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Friday, April 30, 2010

October 29, 2008 E-Mail Communications of the so-called Vermont "Abenaki Alliance" vs. Jews, Homosexuals, Lesbians and Transvestites:

October 29, 2008


Pay attention to section 21:45 to 24:00 when I telephoned in to VPR's Vermont Edition, to confront Mr. Wiseman on his alleged "Native Perspective" regarding the Lake Champlain "Quadricentennial Celebration."

Frederick Matthew Wiseman speaking to Vermont Edition:

“For example, Native People are the only ones that do not have to...that cannot self-identify. If I was...a member of the Gay/ Lesbian community or the Judaic Community no one would ask for my....for proof....of that. One of the interesting issues with Native People is that they are the only one's....that continually have to....prove ourselves."

Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 11:08 AM
Subject: Vermont Native Community

Dear Native Leaders,
I feel that the time has come to really get serious on a united Native Agenda. The "Gay Marriage" bill passed because there was unity and strength in numbers. There was one united voice. Native people in the eyes of the public and legislative body look at us all as weak, fractured, and no more than an annoyance without the strength to do anything about it. We need to change this for our children and our future. Even if we do not concentrate on a recognition bill, let us at least focus on the Native Image or Educating those who want to participated in learing about the Native Culture. Many of you do this already, however we need to work together as one.
I am reaching out to all of you to see if we can become more of a team. I hope that meetings can happen monthly where all are invited to participate and no one is turned away. I feel that we need to bring all native people to the table for a common cause and move the Native agenda forward. At a minimum, the heads of each Tribe, band, or family should all sit down together periodically to forget past wrongs and have a say on moving forward together. If our ancestors could do these things, we should also be able to do these things.
Please let me know if anyone is interested in doing this. If so, maybe one of you or I can organize a first meeting.

Be Well,
Donald Warren Stevens Jr.

On Wed, 4/22/09 April 22, 2009, Nancy Millette wrote:
From: Nancy Millette
Subject: Re: Vermont Native Community
To: donald_stevens@myfairpoint.net
Cc: "Roger Longtoe" , "luke willard" , "Luke Willard" , "Chief April"
Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 4:46 PM

HI Donald Warren Stevens Jr.
I can appreciate your concern about Native Issues but perhaps it is the commission who is out of the loop. Our tribal councils and elders councils meet often and stay abreast of the Alliance activities and agendas. I think that it is more your commission should become more in tune to what the Native Community is doing rather than asking us to spend more time with meetings that would amount to nothing more than a dog and pony show for the commission.
Respectfully Nancy Millette – Doucet

From Luke Andrew Willard
I, too, am a bit confused. I browse the commission minutes on Mark Mitchell's site. I sometimes chuckle when the commission discusses topics that only the chiefs and councils can deal with. Without the tribes, the commission is ceremonial at best... but more so, null and void in the eyes of the Alliance. That has been my understanding at least.
If you want some unity with the already unified Alliance, I would suggest pressuring the governor to cooperate with the tribes, giving us some authority over the makeup of the commission. Currently, the deck is stacked. Asking us to sit down with people like Ms. Timmy and Mr. Judy is like asking Israel to sit down with Iran, the nation who calls for Israel's extermination... fortunately for Israel, they've got the bomb... and fortunately for the Alliance, we've got the people and the podium.
My opinions have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. You just happen to be behind enemy lines. I actually like your idea a lot, but I can't waste my time when I know that the deck is stacked.

Chief Luke Willard
Nulhegan Band of Abenakis
(802) 754-6264 Home

From: donald_stevens@myfairpoint.net
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 12:13 PM
To: luke willard
Cc: 'Nancy Millette'; 'Chief April Merrill'; 'Fred Wiseman'; 'Elnu Abenaki'
Subject: Re: Vermont Native Community 


I understand you position also. I am trying to change things as best I can. However, nothing will change if we do not at least try to move forward together. It is really going to be important to work together now more than ever! I found out yesterday that Odanak just got their Federal Recognition in Canada changed to allow Cards and full voting rights to citizens outside of the reservation and full protection as tribal members. They also won some land lawsuit they were looking for in Canada. Richard Skip Bernier informed Jeanne Brink at the meeting that she and Tim De la Breuere are getting a card and to fill out the application. They also said that they are providing cards to 350 people in Vermont. They are going to work closely with their members in Vermont to secure their rights. This will be in your neck of the woods. I will be asking them to come to a meeting sometime in the future to find out what their intentions are so I can see how it impacts Vermont. I hope that you understand that they are now going to flex their muscle and use the Federal rights in Canada to transfer to the United States. I hope you understand that they are now going to be a tribal force in Vermont and who do you think they are going to go after?? I would bet the alliance....Who do you think will be talking to the Governor to

work with the commission on who should be recognized or not? If their Federal Recognition transfers or is recognized by the United States, then Vermont has no choice but to recognize them like we would the Mahicans. As was written in S.117, the Commission has to work with All Native American Tribes and groups located in Vermont. Guess who's coming to dinner with Genealogy in hand. Food for thought...

Be Well,

Don Stevens

From: Fred Wiseman
To: donald_stevens@myfairpoint.net; 'luke willard'
Cc: 'Nancy Millette' ; 'Chief April Merrill' ; 'Elnu Abenaki'
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 5:02 PM
Subject: RE: Vermont Native Community

Don't worry guys--
There is no mechanism in the BIA or any other Federal Agency (except for Indigenous refugees from third world countries inder the State Department-- a few Mosquito indians came here under that a few years ago, and for the Smithsonian which has unique and crazy rules) for any special treatment of Indians or any indigenous peoples for that matter recognized or not in their country of origin. The Iroquois have used the Jay treaty of border crossings in the past, but that was curtailed years ago and is being entirely cut off as we speak. So we don't have anything to worry about except arrogance - and that is nothing new. There is no "transferral." 
Frederick Matthew Wiseman

From: Nancy Millette
To: Fred Wiseman ; donald_stevens@myfairpoint.net ; 'luke

Cc: 'Chief April Merrill' ; 'Elnu Abenaki'
Sent: Saturday, April 25, 2009 7:55 AM
Subject: Re: Vermont Native Community

I was thinking...if the "Vermont native Commission" is going to give so much attention and concern to Canadian Indians living in the USA and VT perhaps they should also have a special seat for the Mexicans, Aztecs and Incas living in VT ?? they too are from another country and are indigenous to their country and living here. Perhaps we could have a fire dance celebration on the state house lawn in honor of them?? Then we could celebrate the canadian indigenous fur trappers who helped develop trade in Canada? Certainly the indigenous tribe in the Alliance who are indigenous to Vermont have no support to honor our history and contributions to this state....I find it quite insulting that the NA Commission is ready to bow down and support Canadian Indians here however, here in Newbury and Haverhill they turn their noses up on the family members who live 50 feet away from each other on opposing river banks!

I am sure the BIA would think this is as ridiculous and nothing more than a scare tactic as I do.
Nancy Millette – Doucet

This was in Response to Donald Stevens Resignation from the VCNAA:
To one and all,
I have felt that since Donald Stevens recent Resignation that I would respond with the facts, as I know them from the “minutes” of the VCNAA. The following is how I see this recent situation having arisen. I think that ONLY with unbiased, truthful persons on the VCNAA will the Commission be able to move forward on any level. At this point, I think that the people that have removed themselves from VCNAA up to this point simply have left for personal reasons, not that any one VCNAA member has tried to pit one against the other, except for Donald Stevens himself in his Resignation letter. Again, members on this Commission need to maintain their positions of being unbiased and not putting forth any possible hidden agenda(s) or endeavor(s) from any one group(s) vs. another.

Douglas Lloyd Buchholz
P.O. 83
Lancaster, New Hampshire 03584
(603) 788-2718

Falsehood 1:
Donald Stevens, Chairman of the VCNAA, stated in his letter dated May 4th, 2009 "I was asked by the Commission to reach out to the tribes to try to get them to come to the table to support vested authority for the commission and to start working with us”.

The commission did not ask Donald Stevens, "to reach out to the tribes to try to get them to come to the table to support vested
authority for the commission". But rather if you read the minutes from February 26, 2009 meeting you will find the following statement. "Judy moved for the Commission to move forward with the proposed language for vested authority and for Donald Stevens to extend a hand to other tribes for their input."

This is clearly the problem with the letters that Donald Stevens wrote. He did not understand what was asked of him.

Falsehood 2:
In Donald Steven's letter dated April 21, 2009 He states "I am reaching out to all of you to see if we can become more of a team I hope that meetings can happen monthly where all are invited to participate and no one is turned away. "

Once again this is not what the Commission requested. They did not ask for additionally monthly meetings, rather they asked "for input from the other tribes."

Falsehood 3:
Again in the April 21, 2009 letter Donald Stevens states “I hope that meetings can happen monthly where all are invited to participate and no one is turned away…..If so, maybe one of you or I can organize a first meeting.”

Once again the Commission asked Donald Stevens to gather input, not to create a series of separate meetings that he or someone else can or would organize. This would be like running a parallel Commission.

Falsehood 4:
In a letter dated April 24, 2009 Donald Stevens wrote the following: “I found out yesterday that Odanak just got their Federal Recognition changed to allow cards and full voting rights to citizens outside of the reservation and full protection as tribal members.”

Canada has always allowed cards and voting rights to citizens outside of the reservation, they merely increased the amount of descendant generations that they would include recently. Which includes those person’s or families south of the Canadian/USA Border.

Falsehood 5:
In this same letter Donald Stevens stated “Skip informed Jeanne at the meeting that she and Tim are getting a card and to fill out the application. They also said that they are providing cards to 350 people in Vermont. They are going to work closely with their members in Vermont to secure their rights….Who do you the commission on who should be recognized or not?….As was written in S.117, the Commission has to work with All Native American Tribes and groups located in Vermont. Guess who’s coming to dinner with Genealogy
[sic] in hand….”

This was an informational comment from a member of the community. This comment should have been taken only as information, and subsequently then researched and documented, and afterwards introduced to the community at large. For Donald Stevens to take the comments from a community member out of context, distort it, add his own personal interpretations and then sent it out for publication and gossip is outrageous. This certainly will not encourage other community members to speak out at VCNAA meetings in the future.

Falsehood 6:
The chain of emails in question was addressed to Luke Willard, Nancy Lee Millette, Chief April nee: St. Francis - Merrill, Frederick Wiseman, and Elnu Abenaki.

As stated above the commission requested that Don reach out to “other tribes for input”. However, Don specifically left out The Cowasuck and the Clan of the Hawk and various other family bands such as Louise Lampman. The commission needs to be as inclusive as possible. Don chose to recognize the “Native Alliance ” only, and excluded thousands of other people. This is very concerning and clearly shows where Don’s “alliance” stands.

Falsehood 7:
In a letter dated April 24, 2009 Don writes in response to a letter from Luke Willard, Attached to Don’s response was a copy of Luke’s original letter. “Asking us to sit down with people like Ms. Timmy and Mr. Judy is like asking Israel to sit down with Iran , the nation who calls for Israel ’s extermination….. fortunately for Israel , they’ve got the bomb and fortunately for the Alliance we’ve got the people and the podium.”

Rather than responding to such an egregious statement from Luke Willard, by not responding, Donald Stevens chose to respond to such an insulting statement by replying and totally ignoring the comment made Mr. Luke Willard, and Donald Stevens completely seemingly ignoring the comment altogether in his response regarding two of his fellow Commission members. Something a Commission member especially a Chairman ought never to have been involved with in the first place.

June 03, 2009
“It’s a little frustrating for us when the gay-rights movement was able to get its legislation passed in one session, and we have been trying to get our rights for generations,” said Donald Stevens, who recently resigned as the VCNAA’s chairman. He was the second chairman within six months to resign — Mark Mitchell stepped down last fall.

Donald Stevens says some members of the VCNAA appear hostile to the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi St.Francis/Sokoki Band. He and others, including Chief April St. Francis, have complained to the governor and his staff.

Luke Willard’s commentary on ABENAKI NATION AT NULHEGAN/ MEMPHREMAGOG on Facebook.com

Evil things happened in Montpelier, Vermont today (Friday, April 16, 2010). What can you expect from a legislature that made it a "priority" to protect the feelings of transvestites? Soon, you will be able to marry your dog and your sister at the same time...but Vermont Abenakis will NEVER be recognized ....FORCING our artisans to be criminals for selling their crafts as “Abenaki Made”. Shame upon these “lawmakers”. Friday (April 16, 2010) at 9:39pm....


Over a period of time, this self-created and self-promoting "Abenaki Alliance" so-called (of which are merely (4) four Incorporations *under Vermont State laws) has made numberous references to the GLBT Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgendered Organization in rather a denigrating homophobic tone since about 2007 in the media. Is this to solicit Media and PUBLIC "sympathies" because Gay Marriage/ Civil Union rights were bestowed upon the GLBT minority of Vermont, and at the same time, the "Abenaki Incorporated Alliance" felt "it was their due" as well to be officially "VT State Legislature Recognized"?

Well, it would be rather easy if we had a lot of GLBT Abenaki in Vermont. At least that would be a better excuse for an "Abenaki Alliance" member to dye one's hair black, wear dark eye contacts, and/or run a curling iron and hair straightening solution through one's hair so one could look "more Abenaki/ Indian" like some of the so-called "Abenaki Alliance" had retrospectively done in the Quadricentennial Celebration there in Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont !)

Then again, I keep going back to the question...

What really truthfully does "Gay Marriage" or the GLBT minority have to do with "Abenaki Recognition" in the State of Vermont. It's like comparing apples to bananas or nuts to fruits.
One dynamic has really NOTHING do to with other, unless of course your part of the GLBT minority AND of Abenaki descent. Maybe its just the point these people are attempting very poorly to make and that is, that if the State of VT Legislative members can pass a Gay Marriage or Civil Union law (some say "against the Will of the People blah, blah, blah) then that why can't that same Legislature of Vermont officially recognize the newly created "Abenaki Alliance" groups? I guess its because the one minority within Vermont has NOTHING to do with the other alleged/ reinvented Abenaki minority.
I think these disgusting ~ homophobic "sympathy" plea's and "bashing undertones" by these self-proclaimed - self-promoting spokespersons/ or self declared "Chiefs" simply SHOWS and PROVIDES the documentary evidence, that these people could NEVER be inclusive in their dialogues or their recognition of "other Abenakis" that exist outside of the Incorporate Dynamic within the State of VT (or NH). Anyone can read how they "step on" "step over" and "tear down" the alleged "expatriot" descendants from Odanak of whom continue to live in Vermont up to today (and their ancestors have been here for many generations), not to mention that Odanak was documentarily verified to have been created by "relocated Abenakis" THAT CAME in part FROM VERMONT...in particular Abenakis from MISSISQUOI i.e. Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont). Of course, most people obviously KNOW that ODANAK is an legitimate ABENAKI COMMUNITY (Odanak or "St. Francis" was a community in existence since ca. 1672. French Mission established in 1683 which was relocated in 1700, and essentially complete by 1800). When someone looks beyond all other inflammatory rhetoric from the so-called Abenaki Alliance as they want to call themselves, it is ONLY one (1) word that TERRIFIES these Incorporate "groups"/ Organization's who are the Alleged and Re-Invented Abenakis of Vermont (and or New Hampshire). That word is:


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Louise May (nee: Lampman) Larivee E-Mail Communications w. Douglas Lloyd Buchholz in March through to April 2010:

I was not ASKING the Governor of Vermont, nor was I asking the office of the Attorney General of Vermont either.

I was ASKING Louise May (nee: Lampman) Larivee

All I got was...Nothing but...
1. Deception
2. Excuses
3. Unsubstantiated "Stories"

and...if she or they were allegedly and supposedly "tricked" by Jeffrey Benay into going to this event led by inherited "Chief-For-Life" April St. Francis-Merrill's "protest of whining, bitching and complaining" and so on...then why didn't Louise Lampman-Larivee (and her family members) simply not just turn around and leave the premises, once they got there? Why didn't they object vocally (or in the media) to "appearing" as if they were in support of the St. Francis family, if alleged...as Louise Lampman-Larivee has stated "that the Lampman's were and are NOT in support of April St. Francis-Merrill at all?"

Again, all one needs to do is "review all of the historical records" and the answer's are readily available.

Yet again, there are a lot of questions , and not enough answers...


Talk is cheap.

Louise Lampman Letter of 2 Pages ~ Plus MY Response(s):

Committee on Economic Development:
Senator Vincent Illuzzi, Senator Hinda Miller, Senator Carris, Senator Condos, and Senator Racine
Senator Illuzzi and Committe Members:

I am appalled by what is going on within the Native communities. I have received many phone calls and e-mails from all over in regards with all the stuff that is being said on how this amendment is affecting everyone's lives.
In 2005 I was sent a letter from the Native American Federal arts and crafts board informing us that unless there was state recognition as a tribe we could not sell our crafts. In turn, my brother Lester Lampman had set up an appointment with Suzanne Young about this topic.
I, my brothe Lester Lampman, Larry Lapan Sr. and Connie Brow attended this meeting which was held in Montpelier. We are unsure if any thing was said to any one else about this meeting. I ask myself why didn't Jeff Benay ex-Chair of the Governor's Commission for Native American affairs which I sat on for two terms with him...why didn't he ask me to speak. I had seen him on a regular basis, for our offices were just down the hall from each other. He was and is aware of the different fractions within the Abenaki Nation. He has known about stuff for many years.
In January of 2006 I testified for State Recognition, being asked by Senator Carolyn Branagan.
When I finished my testimony that went for 45 minutes, if not longer, I was commented on about how professional I was and one had commented on wanting to know why I was not first to testify, as it would have answered a lot of questions about who these other bands were.
When the New Commission was set up, me and my brother Lester did approach the commission with this letter about the arts and crafts. Chairman Mark Mitchell and Mrs. Brink along with Mrs. Dow were concerned enough to start conversations going. My family being one of the oldest family bands allegedly from Missisquoi tribe, has been in contact with this commission and we have given input to the effects of this amendment. Most of my family are working people who cannot take time away from their jobs to testify at hearings.
I guess one question would be...has anyone from the committee ever listened to my testimony (more likely the question ought to be...has ANYONE from the April 2010 Committee or ANYONE ELSE ever actually obtained actual pre-1970's documentary and genealogically clear and convincing evidence that the Lampman's...or anyone from Swanton, VT...is actually Abenaki, or descended from the HISTORICAL Missisquoi community, say prior to 1820? I know I have not seen one shred of evidence from Louise Lampman at all to date, as to the merits/ foundation, of her words/ testimony...I have politely and respectfully inquiried and she made excuses and declined my request...and no, this public statement of inquiry is not TABOO, nor disrespectful to her or anyone else...TALK is cheap....Abenakis do not have "secret societies" or operate as if such People's were or are "cults"!). Considering this amendment is to rectify a bill.
I would like to correct some information that Mr. Frederick M. Wiseman has been passing around, especially when it concerns my reputation and family. For his information, I represent my family band, which there are 250. This would be siblings, their children and first cousins, and second cousins. This does not include a few out there that I did not add in to this.
If he had such a connection within the larger Abenaki community of Franklin County he would know of this, and he does not mention the LaPan family band or the others. Family bands which it has always been the way of the head of a family spokesperson for-the-family, but the one who is willing and able to speak. Why didn't he contact all of the heads of these family bands?
I find it insulting that he claims himself to be the tribal historian of the alleged and reinvented Abenaki people, when he does not know who the people are. What knowledge could he possibly hold if he has never spoken to me or any member of my family? Does he not realize that I have been involved in tribal affairs (actually that is INCORPORATE affairs) for over thirty years, long before he, or Jeff Benay were ever in the picture? I remember when Jane Beck did the interviews with my father (Why weren't these tapes/ transcripts submitted and used in the Petition of the St. Francis-Sokoki to the Bureau of Indian Affairs? According the BIA such alleged tapes or transcripts were NEVER submitted! Do these tapes even exist?) . We still have the transcribed copies along with many tapes of my grandmother who said on the tape that she was born in a cave, not the Fortin one, just to correct a rumor going around. These interviews were done before the first time the State gave Recognition (November 1976 by VT Gov. Thomas Salmon) only to have it subsequently taken away (early 1977 by VT Gov. Richard Snelling) for lack of genealogical merit and foundation, then it was just the St. Francis / Sokoki bands.
I also feel it is important to remember that the St. Francis band are those that lived on the St. Francis river, not the family name (St. Francis) which after doing seven years of cultural competency trainings this isse always comes up.
The tribe they all belonged to now should be the Missisquoi Tribe. This amendment is not about who is Native, or Indian. It is about amending a law that was done wrong for the aboriginal people. To acknowledge more than one Tribe within Vermont, takes away the rights away from those of us who know who we are (Knowing who we are, does NOT make that group of persons, families or group what they ASSUME they are...Again, anyone SAYING that their Abenaki is one dynamic; and yet where is the Clear and Convincing Evidence of that self-proclaimed identity? Especially when seeking VT or NH State Recognition based on that Self-Identification of Ethnicity or Race?) .
There is no simple answer to this and by far, there is no means to rush something that is so important, is unfair to all of us. It is the responsiblity for the State of Vermont's government to make a right of a bill that was done wrong, but not the right of a State government to decide who the Indians are by listening to a few people.
This amendment has turned alleged Native against reinvented Native and allowed some to think they have the Abenaki scholar experience about tribal qualifications. Some have gone to the length to ridicule people who have passed on; this in my book is one of the lowest things possible for someone to do.

 (What one of the lowest things possible for a "group of persons" collectively-speaking in my book to do, is mis-appropriate Abenaki Cultural Heritage, and Language in attempts to deceptively unsurp an identity from a legitimate Native People, for the benefit of themselves, with blantant disregard to the truth of their own historical reality and their ancestors).

It should also be known that the Nulhegan, Koasek and El-Nu, for they have called themselves bands or groups...they are not TRIBES...but maybe bands that belong to the Missisquoi Tribe.

Now, that to me, sounds JUST like something the late "Chief" and/ or "Grand Chief" or "Chief-For-Life" Homer Walter St. Francis Sr. would say!

How "seperated from/ and or supportive towards" allegedly "retrosepctively-speaking" Louise Lampman-Larrivee been regarding the St. Francis family up in Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont? one does have to ask one's self.

Pictures speak louder than words
Louise (nee: Lampman) Larivee is, in this photograph standing behind the right shoulder of April Ann (nee: St. Francis) Merrill dated in mid to late November 2005. SWANTON, Vt. - The chief of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi said the tribe will continue its quest for federal acknowledgement despite a preliminary denial by the BIA. The BIA issued a proposed finding Nov. 10, 2005 saying the St. Francis/Sokoki Band's evidence failed to prove its members descended from the historical Abenaki tribe, that it existed as a tribe from 1900 to 1975, or that it was identified as a continuous community with political authority from first contact with non-Indians.

April A.(nee: St. Francis) Merrill inherited the title of chief from her father, the late Homer Walter St. Francis Sr., who died in 2001.

(So much for Jeanne Lincoln - Kent stating...that April Merrill was VOTED in...NOT!) 
Here is the actual article that accompanied the above photograph:
Vermont Band Denied Federal Recognition
Indian News Country Today Article
November 22nd or 23rd, 2005 by Gale C. Toensing

The remainder of Louise (nee: Lampman) Larivee's letter to the Senate Committe:
In closing, I hope everyone remembers what the Native American Commission was set up for. A commission made up of Native people to make choice for the Native people. It is unfair for all to bad mouth a group of volunteers who gave up many hours of their time to put people in a position where discussions are today. Amending a Bill that was set up for Minorities, not the Aboriginal people.
For Bennington County was sold by the Mahigan: Or have we forgotten this?
Louise Lampman Larivee
Daughter of the Late Chief Leonard "Blackie" Miles Lampman  Family, who was recognized by his Tribe (the Missisquoi)

Louise Lampman - Larivee's response(s) to Douglas Lloyd Buchholz regarding the photograph attached in this posting, etc...is as follows in the next posting:

Open Letter to Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas of late March 2008 Pages 32-35:

Kwai Nidobak (In Abenaki, this means "Hello, my friends ")
the following is from my blog at www.morningstarstudio9.com. It is not intended to "bash" anyone, but to recount the events as I saw them to provide the facts from my perspective. Most of the facts can be verified by the speakers own words which were video taped during the meeting.
Morningstar (Jeanne Antoinette nee: Lalime - Lincoln - Kent)
MEETING - Wanask├┤wadin
Kwai, Nidoba (In abenaki this means "Hello, my friend)
I attended the Hearing on @ (sic) S.117 on Friday and was disappointed that more "Indians" did not attend. It was mostly "chiefs". This concerns a lot of people who are not making their thoughts heard. There is still time to write to the Senators on the matter. Chief April and Nancy Millet (sic) Millette-Doucet spoke factually and well regarding their thoughts on the amendment as written. They expressed thought which I agreed with and which others might have, had they heard the original statements. As elequently as Judy Dowd's (sic) Dow's thoughts were expressed, she seemed to still be under the impression that it was the intention of the two major groups to exclude others, which was not the intent at all. While there was a great deal of emphasis on the fact that the amendment they added would somehow be exclusive of others that was not their intent at all and it was so stated at the hearing. (Which was video taped). The difficulty is that the Abenaki in particular have for two lifetimes (Chief Homer Walter St. Francis Sr. 's and Chief April Ann nee: St. Francis - Rushlow - Merrill 's) worked government to government (NO, that was Government to Incorporation) on many local issues. They have protected grave sites, continued to teach the young lanugage, dance and culture as well as crafts. They have provided cultural events in their Native territory and were recognized by name in the original S.117 (No, that was recongition of the HISTORICALLY DOCUMENTED MISSISQUOI ABENAKIS of the Swanton-Franklin County, Vermont area...NOT St. Francis/ Sokoki Band of the Abenaki led by April Merrill). It seems redundant to have them go thru another recognition process when the government itself has been recognizing them for nearly 100 years (100 years?! No, that group only incorporated *under Vermont State Law, in 1975-1976).
Both Chief April Merrill and Nancy Millette - Doucet testified that other Bands would be welcome to go through the application process to be recognized. That cannot be made clear enough as others keep acting as scare mongers trying to prevent things from moving forward.
At this point in time, I have serious doubts about the professionalism and qualifications of some of the Commission members. I am certain there are others who are dedicated and honest, but there is room for doubt on some of the them. For instance, Jeanne Brink took some of her time to once again state that she was not connected with Odanak, yet has (more than once) stated in publication that she is a citizen of it. (NO, Jeanne Brink may or may allegedly have said that at that time, the reporter Terry Hallenbeck, the Burlington Free Press reporter stated that Jeanne Brink stated this).
Burlington Press
Wed. October 3, 2007
article by Terri Hallenbeck
"...I think it will solve the problem," said Jeanne Brink of Barre, an Abenaki basketmaker who is a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. She is able to sell her work as Native American as a citizen of the Odanak Reserve in Quebec, but she said she works with other Vermont Abenaki artists who cannot."
Not only is this contradictory to her testimony at the Friday hearing, it is contrary to the Arts and Crafts laws which state that in order for someone from Odanak to sell crafts here, they would have to be made on the Reservation there and imported here. It is quite clear that this is not the case. Further, she has threatened that if the commission's version of

the amendment is not accepted, she will recommend that no recognition of any kind be given to anyone. So much for a willingness to compromise for the wellbeing of the Abenaki People.
In his speech, "Chief" Paul Pouliot openly admitted that he provides Artisan Certificates from his Cowasuck group and has every intention of continuing doing so. He has stated that he is going thru recognition (he has a letter of intent on file, but not an application at this time), while defying the Arts and Crafts Law openly. Last summer he openly displayed one of those certificates at the Swanton Heritage Day celebration even as Vermont Craftsmen struggled to do things legally. That is hardly doing things the "right way". His speaking style, as always, introduced key inflammatory words such as "casinos" and "land grabs" in an attempt to frighten the Senate members. It is and never has been the intention of the Missisquoi or Koesucks (sic) Koasek or Koas to seek either, but at least one other band (Inc. Nulhegan group led by Luke Andrew Willard) has approached their Representative for money to purchase a building to house a museum  bar and gambling establishment. A little like the pot calling the kettle black. A point which has not been made publicly clear is that that if the Missisquoi and Koesucks (sic) go thru the same process as everyone else at this time, it will be at least another year or two before anyone is recognized. Having at least one group recognized in the short run would alleviate the pressure being placed on Artisans by the Federal Government. Todd Hebert also noted that without some form of recognition, the upcoming Centennial celebration would be without any recognized Native Bands. It makes that even moot. This happened in Virginia and could happen in Vermont.
I still support the recognition of the Missisquoi and Koesucks and the continued efforts to recognize all bands who qualify. I do not feel the Legislature should be involved for legal reasons and for the time constraints it will place on the process.
Following is a copy of my statement at the hearing:

Kwai Kwai, Nidobak
Good mornings, Ladies and Gentlement of the Senate and all who have come here today.
My name is Jeanne Kent, B.F.A., M.A., Ed., aka Morningstar (Spozowialakwz). I am a retired art instructor and current owner of Morningstar Studio. I am Abenaki of the Bear Clan through the Watso/ Capino family of Odanak and signers of the Robertson's Lease in Missisquoi County. I currently reside in Winchester, CT, but have a daughter, her family and two grandchildren residing in Vermont. I also have a son and two more grandchildren residing in Connecticut. I am not currently enrolled so I speak as an individual, family matriarch, and as an artist/ craftsperson.
I wish to commend all who have worked on both sections of the amendment and thank you for your hours of dedication. However, I was very surprised when I saw the new guidelines set forth by the Commission as they are almost identical to those set forth by the Federal government for Federal Recognition. I had always been under the impression that State guidelines were less stringent in recognizing tribes at State level. That is not apparent here.
As history has shown, it too 33 years for us to have the little recognition currently offered and one has to wonder how long it will take for the new process to recognize the State bands. It should be clear that most of the Bands and family clans, have little or no money or resources to prepare the kind of data being requested. It is obvious that some form of identification is necessary, but what is being asked for would require money and
man hours that most groups do not have. They are still Abenaki. But proving it to these standars could be a hardship.
If the two groups which have historically been active in Vermont were to be recognized, they could then act as a conduit for grant money to help these smaller groups to do the research necessary for their recognition. Asking each group to do their own, places an undue burden on them. I place before you my own genealogy (I placed three notebooks on the table).....

(what happened to Jeanne Kent's other 3 notebooks she claims to have? See http://www.abenakijustice.blogspot.com/ partial quote "I [Jeanne Kent aka Morningstar] don't think anyone proved that I am not descended from Odanak. While I have not reviewed all of my genealogy on Douglas' site, I do have enough information that fills six notebooks which says I do. I simply do not meet the requirement for enrollment there...So, no, I do not meet the requirements, but that does not mean I am not a descendant. Apparently  you do not understand that the Capino/Pineau families are descendants of the Watso family." dated April 26, 2010).....

....which took nearly 20 years to complete, numerous hours, travel, costs, correspondences  phone calls and trips to the genealogical library and Canada, and the  hiring of professional genealogists. Merely printing this and binding it for you today cost about $200.00 (yet she didn't apparently leave the 3 notebooks of her alleged genealogy for anyone in the Legislature to review). Multiply this times each individual or each band, and the matter is an  economic challege for all concerned. (There is currently NO budget alloted to the VT Indian Commission.)
Much of the heated discussions have been over power and personalities, but the reality for many of us, it is neither. We are getting on in years and would like to see recognition before we cross over. We have already lost some of our historians, leaders and valued Elders. We are slowing dying from paper genocide.
I am concerned at this time about the matter of privacy of information. This past week, private emails passing between individuals and Commission members found their way onto the Internet. This makes me and others wary of where personal genealogies and band information will be housed and how carefully it will be handled. In as much as this action was defended by the Commission Chairman (Mark Mitchell at the time), I would request stronger guidelines regarding the handling of Commission information and correspondence.
There are those who are verbally attacking the two major Abenaki groups on personal levels, but they seem to forget that leaderships are no longer inherited (EXCEPT April Ann nee: St. Francis - Merrill) . They are voted in. Rather than destroying the entire Abenaki Nation to take revenge upon a few people, it would seem more rational to appoint two groups and use them as leadership to work with the government (I should have said "continued"). It would be manditory rather than optional. This would also mean that leadership would be by vote and not by self-appointment. It would also mean that the Abenaki would have a voice and unified leadership.
To clarify: I do NOT support the Legislature. I DO support having the Commission approve Bands, NOT individuals. That should be left to the Bands. I also support the appointment of two major bands to handle the research and approval of all other splinter groups.
I have been an artist since I was old enough to hold a crayon (most Kindergartner's can say the same thing!) , and often shuffled four jobs to pay for my college education in the arts. I will continue to do my art with or without a disclaimer. But being able to label my work as Abenaki, would authenticate it as not only Native Made, but made by someone who has dedicated recent years to researching and producing woodland arts in order to help preserve our culture. It would mean being able to produce museum quality work and to teach others about us. I would also like the right to designate my artwork as Abenaki because when the arts, music, language, and stories are taken away from a People, we cease to be a People. For now we still have enough left to preserve, but soon, it will be gone.
As noted, I have done my genealogy and it is documented. I have a home, a retirement plan, medical insurance, a car and an education as well as a business of my own. I ask
nothing of the State of Vermont or the government. I was Abenaki yesterday. I am today and I will be tomorrow. What I do want is the right to SAY it (No one is stopping anyone from SAYING they are alleged Abenaki). I would like my alleged and self-declared birthright to be who I am without question. Too Indian for the white community; too white for the Indian community, I always see to be walking between two worlds. I would like to die having found balance and peace between them.
Will Vermont help to preserve it's history and the history of the Abenaki People? (Or allow these Incorporated Wanna-be Fake False Pretenders who have seemingly mis-appropriated an Abenaki Cultural Identity that doesn't belong to them at all to RE-WRITE the truthful Vermont history and Abenaki Ancestors and descendants blood, sweat and tears?!). You hold a beating heart in your hands. It is our heart. Please handle it with care. (Mohawk style!).
Oliwini (In Abenaki this means to imply that what is given is received  only to be given outwardly again...circular...."what comes around subsequently goes around" "what one puts out eventually one gets back in return").
Thank you for allowing me to speak today
Spozowialakwz (Morningstar)
aka Jeanne Kent, B.F.A., M.A., Ed.


So...when in late February to at least April 2008 (including the latter half of 2007) Rep. Hinda Miller and Rep. Vincent Illuzzi were retrospectively-speaking working to craft an Amendment Bill to S.177 Vermont Abenaki Recognition bill, these various persons and groups of alleged and re-invented Abenakis of Vermont (along with other persons outside the State of Vermont...including myself were involved in the Abenaki Recognition dynamics, debate, and either advocated or obstructed positively or negatively.

From this retrospective look back at the early part of 2008, these "groups" of alleged and reinvented Abenakis in Vermont (the St. Francis-Sokoki, the Nulhegan, the Koasek, and El-Nu) were simply paranoid and obstructing ANYTHING that had to do with Odanak descendants who have lived within the state of Vermont for generations, and most importantly ANYTHING to do with GENEALOGICAL VERIFICATION, SOCIAL VERIFICATION, and HISTORICAL VERIFICATION that these INCORPORATION'S they themselves have created *under Vermont State Laws, to VERIFY, SOLIDIFY and SUBSTANTIATE their claims and proclamations that these Inc.d groups, their "Grand Chiefs" "Co-Chiefs" "Sub-Chiefs" their "Ambassadors" their "Senior Advisers  their "Elders" their "Medicine People" or what have you, were and are legitimately descended and connected to the Abenaki Ancestors.

Genealogy TERRIFIES the Thieves and Liars, the Mis-Appropriators. The one's who "hide-in-plain-sight"

SO, in April 2010....the Abenaki Circus of Vermont and New Hampshire continue to attempt their deceptions, their manipulations, their lies, their "stories" and their distortions. These alleged and reinvented Abenakis of Vermont and New Hampshire, and IF anyone cares to read this blog, the PUBLIC and Academia would ALSO know this FACTUAL REALITY.

The TRUTH will set N'dakinna free, and the Alleged and Reinvented "Abenaki Circus" led by these Vermont and New Hampshire Incorporation's afore-mentioned, will either travel on...fading into the dark from whence they came from; or the State Legislature's will grant Official State Recognition to these Alleged and Reinvented Abenaki Clowns, WITHOUT having done their research to honestly validate the DECEIVERS from the LEGITIMATELY HISTORICALLY BASED and GENEALOGICALLY DOCUMENTED Abenaki People living in Vermont and New Hampshire.

TIME WILL TELL. So will the factual historical and genealogical documents on this blog.......

Open Letter to Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas of late March 2008 Pages 9-22:

people in the state, believe that they cannot receive a fair hearing on the highly charged political issue of recognition by the Commission. In addition the Abenaki communities believe that the VT Native Commission Chair is compromised due to his inability to get true information from his commissioners. We respectfully request that Governor Douglas revisit his appointments to the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, and, as stipulated in S. 117, consult with the organized tribes in appointing new commissioners who will more effective, honest, and representative of Vermont's Indigenous community.
signed (in alphabetical order)
1. Jeffrey Benay, Ed. D. Former Chair, Governor's Commission on Native American Affairs;
2. Brian Chenevert, Chief, Koasek Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation, Newbury, Vermont,
3.Todd Hebert, President, Ndakinna Cultural Center and Museum, Inc.
4. Roger "Longtoe" Anthony Sheehan, Sagamo (Chief)
5. Jim Taylor (Elder)
6. Rose Hartwell (Elder)
7. Vera "Longtoe" Sheehan (Genealogist), El-Nu Abenaki Tribe;
(Person's from 4 to 7 part of the El-Nu)
8. April Merrill, Chief, St. Francis Sokoki Band (Missisquoi), former Commissioner, Governor's Commission on Native American Affairs
9. Nancy Millette - Doucet, Director, White Pine Association, and Koasek Traditional Band
10. David Skinas, former Commissioner, Governor's Commission on Native American Affairs
11. Luke Willard, Speaker and Trustee, Nulhegan Band
12. Fred Wiseman, Ph.D., former Commissioner, Governor's Commission on Native American Affairs

Supporting references with complete or abstracted primary documentation.

(1) Application for Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs
Job Description: the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs seeks highly experienced and motivated Vermont residents in Tribal government, academia, the arts, and public service with significant skill in Native American affairs, preferably in Vermont or the immediate region. Experience in Vermont indigenous cultural, grant writing, public and media relations, education, informational technology, cultural resources protection and political science a plus.
Current professional position or vocational status:
Describe experience in Native American cultural, political, artistic or spiritual affairs:
Describe experience in local, state, or national commissions, organization etc. that pertain to Native American issues:
If applying as an individual Native candidate for the Commission please list the historically verifiable Tribal Band (this is optional, but is desired to give us a wife diversity of Native participants as possible.)
Please write a description of why you believe that you would be an asset to the Commission.
The candidate shall adhere to the code of ethics included herein.
(Attach a resume and two letters of recommendation from people who are aware of your contribution to Native American culture or politics.)

Code of Ethics (Draft Version of 4/12/06 from Mr. Donald Stevens)
(a) No member of the Vermont Commission on Native American affairs (the "Commission") shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity or incur any obligation of any nature, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest serving on the Vermont Commission on Native American affairs (the "Commission").
(b) No member of the Vermont Commission on Native American affairs (the "Commission") shall engage in any business or professional activity which will require him to disclose confidential information which he has gained by reason of his official position or authority without permission of the Commission.
(c) No member of the Vermont Commission on Native American affairs (the "Commission"), member of the legislature or legislative employee should disclose confidential information acquired by him in the course of his official duties nor use such information to further his personal interests that are not approved by the Commission.
(d) No member of the Vermont Commission on Native affairs (the "Commission") shall use or attempt to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for himself or others without the approval of the Commission.
(e) Any member of the Vermont Commission on Native American affairs (the "Commission") shall not, by his conduct, give reasonable basis for the impression that any person or organization can improperly influence him or unduly enjoy his favor in the performance of his official duties, or that he is affected by the kinship, rank, position or influence of any party or person.
(f) Any member of the Vermont Commission on Native affairs (the "Commission") shall not endeavor to pursue a course of conduct which will not raise suspicion among the public that he is likely to be in engaged in acts of violation of his trust.
(g) Any violation of section (a) through (f) listed above may constitute disciplinary action, seizer of items obtained through the misconduct, fines set by the commission, and/ or removal from the Commission.
***Note: member constitutes person serving on the Vermont Commission of Native American affiars, their family members, and any businesses where that they may gain profit or compensation from.

(2) Letter of Chief Brian Chenevert, Koasek
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter to express my opinions and concerns regarding the current Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. The Koasek Traditional Band has had representatives attend many of the commission meetings over the past two years and had had many conversation and correspondence with the commission chair Mark Mitchell. Based on these interactions I do not feel that the Koasek Traditional Band was ever represented by the commission. The main purpose for any state commission of Native American Affairs is to act as a liaison
between the state government and the tribes of that state. The Vermont commission has severely failed to act in this regard. Not once has this current commission reached out to any of the long standing Abenaki groups in the state of Vermont. Rarely has this current commission reached out to any of the long standing Abenaki groups in the state of Vermont, and when it did they did not heed the advice given even when it was substantiated with legal precedence set in other states. This commission has worked soled by itself for itself. We have brought many concerns to the commission about amending Bill S. 117. I have explained over and over again to the commission our many concerns about their version of the amendment for S.117 and provided them with legal precedence set previously in other states across the U.S., particularly regarding providing genealogies to any state agency or the commission as this would be a clear violation of our sovereignty. Not only have they not worked with us, they have ignored us to the point that they are now working against us. A perfect example of this would be when two commission members provided testimony at the recent legislative committee hearing on the amendments for bill S.117 as individuals and not on the behalf of the commission but failed to state that point during their testimonies. Additionally, one of these commissioner members forwarded numerous email correspondence to the commission on to outside interests groups who do not reside in Vermont in an effort to draw as many people to the committee hearing as possible to voice their opinions against the Koasek and Missisquoi Abenaki. The behavior, inability to act in an unbiased manner and the overall lack of professionalism by some members of the Vermont commission on Native American Affairs has been appalling and the majority of Abenaki people are anticipating the expiration of their terms in July 2008 so that they can be replaced.
Signed electronically on 03/06/08
Chief Brian Chenevert
Koasek Traditional Band of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation
Newbury, Vermont

(3) Letter of Nancy Millette, Koasek Spokesperson
I have attended many commission meetings and have had many conversations with Mark Mitchell over the last two years. I can honestly say I do not believe the Koasek Traditional Band was ever represented by the commission. I have neither seen nor hear from them do anything for or with us. I have brought many concerns to the commission about the drafting of the addition to Bill S.117. I arranged a meeting with Governor Douglas to ask him by way of executive order to give the power to the commission to recognize tribes. I invited Mark Mitchell to accompany me to this meeting. What came out of that meeting with Governor Douglas was a task force to work with Mark Mitchell over the summer to draw a new bill. I offered and a friend of mine offered to help finance a Lawyer for the Native Rights Fund or one they would suggest who was schooled in Indian Law. I was never asked to help the commission with that offer. I have explained over and
over again to the commission many concerns about giving genealogies over to the state or even the commission. They didn't pay any attention to my concerns. I have not seen any respect given to the historic tribes St. Francis Sokoki Missisquoi or to Koasek. We have not been represented in the bill or during any of the drafting. I have sent what I thought were private emails to Mark Mitchell to only find they have been sent to all commission members who then sent them out to their friends outside of the commission until those private emails were all over the message boards on the Internet which has caused a great deal of slander, bashing and more division within the Abenaki Territory.
Signed on this Day March 6, 2008
Nancy Millette (now married name of Doucet)

(4) Letter of Chief April Merrill, Missisquoi
To Whom It May Concern:
For the record, I have been saying for months the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs does not represent me or my Tribe. I have stated this publicly on several occasions. We don't feel they are representing us. After listening to Commission members testify Friday February 29, 2008 in Montpelier it is very clear they do not represent us in any way, shape, or form. I guess what they don't realize is that if it wasn't for Missisquoi they wouldn't be sitting on a Commission today. When Commission member Jeanne Brink was testifying, Commission member Judy Dow was jumping up and down to help her answer a question that was asked of her (Jeanne) and wouldn't even let Jeanne answer the question herself. I'm sorry I thought this made Jeanne and the Commission look like fools. This made me wonder, does Judy do all the talking for the Commission? When Commission member Judy Dow testified she said we (meaning Missisquoi) didn't have State or Federal Recognition. Non of these other groups have even filed for Federal Recognition so what difference does this make? As a Commission member Judy should be required to know in how S.117 reads now wouldn't you think? She didn't even know that Missisquoi is the only historical tribe recognized by name in S.117 as it reads now and yet she claims to represents all Abenaki or Native Americans in Vermont by serving on this Commission. We are all trying to figure out just what it is that this Commission has done for any Native American in Vermont since they have been in existence? Some Commission members represent their own interest and don't care about the entire Native population in Vermont. I can't believe that the Commission held a meeting to let all these out of State groups have a forum. I though the Vermont Commission was set up to deal with Vermont issues and Vermont Native peoples. No wonder the Senators & Legislators do not know who is who. It must be very confusing to them to have out of State people coming here to testify. I do not understand the reasoning behind this myself. Most of the testimonies given by these people were to discredit Missisquoi. I believe Missisquoi has proven itself over and over. However, we can't say that about others that have come out of the wood work. As I stated in earlier testimony where were these clans, bands, or sub groups when the Jane Baker study was conducted back in 1976? How can these Commission members be given the power to be judge & jury of who is and who isn't Abenaki in 
this state if each one of them have not proven their authenticity and/ or citizenship in one of the remaining historically verifiable bands in Vermont. Where is the fairness and legitimacy in this process? With that said the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi St. Francis/ Sokoki Band and I have no confidence in the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs as it stands now.
Chief April St. Francis Merrill
Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi
St. Francis/ Sokoki Band

(5) Statement of Nulhegan Band
Since the passing of S.117 and the appointment of the current VCNAA commissioners, the Nulhegan Band has had zero representation on a commission that was formed to develop S.117. Not one single call regarding recognition or S.117. The once or twice that we talked with any commissioner; they were only seeking support on issues not pertinent to Nulhegan's interests that we had no knowledge of. When I testified before Senate Committee on February 29, 2008, I only supported the commission draft because Nulhegan was absent in draft four. We encourage a draft that is inclusive to Missisquoi, Koasek, AND Nulhegan as the three populated historical Vermont Abenaki Bands with respective appointments to VCNAA. While I do not support the notion that Jeanne Brink is acting on behalf of her Canadian Band at Odanak, it is apparent to me that VCNAA is not working with, assisting, or representing the needs and concerns of any of the aforementioned Abenaki communities. I'm not quite sure what it is that they do. Regarding the Odanak Abenakis of Vermont AKA the Obomsawin Family of Vermont, a family unit led by Richard "Skip" Bernier, of which Tim Delabruere is a member, I find it suspicious that Tim and Richard both testified against S. 117 yet Tim was appointed to the commission formed by its passing into law. Regardless of what transpires, the VCNAA must be representative of Missisquoi, Nulhegan, and Koasek.
Luke Willard
Nulhegan Band Speaker and Trustee

(6) Letter of El-Nu Abenaki Tribe
To whom it may concern.
We have had concerns over the VCNAA and we believe the commission is compromised. We voiced our concerns, when we testified at the VCNAA meeting back in October 2007, then again February 15, 2008 at the Senate testimony. Denise Watso's letter clearly shows the attitude Odanak has toward Vermont Abenakis who are not members of Odanak. Additionally, a member of the VCNAA forwarded numerous private emails to at least one individual (who the email was not intended for). As a result, this email was posted to numerous message boards and forums, causing a great deal of slanderous controversy. We believe some of the VCNAA commissioners are honorable and have been working hard, however the commission has been compromised and it is not a fair representation of our interests. Thank you for your time and consideration!
El-Nu Abenaki Tribe
Signed this day March 11, 2008 (this date will show up here instead of the next page because such information fits to this particular letter in which it belongs to)
(7) Portion of E-mail by Denise Watso condemning Vermont Abenaki groups
Why is the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs seeking the power to recognize groups as Indian, when only two of its members can provide evidence  (sic) of their Abenaki ancestry? How can we trust this Commission to evaluate historical evidence, when they have not been able to document their own claims? ...Who is this "Koasek" group? And why should the "St. Francis/ Sokoki group take precedence in his proposal after the Vermont Attorney General and the Bureau of Indian Affairs found that they couldn't provide evidence (sic) of Indian, let alone Abenaki? ...How do you think many of us feel seeing strangers, not knowing most if not any of them are native, portraying us in public? And the press and the public want to see the play-acting... We demand better... Should self-identified groups and individuals wish to secure recognition, they should come to us to present their case, asking for our support. They should do so in humility rather than arrogance.
Denise Watso, NY Liaison, Odanak (Quebec) Reserve, Albany, NY, Feb. 26, 2008

(8) E-mail dsavowing an Odanaki connection and threatening "other action"
From: Jeanne ******z@aol.com
Subject: Odanak
Date: 25 Feb 2008 )4:01:54 +0000
I would like to settle once and for all that I do not represent or have the interest of Odanak when I am serving on the Commission? I have the interest of all Native Americans in Vermont? I'm sure Odanak would get a big laugh if they heard that people think I am representing Odanak? I was born and raised in Vermont and a Vermont Abenaki? People say that white people have been biased and prejudiced against Native Americans and now I hear members of your band being biased and prejudiced against other Abenaki such as myself? How unfair!! What are they afraid of?? Are they not confident in themselves or so paranoid that they have to attack other Abenaki?? They need to take a look at themselves and ask what kind of Native American are they? I hope I don't hear this anymore or I will have to take other action.
Jeanne A. Brink

(9) Senate testimony of VCNAA Commissioner Jeanne Brink, 2/29/08
There are two of us that have family ties to Odanak and I am one of them. I was born and raised in Vermont, I am a Vermonter; I have never lived in any other place. I am a Vermont Abenaki. To say that we (Brink and De la Breuere) are on the Commission representing Odanak is a lie.

(10) Burlington Free Press article identifying Commissioner Jeanne Brink as Odanak Band member.
"I think it will solve the problem," said Jeanne Brink of Barre, an Abenaki
basketmaker who is a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. She is able to sell her work as Native American as a citizen of the Odanak Reserve in Quebec, but she said she works with other Vermont Abenaki artists who cannot.
Terri Hallenbeck, Burlington Free Press October 3, 2007
"I was surprised by her saying that (that Brink was Vermont, not Odanak Abenaki) the other day too. I don't have my notes from that October conversation (referred to in the quote above). She never contacted me to say that I got it wrong."
Terri Hallenbeck, The Burlington Free Press March 3, 2008

(11) Part of Jeanne Lincoln Kent's public e-mail
At Friday's (Senate) hearing, one member (Jeanne Brink) came over to me and asked why I was sitting with April Merrill and Nancy Millett, then quietly said that if the Senate did not pass the Committee's bill, she was going to recommend that the no recognition be given to anyone. (My husband was sitting between us and heard the conversation). Further, when giving testimony she stated she was not affiliated with Odanak. I am attaching a news item (See above Burlington Free Press article #8 extracted) which indicates differently.
Jeanne Lincoln Kent

(12) Statement of Indigenous Vermont identity by Timothy de la Breuere
"I'm a Vermont Abenaki"
Tim de la Bruere VT Native American Commissioner,
Feb 25, 2008

(13) Political expectations of Timothy de la Breuere
Leaders in two nations participated Friday afternoon in the ceremonial swearing in of city resident Tim de la Bruere, 24, as a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. One leader was Vermont Gov. James Douglas. The other was Chief Gillis Obomsawin, leader of the Odanak band of Abenaki. ...Yet once the bill (S.117) became law, according to (Duncan) Kilmartin, he and (Michael) Marcotte pushed to have a grandson of an Odanak band member ("Skip" Bernier) sit on the commission to bring that perspective to its deliberations. "You have a unique opportunity to represent your heritage." Kilmartin said to de la Bruere. Chief Obomsawin said he was proud to have a representative of a recognized band on the Vermont commission.
Robin Smith, ICaledonian Record, September 4, 2006

(14) Statement by Fred Wiseman, Ph.D. March 8, 2008
In the fall of 2003, there were letters sent by Odanak officials to historic preservation officers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, specifically to disrupt the cordial relations between these states and Missisquoi Abenakis. I believe that Chief April Merrill retains copies of these letters. Richard Bernier's group was asserted in these letters to be the only true representatives of Vermont (or American) Abenakis. It took me and April (Chief April Merrill) a lot of phone calling to straighten this problem out. I am not sure that a slight misgiving still remains (in the spring of 2008) in some State government circles caused by this
attempted take over.
Fred Wiseman
Missisquoi Tribal Historian, March 8, 2008)

(15) Statement by Luke Willard, Trustee, Nulhegan Band
Tim Delabreure (sic) is a member of Skip Bernier's group, the Odanak Abenakis of Vermont.....He told me there wasn't an Abenaki in this state except for his family.
Luke Willard, Nulhegan Band, Sept. 5, 2006

(16) E-mail Transmitted by Luke Willard, Trustee, Nulhegan band
I've read the agreement you and Dawn Macie both have with Fred Wiseman. I know what you think your getting into. Just make sure you understand the process. The second this amendment will get out of Vince's (Rep. Vincent Illuzzi) committee it will go into about 10 before moving into the House of Reps. Any individual can attend committees and argue to change the wording. Do you think your band will stand a chance? Will you and Dawn be able to attend 4 or 5 committee meetings a week? At any rate the amendment will fail as Gov. Douglas has already expressed his intent to veto. This isn't an issue of it passing or not, it's an issue of trust, and you and Dawn have completely showed me true colors here. Just remember that this amendment was the Abenakis only shot here. Senators are getting very weary and tired of all the showing around. Its an election year. If it fails now it will not be brought up again for a long time. See you tomorrow if your there and I've been looking over some letters about your cultural center. be well Tim de la Breuere

(18) uvm.edu.~crvt/?Page=eventsSP07.html&SM=eventsmenu.html  

also Senate Testimony on 25 March 2008, "My name is Judy Dow, I am an Abenaki member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs from the Winooski group of Abenaki family bands in the Burlington, Colchester and Winooski area."

(20) "For Artisans, Recognition Discrepancy Spells Identity Crisis"
Associated Press, May 5, 2007

(21) Text of Chief Merrill's "sense of conversations" with Nancy Comstock
FYI, I'm writing to tell you about a phone call I received on March 1, 2008 at 8:50 AM. A woman named Nancy Comstock called me at my home, she claimed to be Judy Dow's sister. She said she supported me, my efforts, and what I do for my people. She apologized for her sisters actions and said she wasn't impressed with her actions. She said they are not native. She said Judy has made a living on the Abenaki name. She said they never grew up at the interval and the the stories that Judy tells about the gathering and walking on the trails is all lies. She said she didn't know why Judy tells lies, and that she lies so much she believes herself. I told her we know about that we have one of our own who does this by telling people, her grandmother was born in a cave. I told her they must think by telling these stories this makes them more Abenaki. I thanked her for calling. Told her I need to get going because I was going to New Hampshire this morning for a funeral.
After thinking about this phone call for a couple of days, I decided I needed to call her back. I had questions I needed answered. So, I tried to call her back and we played phone tag for a couple of days. Last night March 6, 2008 I finally talked to her again. I asked her where they grew up. She said in Burlington, but they summered in South Hero most of the time. She asked me why I wanted to know this. I said that Judy has been telling people she her family is from Moccasin Village and the interval and she was from the Winooski family group of Abenaki. She said she had never heard of Moccasin Village and that they didn't grow up at the Interval, but that it was not at the interval and that it was in the New North End. She said they grew up in Burlington not Winooski. She didn't know where Judy got any of her information from because nobody was raised in the Native way or ever talked about it at all. She said Judy is pretty convincing with the stories she tells. She said Judy claims the Native side comes in on her grandfather's wife's side of the family. I asked her what their maiden name was she said Fortin. I asked what her grandmother's name was that the Native side was on she said she thinks Rocheleau but was not sure. She said Judy gave her some genealogy once and it had everyone listed on it but the problem was she (meaning Judy) had all of her sisters birth dates wrong so she didn't believe the rest of it and threw it out. After all Judy should have known when their birthdays were, they were sisters. She said there may be Native blood but she doesn't know for sure or not. I told her that Judy had applied for citizenship with our Tribe and she didn't meet the requirements and that she needed more documentation. We didn't say she wasn't Abenaki but, she didn't have the paperwork to prove it at the time she applied. She never provided us with any other documentation showing where an Abenaki line came in on her family tree. We knew she had learned to make baskets from Mali Keating (who by the way was Abenaki and her family came from Odanak) and that Judy had also been doing educational stuff with the school we figured this is why she applied for a citizenship card. We believe this is why Judy is using her position on the Commission to attack Missisquoi every chance she gets is because we didn't approve her application back when. Since she was already claiming to be Abenaki. I guess she thought it would be easy for her to get citizenship with us and she found out that it is not easy we have requirements that need to be met. Then we find out that years later she is saying she is from the Winooski Family Bands of Abenaki, which is not a group we have ever heard of before. She talks about Moccasin Village, and we have never heard of this before either. I told Nancy that when I testified the first time I said that whom ever is coming forward saying they are Abenaki that they should have to prove it with Historical Documents and not just because they say so. I told Nancy there has been a lot of new groups coming out of the wood work not just the one Judy speaks of and most of them came out just before State Recognition. I told Nancy there has been a lot of new groups coming out of the wood work not just the one Judy speaks of and most of them came out just before State of Vermont the way the law reads now. They do not have to show any historical proof to anyone. But, that Missisquoi is the only Tribe by name mentioned in the bill. Then, I told her even Historians have never of Moccasin Village or of any Winooski based group.

Yes, there are sites in Winooski. I told her Judy hasn't really said to much more about Moccasin Village since I put the word out to people that I would like her to show us or anyone the historical documents that have the name "Moccasin Village" on them or the Winooski group. First of all, Abenakis wouldn't have used a white man's name to name a village to begin with. Nancy said her father's parents got divorce when he was around 10 or 12 and shortly after his mother died and he was raised in the orphanage. She said he was definitely not raised in the Native way either. They were not raised knowing they were Indian. She gets very upset when Judy talks about the colonist and what they did to the Native people because she (Nancy) believes she was raised as a colonist. She doesn't know where Judy gets the bit about being Winooski family group of Abenaki because they were not from Winooski. She said Judy lies so much that she believes her own lies: I asked her if she would come forward with this information. She said come forward to who? I said the Vermont Government, the Governor, Senators, Legislatures, & Suzanne Young legal council to the Governor and possibly the press. She said she would talk with Senators about this but wasn't for sure whether or not she would talk with the press because of past experience. I said she should definitely speak with Senator Illuzzi and that she should also speak with others as well and I suggested the Governor, Suzanne Young, and Senators from her area. I don't know if she has contacted any of these people or not.
She said that a Sally Pollack from the Burlington Press did a story on Judy once and that she (Nancy) called her on it. She said she told Sally she had been duped and Sally responded by saying that she only printed what she was told. Nancy said she asked Sally if she printed everything without the facts. Maybe, we should ask Terry Hallenbeck if she could look into this. She said she doesn't know where Judy gets all of her information from because no one in the family ever talked about being Abenaki or Native.
Chief April St. Francis Merrill

(22) Statement of Todd Hebert, President, Ndakinna Cultural Center
Recognition granted in 2006 was in my mind to finally give The Abenakis a status. But the other part of recognition I believe was about protecting us. The current recognition basically says anyone who claims to be Abenaki is. At least in there minds. So where are we at now. Now we have to legally say who is Abenaki. Well my feeling on that is that the people who have been making money off from our heritage for all these years are not going to fight this to the end. Judy Dow is one of those people at least from what I can see. She is bringing in people from all over to join her on this fight. Why? Because she has a lot to lose. She makes & sells baskets, she teaches classes, she is in the public spotlight saying she is Abenaki. The lifestyle she is now living could potentially come to an end since she cannot prove her heritage. Heck, her own sister says she's not native. She is viciously protecting her well being while trying to take away our recognition. It makes me ill that a person could do this to not only a group of people but a minority culture that has already endured so much pain.

(23) VCNAA Chair Mark Mitchell, VCNAA Commission notes, Feb. 25, 2008
March 14, 2008 - JDH Bill regarding "Abenaki Recognition"
Introduced by Senator Vincent Illuzzi of Ezzex-Orleans District
Senator Carris of Rutland District
Senator Condos of Chittenden District
Senator Hinda Miller of Chittenden District
Senator Racine of Chittenden District

This bill proposes to recognise the Koasek, Missisquoi and Nulhegan bands of the Abenaki Nation as the original Native American tribes residing in Vermont, grant the Vermont Commission on Native American affairs the authority to officially recognize other tribes and bands of Native Americans, and set out procedures and criteria for the commission to follow in evaluating whether to grant such recognition. 

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