(Let me 'give credit' where credit is due)...I received this particular documentation from Rhonda Lou (nee: Besaw) Grimes - True (wife of Charles Francis True, Jr. of Whitefield, Coos County, New Hampshire) of the so-called "Abenaki Nation of New Hampshire, Inc." (or D.B.A.)
Administrative History Page 4
Overview of the Petitioner and its Claimed Connection to the Historical Tribe Page 10
CONCLUSIONS UNDER THE CRITERIA (25 CFR 83.7)
Executive Summary of the Proposed Finding's Conclusions Page 20
Criterion (a) Page 22
Criterion (b) Page 44
Criterion (c) Page 91
Criterion (d) Page 109
Criterion (e) Page 113
Criterion (f) Page 147
Criterion (g) Page 149
Map: Map of St. Francis/Odanak and Vicinity in the Province of Quebec Page 8
Map: Map of Colonial Northeast, circa 1660-1725 Page 9
Appendix A: Information Chart on Petitioner's Claimed Ancestor Families Page AI
Appendix B: Transcription of James Robertson's Lease 1765 Page BI
ADS Associate Deputy Secretary
AS-IA Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs
BAR Branch of Acknowledgment and Research, Bureau of Indian Affairs
BIA Bureau of Indian Affairs
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
FD Final Determination
FAIR Federal Acknowledgment Information Resource
FR Federal Register
FTM TM Family Tree Maker
IBIA Interior Board of Indian Appeals
SSA St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Abenakis of Vermont
OD Obvious deficiencies letter
OFA Office of Federal Acknowledgment
PF Proposed Finding
TA Technical assistance letter
U. S. United States
VES Vermont Eugenics Survey
After consideration of the written arguments and evidence rebutting or supporting the proposed finding and the petitioner's response to the comments of interested parties and informed parties, the Assistant Secretary shall make a final determination regarding the petitioner's status. A summary of this determination shall be published in the Federal Register within 60 days from the date on which the consideration of the written arguments and evidence rebutting or supporting the proposed finding begins.
After publication of the final determination, the petitioner or any interested party may file a request for reconsideration with the Interior Board of Indian Appeals (IBIA) under the procedures in section 83.11 of the regulations. A request for reconsideration must be made within 90 days of publication of the final determination. Unless a request for reconsideration is filed pursuant to section 83.11, the final determination will become effective 90 days from its date of publication.
The SSA submitted a letter of intent on March 28, 1980, to petition for Federal acknowledgment as an Indian tribe. On October 22, 1982, the SSA (St. Francis / Sokoki Abenaki) submitted a documented petition to the Department. The documents consisted mostly of a narrative, some family charts, abstracted lists of birth records from the 1920's, and a few primary documents mostly from before the 19th century or after the early 1970's. The petitioner did not provide copies of most of the primary and secondary sources referenced or quoted in the petition narrative, as required by the regulations (83.6(c)). Copies of these supporting documents should be submitted in response to all the criteria.
The Department conducted a formal technical assistance (TA) review of the petition, and on June 14, 1983, sent the first obvious deficiency (OD) letter to the petitioner. The petitioner responded to the first OD letter on May 23, 1986, with more documentation. These documents consisted mainly of a petition narrative, 26 appendices containing mostly lists of names abstracted from local records and Federal censuses, and family charts. The petitioner submitted copies of a small number of primary documents from before the early 1970's, with most of them being from the period before 1800. It did not supply copies of most of the primary and secondary sources referenced or quoted in the petition narrative. Included among the materials referenced but not submitted were numerous field notes and numbered but unidentified sources contained in the petitioner's archives. These numbered documents could, according to the group, "be consulted with the permission of the Abenaki Research Project Staff' (SSA 1986.05.23 [Addendum B], 356).1 Also not included was "Addendum C," described as containing family histories, an oral history overview, and a pre-1800 historical work summary, which the petitioner promised to
1. Citations are the same as those used to identify the document in the FAIR database under the Short Cite Heading. For a discussion of the FAIR system see the final paragraph of the Administrative History.
On September 22, 1988, the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Vermont (State) wrote the Department's Office of the Solicitor (SOL) requesting that it be provided copies of SSA membership lists in the petition record. The Attorney General's office stated these lists were needed as part of criminal prosecutions related to some petitioning group members (Eschen 1988.09.22). On October 19, 1988, the Department informed the State that these membership lists were protected by the provisions of the Privacy Act, but granted the State's request and provided the lists under a specific exception to the prohibition of disclosure, Section 56(c)(5) of Part 2 of Title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Elbert 1988.10.19). This exception allowed disclosure of such materials
On January 11, 1989, the petitioner requested the return of its documented petition materials (St. Francis 1989.01.11). The Department informed the petitioner on February 23, 1989, that it was returning the materials under separate cover. Returned materials included a neighborhood map and pages 222-227 from the narrative portion of the petition, Addendum Part A, Appendices Part 13, all membership rolls, all genealogical data, and specific material from the part of the petition submitted as Part A (Johnson 1989.02.23). The Department also notified the petitioner the material had to be resubmitted when the group's petition was placed on active consideration (Johnson 1989.02.23).
In December 1995 and January 1996, the group submitted a "Second Addendum" to its petition for Federal acknowledgment, which was essentially the same material provided in 1982 and 1986, without the neighborhood map, early membership rolls, and other materials returned by the Department in 1989. On January 17, 1996, the Department placed the group on the "Ready, Waiting for Active Consideration" list. After assigning a research team to evaluate and prepare recommendations on the SSA petition, the Department began active consideration of the proposed finding on February 4, 2005. The Associate Deputy Secretary projected issuing the proposed finding by October 28, 2005.
To create this proposed finding, the Department used a database system incorporating all data from the administrative record employed in the decision-making process. The database system is named FAIR, for "Federal Acknowledgment Information Resource system." It runs on Access 2000 software, a relational database capable of being operated on personal computers. The system provides on-screen access to the images of all of the documents in the record, which are linked to entries of information extracted from the documents. The system information includes the genealogical relationships between individuals, as well as the group's membership lists and reports. The genealogical information may be exported to a separate genealogical software program, FTMTM, for preparation of genealogical charts. The complete documentary record considered for this proposed finding will be included and provided to the petitioner; a redacted version will be prepared for interested parties to protect privacy information. Any documentation not scanned in time for inclusion in FAIR for the proposed finding will be included in the database prepared for the final determination.
Proposed Finding - Summary Under the Criteria