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Monday, June 8, 2009

June 11th, 1997 Editorial article - July 1997 Swanton Newsletter.

On Page 4 of the "group" led by the then "Chief" Homer St. Francis and his daughter "Acting Chief" April A. St. Francis, it is most interesting that they stated in this
newsletter that, "Holding a card recieved in the past is not proof of heritage. Unfortunately, some cards were given without careful review of the files for suficient documentation, a few were given to members of other tribes and spuses recieved cards. Now, only Abenaki can be authorized as citizens."
So, what were these so-called "Leader's ("Chief/ Chief-for-life/ Grand Chief" Homer St Francis) and or Representative's" ("Tribal Judge" Michael Delaney of Swanton's alledged Abenaki (so-called community) doing?!" Passing out to anyone their piece's of plastic Abenaki "membership dog-tags?! That's what my Elder's call these "membership cards" that were repeatedly recreated and reissued by these various "groups" down here in Vermont and New Hampshire. "Chief" Homer St. Francis and or "Tribal Judge" Michael Delaney were putting out these "Missisquoi Abenaki Membership Cards" without doing proper, adequate, and thorough review of applicant's genealogical materials to my thinking. Even when applicants did send in periodic genealogical materials on their families, to "show" their Abenaki descent, the documentary evidence rarely made it into the files of those applicants. Usually it got "lost" between the "Office" and the "Archives". I recall telephoning John Moody, the so-called Abenaki Ethnohistorian after having been made aware of him, by the Vermont Historical Society, and him simply stating to me, when I was living in northwestern Washington, State, quote, "Didn't I tell you the Woodward's and Sawyer's were Abenaki Indian?!, you need to contact the Abenaki Tribal Office and get an 'membership application' and apply for membership." Which is what I did in July 1993. Having arrived in N'dakinna (Vermont and surrounding geographical area's) in April 1994 and while living in Stratford, N.H. after December 1995 and while attending a "meeting - social" at Tom Obomsawin and Daisy Goodman's place, John Moody stated to me while in the company of Tom Obomsawin's "group", "that he had a vehicle breakdown along the Interstate near his home of Norwich or Sharon, Vermont, that he had to walk a bit but having arrived at a front-yard car salesman by the name of Woodward or Woodard, who said he was Indian, this is how he'd arrived at his conclusion's about my Woodward ancestry being Abenaki". Just because someone has the same surname does not mean they come from the same ancestors. Word-of-mouth hearsay oral history is not in-and-of-itself a solidifying/ quantifying basis for concluding someone is Abenaki or even Native American. To this day (June 2009), Mr. John Moody nor the people up in Swanton, Vermont's "group" now led by "Chief" April St. Francis - Rushlow - Merrill, has never shared with myself nor any of my family relatives a shred of documentary evidence, that what he stated was truthful or was of merit. We are still waiting.......
"Chief" Homer St. Francis then goes on to state quote, " WATCH OUT for phony groups claiming to be the true Abenaki. These are social clubs who extend membership to financial supporters and wannabe's." Well, in fact, this is exactly what "Chief" Homer St. Francis and his "Tribal Judge" Michael Delaney did do with their "Membership Cards". In this newsletter as previously I mentioned, they even clearly admitted that "Unfortunately, some cards were given without careful review of the files for sufficient documentation...."
I have documentary evidence of at least five (5) people that got these "Cards" from that "group" up in Swanton led by "Chief" Homer St. Francis, that were never Abenaki in the first place! I find this part of their newsletter a lot like "calling the kettle black" on their part! These so-called "Sovereing Republilc of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, St. Francis/Sokoki Band membership cards" were merely "membership" into an "Incorporation" that was created in the late-1970's.
Daisy Goodman's editorial article in the Coos County Democrat newspaper here in New Hampshire I found while looking in the microfilm at the library. They were "environmentalistically oriented", against Herbicide Spraying, against Sludge Spreading, Logging/ Deforestation techniques by Champion, etc. etc. Tom Obomsawin and Daisy Goodman had a "group" which consisted of myself, his brother David Obomsawin, Vicky...who was David's companion, Carlene Pelletier, Joseph "Tree Hawk" Pelletier, Mark Anthony....Joseph's half brother, Karen Porter) and her young son Levi Porter, Tom Obomsawin's two young son's Adam & Dann Obomsawin, Charles "Charlie" Lessard....who later married to Karen Porter, and Wayne Hall; etc. It was never a very large "group" of people.

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