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Thursday, January 7, 2010

I wrote this email to Diane Snelling on 03/04/09 (March 04, 2009):

I wrote this email to Diane Snelling retrosepctively on 03/04/09 (March 04, 2009):
These alleged groups genealogical evidence does NOT support that their ancestry is even Abenaki from and of Vermont or New Hampshire. More likely they are "assuming" they are Abenaki descendants! April St. Francis-Merrill continues to SAY she and her groups are of Abenaki ancestry. Yet, the B.I.A. concluded otherwise based on what that "group" submitted to the B.I.A.
YET, she SHOWS NO EVIDENCE to support these continued claims. I guess these "groups" assumed that IF they say it long enough, scream the loudest, and jump up and down continuously through the years, people in Vermont and New Hampshire will finally "give in" and give these "groups" what they want, which is direct instantaneous State Recognition WITHOUT any genealogical or historical review. The same goes for these other groups led by or formerly led by Nancy Lee Millette, Luke Willard, Ralph Skinner Swett, Brian Chenevert, Paul Wilson Pouliot, Charles Francis True Jr. and his wife Rhonda Besaw-True, Howard Franklin Knight Jr., very likely a lot more "Chief's" and their "follower - Card Holder's" and numerous others as well.
Several of these "groups" of alleged Abenaki descendants, if one follows their groups foundations, leads right back to this man Howard F. Knight Jr. whose ancestry is dubious, doubtful and his stories about this and that are without merit, without foundation, and based on lies and distortions, created in his own mind over the
years. Even in court this man has lied, and perjured himself in front of the Orleans County Judge!! Clan of the Hawk was also from Howard F. Knight's creation, right along with Paul Wilson Pouliot’s group from Franklin, Massachusetts.
I do think that these "groups" leader’s (including each and every one of their so called "tribal" members as well) genealogical backgrounds and evidence ought to be looked at with a fine toothed comb by the State of Vermont and or N.H., BEFORE ever giving them anything, if they refuse to show and provide their genealogically documented connections to the Abenaki in conjunction with their oral histories, their social histories, and their historical histories.
John Moody is NOT an authority on the Abenaki. Just read the BIA findings! That ought to speak volumes about April St. Francis -Merrill, John Moody, and Frederick Wiseman!! Out of all the people, these multiple families that were listed and evaluated in the BIA Report from Swanton, Vermont and area....NOT one of those families, aside from the O’bomsawin's from Odanak that had relocated to Thompson's Point Vermont out of Burlington had any evidence of which even remotely showed or even indicated that they were of Abenaki descent.
So is the State of Vermont and this so called Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs going to simply confer grant and bequeath Abenaki status to those that merely claim that they are Abenaki, creating “Instant shake & bake Abenaki Indians? Or is there going to be some sort of standard review and EVIDENCE going to be evaluated, reviewed and confirmed, that is at least convincing genealogically speaking, to even INDICATE that these members of these groups and their so called leader's of Abenaki descent?
SO far all I see with all these groups of alleged Abenaki is that they are playing at being Abenaki and when confronted with their manipulations and deceitful ways, they claim that to question them or their claims and genealogies, is racist, and that they deserve
their due. How dare anyone question them! How dare someone doubt them! Well, again it begins with what can be shown convincingly that these people are Abenaki. So far they refuse to show a damn thing. All we hear is this b.s. coming from their mouths, that doesn't match up with their genealogical past ancestors. Even Fred Wiseman's ancestors don't come from Vermont, but rather from Nova Scotia!! I just don't know, but I don't trust any of these groups can produce any evidence that they as a whole or in major portion of their membership is even Abenaki. That is my thoughts on the matter.
The minute genealogical evidence is put on the table as a requirement before gaining State Recognition, they (all of these Inc.'d alleged and re-invented Abenaki "groups") all complain and whine about it, wanting that requirement off the table. But ANY truthful Native community would most certainly demand that genealogy is the first requirement and the last, to have the genealogical requirement first, BEFORE Recognition is granted. Not afterwards, not as an afterthought.
And even if the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs would so much like to be vested with the ability to recognize Tribes and Bands in the State of Vermont, the reality is that this Commission is "stacked" with a bias towards these alleged Abenaki from Swanton led by April St. Francis-Merrill, so she has accused the Commission of being. So what does happen. They "stack the deck" with their own. Charles "Megeso" Delaney comes straight from April Merrill's "group and through Conney Brow and David Gilman's group calling itself the "Traditional Abenaki Band of the Mizipskwik".  It would be like April St. Francis-Merrill recognizing herself through this Commission to a lot of people's thinking today. It would be the Fox guarding the Hen House! The VCNAA desperately needs to be transparent, needs their meetings and discussions recorded, and desperately needs transparency. This Commission needs to represent ALL NATIVE PEOPLE within Vermont. Not just the select few groups in Vermont vying for State Recognition. The People on this VCNAA NEED to be definitvely Native American, documented genealogically and from a Historical Native Indian Community.
When one gets right down to the bottom of the so-called Abenaki in Vermont, its about money, its about Grants, its about status, ego, power and control. Who can say they are "real" Abenaki, and therefore say who is not really Abenaki and create "that standard"?
In truth, today these groups and most of their memberships think about being Abenaki in this way: How can I get paid to "be Abenaki". To speak Abenaki, they got to be paid, to do Abenaki arts; they got to be paid, to do ANYTHING Abenaki they got to be paid. That’s what is being shown in truth by these groups and their people. It's NOT about simply speaking the language or simply "being Abenaki" and having that relationship with each other and with this land we call Vermont today.
In retrospect historically speaking, one did not see a single Abenaki descendant within the State of Vermont jumping up and down in from of the State House in Montpelier, Vermont when the Mohawk man John McComber a.k.a. "Poking Fire" of the Bear Clan came down from Kahnewake laying claim repeatedly to Vermont land, and demanding real estate and or monetary compensation for it. So where was the St. Francis Family then, or any of these other families such as the Knights, Swett's, Pouliot's, Millette's, Willard's, Woodward's, and so on, etc? It does make one wonder. Certainly the Abenaki ancestors had to have a vested interested in maintaining their relationship to this land, even more so than today's descendants?!
So, it is with regret after near 15 years of interacting with and around these alleged groups, that I must inform you all, that Homer St. Francis (April's deceased father) merely gave out these so called Abenaki "Tribal Cards" to ANYONE who said they
were Abenaki, including myself. All I had at the time of early Spring 1994, was oral history and nothing to support my claims of being Abenaki from and of Vermont. Today that is a different story. How many others assume they are Abenaki, and subsequently got one of these group's "Cards" and now demands "State of Vermont Recognition"?
Do we want to be involved in this Recognition of groups that are mysterious in their memberships, in the merits of their claims of being Abenaki because they refuse to provide the clear and convincing evidence of their ancestors being Abenaki from and of Vermont? Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
If you have any questions of me or what or why I have stated what I have herein, please do not hesitate to communicate with me at your convenience.
And what about all the Odanak Abenaki people who live within the State of Vermont and New Hampshire? Just because they are off-Reservation, and living in the USA doesn't mean they get any benefits from that Native Community while living here in the States from their membership at Odanak, Quebec. Are they not as much if not equally (even more so) Vermont Abenaki as any other, such as Jeanne Brink and Timothy Richard de la Bruere and many other Abenaki living within Vermont for many years/generations?
These are my thoughts and conclusions and mine alone. Thank you for reading this letter and hopefully putting more consideration into this Abenaki Recognition business. I demand that clear and convincing evidence be put forth by these groups of alleged Abenaki BEFORE the State of VT or NH grant or bequeath any official State Recognition to any specific group's or person's, whether Legislatively or through the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, now or in the Recognition or empowerment to these groups, without proper genealogical review, such what is being asked for in H.124, S.222 in Vermont - or HB1610 here in New Hampshire. What is being requested of the VT and or NH Legislature's by these alleged and re-invented Abenaki groups through these afore mentioned crafted Bills, is to me and my family, an absurdity ... beyond measurement. Genealogy, oral histories, social and historical history evidence must be first shown and provided, before any recognition to anyone, to any specific or particular group, no matter how much they protest to the

Sincerely and kindly,

Douglas Lloyd Buchholz
P.O. Box 83
Lancaster, New Hampshire 03584

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