Thursday, April 29, 2010
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!)
SO HOW SEPARATED (DISCONNECTED) FROM APRIL ST. FRANCIS (OR SUPPORTIVE) REALLY WAS LOUISE LAMPMAN, IN REALITY?
ALL APRIL ST. FRANCIS-MERRILL HAD TO DO....
WAS SIMPLY TURN AROUND!
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: