenaki from and of Vermont/ New Hampshire documentary evidence. I sometimes wonder if this "hiding-in-plain-sight" concept is simply a matter of denial. Denial of what our ancestral relatives "gave to us as their descendants", that we refuse to accept and acknowledge that they (the ancestors of which we claim) chose the "silence", "the its-no-big-deal-that-we're-Abenaki". Homer St. Francis' "group" claimed "that they were "hiding-in-plain-sight" because of racism, because of discrimination, because of the "Eugenic's Survey of Vermont". I often wonder if these are simply "just excuses" on these people's parts simply because they refuse to accept that their ancestral connections are "alot of things" but it isn't "Missisquoi Abenaki" nor was it "Cowasuck Abenaki", etc. You'll see why I say this as I go along....
It is interesting that in the second part of this newspaper article it states, "As part of the annual gathering of Native Americans, the Town of Littleton, in collaboration with the White Bison Council, will hand out four Native American Awards." The Littleton Town Promoter was Nancy Lee (Millette) Cruger - The Organizer and Promoter of this Pow-wow Event at Remich Park was Nancy Lee (Millette) Cruger - and the "Chief" creator and promoter of the White Bison Council was (you guessed it) Nancy Lee (Millette) Cruger! Oh and these "Proclamations" officially declaring July 6th and 7th as Native American Cultural Weekend in Littleton, New Hampshire was issued by the Governor of New Hampshire, who in all truthfulness "rubber stamped" the document without so much as a glance at the merits or the foundation of these so-called "Governor's Proclamation's". They are a "feel-good" piece of paper, that if your ego is BIG you put it in a frame and hang it on the wall and point to it every time someone comes to visit. If your honest about these "Proclamations", you would hang it above your bathroom toilet! Of course, we know what Nancy Cruger did with her one of many Governor's Proclamations for her Pow-wow events! She was the person who created and promoted the White Bison Council, that she herself "incorporated" and presided over, with her cousin Rick Hunt; etc. How many bonefide real Abenaki do you think attended their White Bison Council meetings? I know that Daryl Laroque, Charlie F. True, her 1st cousin Rick Hunt, and perhaps her relative Rhonda Besaw, and Mary Warren? I betcha dollars to donuts, it was only the invented Abenaki who had their "Cards" that attended. Oh, I am sure "Grand Chief" Walter Watso and perhaps "Grand Chief" Homer St. Francis Sr. had attended a few times to make it all seem legitimate and authentic. Its always good to have a REAL Abenaki from Odanak, Quebec, Canada bring down his "seal/stamp of approval" and make these people's papers appear to be authentic. In factual reality, they were all merely "incorporations" and not authentic Abenaki "Bands" or "Tribes" but merely "organizations" or "Councils" they themselves created and promoted in their endeavors to make the States of Vermont and/ or New Hamphire naively and stupidly think that these "groups" were the real legitimate Abenaki People! I think not. Nancy Lee (nee: Millette) Cruger - Lyons created her illusion of being Abenaki, and she promoted her delusions of being Abenaki, what with her "Diplomatic Ambassador Card from Homer St. Francis Sr." that she'd recieved in July or August 20th, 1994!! She created and promoted her "Great-Grandma Flora Una Ana Ingerson-Hunt stories" in the media, and she "attached" this ancestoral relative of her's to a definitive archaeological site in Jefferson, Coos County, New Hampshire....selk-claiming and promoting that her Great-Grandmother Flora Una Ana (really this woman's middle name was "Eunice") was from a 1872-5 Abenaki Village in Jefferson, New Hampshire. It was all an illusion and delusion on her part, sadly said, and the factual documentation will prove this that I will post on this blog! I recommend you folks read "Fox Song" by Joseph Bruchac copyright 1993. Then "follow the postings and newspaper articles of which I post on this blog as it relates to Nancy Lee (nee: Millette) Cruger - Lyons. It will all make sense as I go along showing you the real truth about the invented Vermont/ New Hampshire Abenaki.
The photographs are of Nancy (nee: Millette) Cruger in July 2006 (not 1996) in the buckskin regalia.
I am not sure if I went to Swanton, Vermont for the pow-wow during Memorial Day weekend or not of 1996. The audio tape "jackets" are from the audio material I had created with Elder woman Cecile Wawanolett of Odanak, Quebec, Canada. I recall that there was an Abenaki Language Class or a "visit" by Cecile, that was held in North Stratford, Coos County, New Hampshire at Daisy Goodman's mother's house down along the Connecticut River (just a little north of East Stratford, N.H.), sometime before my going up to Odanak in June 1996. I had asked Cecile if I could kindly visit her up in Odanak with the endeavor to audio-tape record the 31 + Abenaki Language Lesson materials she had taught in Swanton, Vermont. We arranged for the 18th, of the next month (June). I had bought a new tape recording machine with a universal sound mic and a bunch of audio cassettes, and drove up to Odanak with a remaining $20.00 dollars in my pocket for gas money to get back into the State's with. I sat with Cecile in her livingroom explaining why I wanted to work with her regarding audio recording her speaking the abenaki language, etc. On the very first audio tape she helped create at her own kitchen table, in her own voice she'd stated that the Lessons and accompanying audio tapes would be "open" to all those who wish to speak the Abenaki Language. She clearly understood that our work would be "unrestricted", to those who wanted/needed such language material. In the process of audio-recording Cecile at her kitchen table, the first batch of tapes didn't sound clear enough so we had to backtrack, and re-record her speaking the lesson material over again. I would announce the Lesson, she would speak only Abenaki for that Lesson. We didn't have to do all 31 Lessons because Jesse Bowman Bruchac had done previously pretty much what I was trying to complete. It was my endeavor to make a complete set of Swanton Abenaki Language Lessons to be available to anyone who would want to have a set. At the end of the endeavor, Cecile and I had recorded quite nicely the written material I had brought with me. I came home and "boiled it down to two 90 minute tapes, combining my work with Jesse's but ONLY Cecile speaking the Lesson material in Abenaki.
While at Karen (nee: Porter) and Charles "Charlie" Richardson's place, "house-sitting" for them while they were away, with their permission I had typed up the "flyer announcement" dated June 28, 1996 that is attached to this posting. Naturally, depending on demand for the material copies and the two audio cassettes and the postage, I had to request the costs to get the two blank tapes, copy the lessons, and ship the set per each request, to the recipient. I had very limited income at the time, but I was not attempting to "sell the language, "use" Cecile, or any other sort of maliciousness towards anyone nor was I making sets and stocking them. Someone would request the material and I would created the "set" of two tapes and the accompanying phtocopied materials each time someone would request it. I sent a set to Jeanne (Lincoln) Kent, another to Paul Pouliot "group", etc. I sent the "bulletin" to Swanton's group led by "Chief" Homer St. Francis, and the Nebesak "group" led by Bea Nelson of Derby, Orleans County, Vermont. I could not find the previously- written-down address for the Connie Brow and David Gilman "Mazipskwik group" but I had concluded that once the word would get around, then they would contact me if they wanted the material. I had written the address of the "Traditional Abenaki of Mazipskwik and Related Bands c/o David Gilman P.O. Box 309 Highgate Center, Vermont 05459" previously on the back of a genealogically oriented document, and had forgotten that I had given it to my cousin Gordy Griggs of Island Pond, Vermont. This Mazipskwik "group" had created and organized itself from "Chief" Homer St. Francis' "group after October 1995. I was requested to be the "firekeeper" for their Essex Junction, Vermont Pow-wow event of July 27-28, 1996. I drove over to Essex Junction, Vermont to the place they were having this event in my 1975 Dodge van and drove up to a small trailer, and out stepped their "Tribal Judge" Michael Delaney. He threw that "bulletin flyer" piece of paper at me, yelling and carrying on, telling me to get back in my van and leave. Which I did without so much as a hi or goodbye to anyone! He'd been 'mad as a wet hen in a thunderstorm' all because he assumed that I was implying that I concluded that the only real Abenaki in the State of Vermont were from and of "Chief" Homer St. Francis' "group" because their "group" didn't get one in the mail. In retrospective thinking, I think the man was 'hostile', belligerant, egotistical and full of self-importance of himself. Here nor there now, he is deceased now right along with "Chief" or "Grand Chief" Homer St. Francis.
Communicating with Daisy Goodman and Thomas Obomsawin back then in the Summer of 1996, after having traveled up to Odanak by myself for the first time, I got a postcard in the P.O. Box one day, informing me that I needed to communicate with Elie Joubert (son to Cecile) and Cecile Wawanolett herself. This postcard was sent by Daisy Goodman. So, I called Daisy Goodman up in North Stratford and she instructed me to contact Elie Joubert. I did, and he said for me to contact his mother Cecile. Which I did on the payphone as well, and she informed me that "some people had told her that I was allegedly 'selling the language', 'that I had recieved a $20,000.00 dollar Language Grant' etc etc, no she didn't want me to come back up to Odanak to her house ever again". The situation quite upset me as you can only imagine. I mailed her up a set of the finished audio materials and photocopied lessons. I am not sure who exactly told her these obvious lies, and distortions about my integrity and character as a human being, but I hope whoever they were that said these things to this dear Elder woman, finds some pathetic satisfaction in what they did to destroy my dream of working with her. I have my suspicions of whom was involved retrospectively speaking but it matters not at this point in time. I simply moved on and worked with elderly Stephen (Atian) Laurent (L8l8) of Intervale, New Hampshire, as I could regarding the Abenaki Language. I did the best I could, on the income I had at the time, and with the transportation I had as well. At least I did something with the language that hopefully will benefit someone in the future.
What happened around this time as well was that I had contacted Hull, Quebec, Canada's "Canadian Museum of Civilization" and recieved a reply dated May 21st, 1996 from them regarding their photocopies of their catalogue cards of manuscripts and audio tapes related to the Gordon Day collection. this cover letter I took to Tom and Daisy's home and I shared this good news with them. I wanted recorded Abenaki linguistic materials to use in my study of the Abenaki Language. Inviting me to dinner I agreed and the letter from this Musuem "disappeared" and no one seemed to know what became of it. I looked everywhere in that house that I could. Later, quite a many months later, Thomas Obomsawin brought it to Karen and Charles Lessard's house and handed it to me thankfully. The damage to my faith in these people was already done sadly said.
I recall that the reason I had asked Cecile if I could audio-record the 31 Swnaton, Vermont Abenaki Language Class Lesson material with her, was because one day while visiting with Tom Obomsawin and Daisy Goodman, I had circumstance to have walked by Tom's "Music/Research room", and he was playing an audio cassette of Elvine Royce-Obomsawin speaking Abenaki. I was shocked there was this kind of Language material out there. I inquiried if I could get a duplicate copy to listen to. The response was "no, it is copyrighted". Thinking on this, it pissed me off that something like this material on the abenaki language would have been Copyrighted, and "restricted" from other Abenaki People so that they could not get hold of such recorded Abenaki language. Subsequently, I had inquiried about getting the material from the Canadian Museum of Civilization up in Hull, Quebec, Canada and that is the very reason I wanted to create with Cecile Wawanolett, the tapes of the 31 Lessons of Abenaki Language Classes we'd done in Swanton, Vermont so that ANYONE could get this material without undue restrictions in obtaining such.
"Someone" felt the necessity to "talk" negatively to Cecile, and probably out of jealousy and maliciousness towards my endeavor. I didn't have alot of money, I didn't have any $84,605.00 dollar Language Revitalization Grants (nor did I know how to find one, let alone how to apply for such). I just took the time and the effort to do what I felt was a worthy and good endeavor and put it into reality and someone had to come along and sabatoge it.