Elsewhere Day stated the following: "[Irving] Hallowell told A. [Ambrose Obomsawin of Odanak] that some 250 Indians were living in the Victoriaville-Sherbrooke, Vermont, area as individuals separate from the reserve" (Day 1948.07.00-1962.11.13, 20). As best as can be determined, Ambrose Obomsawin most likely received this information between 1918 and 1932 when Hallowell conducted field work among the St. Francis Indians of Canada. It is unclear why Obomsawin was unaware of the existence of these individuals himself. It does not appear that these alleged 250 Indians were originally from Vermont, but, as the statement indicates, from the St. Francis reservation in Quebec. The statement also seems to indicate they were living as individuals, not as a group, dispersed across a large area of land mainly in Canada well east of Swanton, Vermont, the petitioner's claimed historical center at that time.
The journal also indicated Day spent a week in July 1961 on vacation in Swanton. He acknowledged "the site of the monument established on the old village site in 1909," but this was a reference to the historical Missisquoi village of the 18th century. He did not identify a Western Abenaki group containing the petitioner's claimed ancestors in the town (Day 1948.07.001962.11.13, 61). Indeed, during the 14-year period of the journal, Day never visited a group of the petitioner's ancestors in the Swanton area, nor did his St. Francis informants in Vermont or Canada connected to the Odanak reservation ever tell him of the existence of such a community. While these journal notes of Gordon Day identified some St. Francis Indians associated with the reservation in Quebec, and provided some vague, second-hand information about possible Indian groups in New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Canada, they did not identify a group of the petitioner's ancestors in any location.
The State of Vermont also submitted a December 1952 letter that Day sent to Charles Adams, head of a special commission to investigate Iroquois land claims in northern Vermont. There is no available evidence that a group of the petitioner's ancestors in northwestern Vermont challenged the Iroquois claim. Day advised Adams, "[w]hatever the status of Vermont in prehistory, the only Indians whom white settlers found actually living in Vermont were Abenakis, whose descendants now live at Odanak [St. Francis] near Pierreville, Quebec. More aggressive claims by Iroquoian groups should not be allowed to prejudice any claim which the St. Francis Abenaki [of Canada] may have" (Day 1952.12.28). Day did not identify a predecessor group of
In 1952 the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology published John R. Swanton's Indian Tribes of North America, five pages of which the State supplied. Swanton gave an overview of the Abenaki tribes in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire during the aboriginal period. He also provided some population figures for the 1920's for the contemporary St. Francis Indians in Quebec and the Passamaquoddles in Maine. Swanton identified the four historical Indian groups in Vermont as he defined them—the "Abnaki [sic]," the "Mahican," the "Pennacook, and the Pocumtuc, as having once occupied certain parts of western Maine, eastern New Hampshire, and northwestern Vermont (Swanton 1952, 13, 18-19). Because John R. Swanton identified only historical rather than contemporary groups in Vermont, and since the petitioner is not a successor to the St. Francis Indians in Quebec or the Passamaquoddies of Maine, he did not identify a group of the petitioner's claimed ancestors as part of an Indian entity in 1952.
The State supplied several 1950's articles by John Huden, a professor of education at the University of Vermont, which appeared in Vermont History. In January 1955, the journal published Huden's "Vermont Sketchbook: Indians in Vermont—Past and Present," in which lie declared that "very few Indians" made "their homes in Vermont" at the time. Huden revealed that on Thompson's Point in Vermont "some twenty-odd Abenakis lived up to about 1939," but as of 1955, "only William and Marian Obumsawin, an aging brother-sister team," still lived "there in the little cottage their father [Simon] built when he migrated from Canada back in Teddy Roosevelt's administration." According to Huden, these two were "probably the last Indian-speaking Indians in the Champlain valley" (Huden 1955.01.00, 25). He did not identify by name the 20 or so "Abenakis" from 1939 as an Indian entity, indicate their place of origin other than in the case of William and Marian, or describe what happened to them, so there is no way to connect them to the petitioner. Moreover, Huden's claim that some "twenty-odd Abenakis" liven [sic] at Thompson's Point "up to about 1939" is not supported by Federal census data for the location. Federal census population schedules for Thompson's Point in Charlotte, Vermont, Chittenden County, for 1910, 1920, and 1930 recorded the small Obomsawin family as the only Indians in the area. In 1910, 1920 and 1930 there were three family members listed (1910, 1920, and 1930 Census, Charlotte, Vermont). The Federal decennial census reports for the entire county listed 9 Indians in 1910, 4 in 1920, and 6 in 1930. In 1950, there were only six reported (US Census Bureau 1932; US Census Bureau 1952).
Huden advised that a "hasty survey of Lake Champlain and Connecticut River townships" had shown "no Indian residents other than the Charlotte basket weavers [the Obomsawins]" (Huden 1955.01.00, 25). He concluded that "since the late 1600's no large permanent Indian settlements have thrived in Vermont" (Huden 1955.01.00, 27). Huden also provided some sporadic evidence of smaller Indian settlements that disappeared in the 18th century. In addition, some "early town histories" reported "occasional groups that trickled back from Canada after the French and Indian War." Despite these occasional sightings of small groups of unidentified Indians, Huden was "certain" the Algonquians had "left Vermont well before 1760," and had never returned "in any great numbers." Even modern visitors who moved "down from Canada to work on bridges
Huden's 1956 article in Vermont History, a "Vermont Sketchbook: The Abenakis, the Iroquoians, and Vermont," was a five-page description of the Western Abenaki during early contact. He asserted the following: "The descendants of the survivors and other pitiful remnants of the New England Algonkians now dwell at St. Francis [in Quebec, Canada] and at Old Town, Maine" [the present-day location of the Penobscot Reservation just northeast of Bangor, Maine] (Huden 1955.0 1.00, see 1956 article, 23). He did not identify the petitioner's members living in the 1950's as part of these two groups. Nor did he identify any contemporary group of the petitioner's claimed ancestors in Vermont.
Also in 1956, Vermont History published Huden's "The Problem—Indians and White Men in Vermont—When and Where (1550-?)." This article described the Indians in Vermont during the early contact period (Huden 1956a, 110-119). According to Huden, "within 150 years of Champlain's visit practically all of these tribes [in Vermont], and other New England Algonkians had either been killed off entirely or at least greatly reduced in numbers. Their pitiful remnants, almost without exception, sought refuge in Canada—particularly at Odanak, St. Francis" (Huden 1956a, 115-116). The author did not identify any contemporary group of the petitioner's claimed ancestors.
Finally, Huden's "Adventures in Abnakiland [sic]" appeared in Vermont History in July 1957. It was a transcription of a letter from Huden to a Dr. Wood regarding some previous articles on Indians Huden had penned for the journal. In the letter, Huden explained his research in 1955, and his interaction with Chief Laurent of the St. Francis Indians of Quebec, who was helping him translate some Abenaki documents. Part of his research included visits to Odanak to discuss the Abenaki dialect with Laurent and other St. Francis Indians who were living at the Quebec reservation or were members of the Canadian tribe (Huden 1957.07.00, 185-193). Huden did not identify any of these as part of an Indian group linked to the petitioner. individuals Although the author did identify the St. Francis Indians of Quebec and a few members of that tribe, he did not identify a contemporary group of the petitioner's claimed ancestors in Vermont.
In 1959, the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine published Gordon Day's "Dartmouth and St. Francis. (25.) It dealt with the relationship between Dartmouth College and the St. Francis Indians from Quebec who attended the college from the 1770's to 1840's. Day listed several of the family names on the Dartmouth rolls from that period which still constituted part of the contemporary St. Francis village in Quebec. According to Day, in 1959, the St. Francis tribe in Quebec had 130 resident Indians and 500 registered members. According to Day, a "sizeable" number of the Indians of St. Francis ancestry had "given up formal connection" with the St. Francis group in Quebec and lived elsewhere in the province, in Ontario, and the Northeastern United States (cited in Day 1998, 52-53). He did not, however, identify these migratory descendants as a group connected to the petitioner, nor did he identify a group of the petitioner's claimed ancestors in Vermont in 1959.
25. Reprinted in In Search of New England's Native Past, ed. by Michael K. Foster and William Cowan, (Amherst, 1998), 49-53, a copy of which came from the OFA library.
The State provided excerpts of a typed manuscript from the Vermont Historical Society by Elbridge Colby that described Indian names around Vermont. The catalog card from the historical society noted a "source" date of 1978 for this document, but a review of its contents suggests a date from the early 1960's. Colby worked as a journalist, professor at the University of Vermont, and government official. He spent his summers on Thompson's Point near Charlotte. These pages mainly classified Indian place names in Vermont, and did not identify any contemporary Indian entities in the state. In fact, while-describing Indian place names around Missisquoi Bay, the petitioner's claimed. ancestral center, Colby stated: "At its mouth, through most of the 1700's, there stood a very important Indian village called `Missisiasuk' now disappeared. There the 'people of the great grassy meadows' lived. But both the town and the people are gone" (Colby 1978.12.00).
The State also submitted excerpts from the 1963 work Vermont Indians, a self-published book by Thomas E. Daniels. The author was a member of the State Board of Historic Sites and an amateur archaeologist (Daniels 1963, 7-19, 58-63). Most of the excerpts dealt with pre-historical Indian cultures and archaeological sites. He discussed no post-1800 cultures in these excerpts, and identified no contemporary Indian entity in Vermont.
The State provided a copy of a 1968 article in the Indian Historian called "Indian Communities in the Eastern States," by William C. Sturtevant and Samuel Stanley, two experts on American Indian culture from the Smithsonian Institution. The two authors included population estimates for many Indian groups along the east coast. They presented the population tables as a summary of the "available data on Eastern Indian or possibly Indian communities" (Sturtevant and Stanley 1968, 15). Some groups were quite obscure. The authors went to great lengths to find as many Indian groups as possible. Indeed, they located "70 communities with population ranging from less than 10 to over 30,000 and totaling some 95 to 100,000," but none was in Vermont (Sturtevant and Stanley 1968, 16). For Maine, the authors provided totals for the Passamaquoddies, Penobscots, and Maliseets, none of which are Western Abenaki. They also reported 25 Abenakis in New York without giving an exact location (Sturtevant and Stanley 1968, 18). But the petitioner does not claim a genealogical or a historical connection to these unidentified Abenakis in New York, and the available evidence does not indicate any. The
26. See In Search of New England's Native Past, 72-73.
The State contributed a copy of W. E. Greening's 1966 article "Historic Odanak and the Abenaki Nation," which appeard in the Canadian Geographical Journal. It identified Odanak [Quebec, Canada], Old Town, Maine [Penobscots], and Becancour W8linak[Quebec, Canada] as the "only ... Abenaki settlements in North America today. . ." (Greening 1966,.96-97). The author did not identify the petitioning group as an Indian entity in Vermont.
In 1972, Theodore Taylor's The States and Their Indian Citizens was published. Taylor had served as Deputy Commissioner of the BIA from 1966 to 1970, and conducted research for the book from 1970 to 1971 while on a Federal Executive Fellowship with the Brookings Institution. The book supplied a comprehensive overview of state Indian groups and their relationships with local and state governments. Taylor identified a number of small and large Indian groups in New England not then recognized by the Federal Government, none of which was in Vermont. These groups included the Maliseet (517 members), Micmac (600), Passamaquoddy (563), Penobscot (400), Nipmuc (2 to 300), Gay Head Wampanoag (100), Mashpee Wampanoag (435), Narragansett (424), Eastern (11) and Western Pequot (2), Golden Hill (2), and Mohegan (150). Regarding Vermont, Taylor provided only the total number of individuals listed as Indian on the 1970 Federal census, which was 229 (Taylor 1972, 176, 206). He did not, however, identify the claimed ancestors of the petitioning group as an Indian entity in Vermont in 1972.
One year later, Man in the Northeast published Gordon Day's "Missisquoi: A New Look at an Old Village." (27.) Day first presented this article in 1973 as a paper at a meeting of the Northeastern Anthropological Association. Most of it dealt with the Missisquoi Indians of northwestern Vermont before 1800. Day explained that when the French abandoned North America following their defeat in the French and Indian War,
the Missisquoi Indians found themselves separated by the boundary line between New York and Lower Canada from their friends and relatives at St. Francis, their allies the French, and their closest trading center at Montreal. Their reaction was to lease their agricultural land on the Missisquoi River and move to St. Francis. This removal was neither simultaneous nor complete. They never relinquished their claim to the region and collected rent on it until at least 1800, many families returned to the Vermont shore of Lake Champlain until about 1922. With the departure of the bulk of the village about 1775, they practically disappear from New England history. . . . (cited in Day 1998, 146)
He further determined that shortly after 1800, "all the Western Abenaki were united at Saint Francis," in Quebec and the censuses at Odanak showed "the great majority of the family names were of Missisquoi origin." This development meant that in the 20th century," scholars were able to work "directly with the descendants of Missisquoi families, many of whom returned regularly to Missisquoi until the 1920's," making it "possible to recover a considerable amount of information about the culture and way of life of the Abenaki at Missisquoi" (Day 1998, 146-
27. See In Search of New England's Native Past, 141-147.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Non-Scholarly Books
The State. contributed all the evidence in the record from newspapers, magazines, and non-scholarly books for 1900 to 1975.
One document contains excerpts from Lyman Haye's 1907 History of the Town of Rockingham, Vermont. This book was a local history of a Vermont town, located over 100 miles southeast from the town of Swanton. In it, the author discussed the historical Abenaki Indians in Vermont, mainly during the colonial period. Hayes mentioned a small group of unidentified Abenaki who in the early 1800's visited the area around Rockingham during the summer months. These were migratory Indians who came down the Connecticut River to sell some of their handcrafted goods to summer tourists. According to the author, around 1856 these Indians stopped visiting the locale (Hayes 1907). He did not identify any contemporary Indian entity in Vermont in 1907.
On December 4, 1913, the Swanton Courier published several articles describing early contact Vermont Indians. The first, an article by L. B. Truax, dealt with Indians in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties from the aboriginal and colonial periods. It mainly recorded finding Indian relics in an area occupied before 1800 by the Missisquoi Abenaki. As the author related, most of these Indians relocated to St. Francis in Quebec after 1800, although they occasionally returned, according to "old inhabitants," in "bands of 8 to 10 families to favorite camping grounds to spend part of the year, as late as 1835 or 1840" (Truax 1913.12.04). The article did not identify any of these migratory Indians of the early 19th century from St. Francis in Quebec. The second article, by an anonymous author, noted the finding of Indian relics on the Frick farm near Swanton, Vermont (Swanton Courier 1913.12.04). It did not identify any contemporary Indian entity in northwestern Vermont. The last article, also by an unknown author, portrayed Swanton as a good place to find Indian relics (Swanton Courier 1913.12.04). It did not identify a contemporary Indian entity of any kind.
The record contains excerpts from Walter 1-1111 Crockett's Vermont, the Green Mountain State, published in 1921. These excerpts dealt with the Indian presence in Vermont during the colonial period. The author discussed the existence of an 18th century Indian village in Newbury and one in Swanton (Crockett 1921, 49). He did not identify any contemporary Indian entity in Vermont.
The petition contains the first four pages from Frederic Palmer Wells's History of Barnet, Vermont, published in 1923. This was a local history of a town located in northeastern Vermont on the Connecticut River near the New Hampshire border, about 70 miles from Swanton. According to the author, nomadic Indians hunted in the area before white settlement. He reported "there was never, as far as we know, any permanent habitation of Indians in Barnet" (Wells 1923, 3). Wells also pointed out: "As late as 1780 there were about twenty Indian families in
From July 1942 to January 1943, The Swanton Courier published a series of essays by Walter Bradford Scott entitled "Growing Up in Vermont." Scott, a long time resident of Swanton, described his childhood in the town. He did not identify any Indian group in Swanton in existence during his childhood or in 1941, but did mention at least one of the petitioner's claimed ancestors by name. On October 23, 1941, he portrayed William Morits as a beggar. He also mentioned one man who may have been an ancestor when he described "Duck" Brow as a meat- market employee. Although identification of an individual as Indian in not the test for criterion 83.7(a), none of these claimed ancestors were identified as Indian. In fact, Scott recorded only one person, Louis Button, as "part Indian" in the January 1941 article, but did not indicate that he was part of any Indian entity (Scott 1941.07.03). No one in the current petitioning group has claimed descent from Button.
Several articles from the 1950's dealt with Canadian Iroquois land claims in Vermont. On April 19, 1951, the Burlington Free Press published an article describing two Iroquois Indian chiefs from a reservation in Quebec (Kahnawá:ke) who had come to Vermont to present land claims to the State legislature. (One of these two Mohawk "Speaker's" or "Chief's" was John McComber a.k.a. "Poking Fire" of the Bear Clan) The claims encompassed Franklin, Chittenden, Grand Isle, Addison, and part of Rutland Counties in northwestern Vermont (Burlington Free Press 1951.04.19). One year later, the newspaper published an article on the appointment of Charles Adam to investigate these land claims in Vermont. It detailed Iroquois claims to 22,500 acres mainly in northern Vermont. The article identified only two Iroquois chiefs from Quebec (Burlington Free Press 1952.04.19). In November 1952, an article in the Daily Messenger also discussed Iroquois land claims in northern Vermont (Daily Messenger 1952.11. 10). Six years later, the Daily Messenger again published an article about Canadian Iroquois, 200 of them, coming to the state to make further land claims in northern Vermont (Daily Messenger 1958.04.08). None of these articles identified the petitioner's claimed ancestors as part of an Indian entity in Vermont. Nor did they describe any Indian entity from Vermont as objecting to the Iroquois land claims.
The State provided four pages of a 1955 Vermont History article by Steve Laurent on the aboriginal Abenakis of Vermont Laurent was hereditary chief of the St. Francis Reservation in Quebec, Canada. He expounded on some of the aboriginal Abenaki groups in northern New England, such as the Sokoki, the Penobscots, the Cowasucks, and the Missisquoi during the colonial period (Laurent 1955, 286-289). But he did not discuss any contemporary Indian entities in Vermont that might have included the petitioner's ancestors.
The State also submitted an essay by Mrs. Ellsworth Royce on the "last" of the Vermont Abenakis from the collections of the Vermont Historical Society. Information included in the essay indicates that Mrs. Royce wrote this essay between 1959 and 1969, when she donated it to the society. The text briefly recounted her experiences with the Obomsawin family who lived on Thompson Point's on Lake Champlain near Charlotte, Vermont. Mrs. Ellsworth Royce was a non-Indian woman who married the nephew of Marion and William Obornsawin, and she described her family visits to the Obomsawin house at Thompson's Point. This document
The petition record also contains 16 pages of excerpts from Alfred Tamarin's We Have Not Vanished, Eastern Indians of the United States, published in 1974. This work covered Indian groups on the east coast of the United States, but the excerpts provided dealt only with the Indian groups of New England, New York, and New Jersey. For Vermont, he found "there were over 200 Indians living in the state probably from tribes throughout the east as well as the rest of the country." He stated there were "no official tribal groupings in the state and no state agency concerned with Indian affairs." He further claimed "Vermont's modern Indian citizens are not descended from the state's original inhabitants." Rather, he concluded they descended from Indians from other New England states: Abenaki from Maine, Mahican from New York, Pennacook from New Hampshire, and other Indian groups from Massachusetts (Tamarin 1974, 43-44). Tamarin also identified a "community" of "about 25 Abenaki" near Lake George, New York (Tamarin 1974, 84), but the available evidence does not show that the petitioner had a connection to this group. The author did not identify the claimed ancestors of the petitioning group as an Indian entity in northwestern Vermont, where at that time, according to the petitioner, they numbered about 1,500.
Summary Analysis of Evidence for Criterion 83.7(a), 1976 to the Present
As the following analysis shows, external observers have identified the petitioner on a substantially continuous basis since 1976.
Identification as an Indian Entity by Federal Authorities
The available evidence shows the first identification of the group by Federal authorities occurred on April 4, 1976, during a hearing on "Non-Federally Recognized and Terminated Indians" before the American Indian Policy Review Commission (AIPRC), Task Force #10. This document was an excerpt of the testimony of Ronnie Cannes, identified by the commissioners as being "with the Abenaki Tribal Council" (AIPRC 1976.04.09, 1:114). The commission members lacked information about the group and the council's activities and were relying on Cannes for details. Cannes claimed there were 1,500 Indians, unidentified by "tribal" entity, in 4 of the State's 14 counties based on information collected by the local Indian manpower office of the Boston Indian Council. He reported 600 Native Americans for Swanton alone, but did not specify a "tribal" entity (AIPRC 1976.04.09, 1:117-1:118). Later in his testimony, Cannes repeated the 1,500 number, claiming this many Indians for northern Vermont, without supplying a "tribal" entity (AIPRC 1976.04.09, 1:124). During this hearing, the commission referred several times to the petitioning group's leadership as the "Abenaki Tribal Council," which was a commonly known designation for the petitioner's governing body at the time (AIPRC 1976.04.09, 1:122, 1:137). Because of the commission's repeated references to the "Abenaki Tribal Council," there is a reasonable likelihood that this document was an identification of the petitioning group by an external observer.
State Documents that Identified an American Indian Entity
The petitioner and the State furnished a copy of Jane Stapleton Baker's October 1976 "Report to Governor Thomas P. Salmon of the State of Vermont Regarding the Claims Presented by the Abenaki Nation." In the report's introductory letter, Baker, a consultant hired by the State to verify the claims of the "Abenaki" group, announced she had spent three months studying the
petitioner. Baker claimed the "reformulation of the Abenaki Tribal Council" started in 1972 (Baker 1976.10.15, 8). The council "developed from a loose network of friends, relatives and fellow veterans living in and around the Swanton-Highgate Springs area." Baker reported the group had 400 members in 1976 (Baker 1976.10.15, 8). Because Baker referred to the group as the "Abenaki Nation of Vermont" and its governing body as the newly-formed "Abenaki Tribal Council," this document identified the petitioner as an Indian entity (Baker 1976.10.15, 8-14).
The petitioner submitted a copy of Governor Thomas Salmon's November 24, 1976, executive order establishing a State commission on Indian Affairs and identifying the petitioning group as the "Abenaki Tribe" and its governing body as the "Abenaki Tribal Council." The order stated that "in 1974, certain native American people living within the state of Vermont as members of the Abenaki Tribe reconstituted their governing body the Abenaki Tribal Council" (Salmon 1976.11.24). Although Salmon's successor rescinded this order two months later, it was an identification of the petitioner as an Indian entity for 1976.
In addition, the petitioner submitted a copy of Governor Richard Snelling's June 17, 1983, proclamation identifying the petitioner as the "St. Francis/ Sokoki Band," and as the "legitimate representative of individuals of Abenaki descent residing in the State of Vermont." He also accorded his "support" for the group's "seeking recognition" from the Federal Government (Snelling 1983.06.17). While it is somewhat unclear if the Governor was recognizing an actual group of Indians or simply an organization that functioned as legal representative for people claiming Abenaki descent, there is a reasonable likelihood that this document identified the petitioning group as an American Indian entity.
One State court document also identified the group. It was the State of Vermont v. Harold St. Francis, et al., Vermont District Court-Franklin County, August 11, 1989. This was a fishing rights case that involved some of the petitioning group's members, including its leader Harold St. Francis. While the district court (Judge Joseph Wolchik) dismissed the idea that "Indian country" existed in Vermont, it did rule the defendants' "aboriginal right to fish" still existed "because aboriginal title was
County, Parish, or Other Local Government Documents that Identified an American Indian Entity
In September 1995, the town of Burlington, Vermont, passed a resolution identifying the petitioner as the "Abenaki Nation" and the "Abenaki of Missisquoi," names which have sometimes been used to identify the group since the 1970's. The resolution stated that the group had "at least 2,000 members" residing "around Swanton and the Missisquoi Bay." It also pointed out the group had petitioned for Federal recognition (Burlington 1995.09.18). Since the group was (and is) the only petitioner for Federal acknowledgment from the State of Vermont, there is a reasonable likelihood that this resolution was an identification of the petitioner in 1995.
Scholarly Documents that Identified an American Indian Entity
There are two identifications of the group by William Haviland, chairman of the Anthropology Department at the University of Vermont. The petitioner submitted a December 20, 1976, letter to the editor from Haviland to the Burlington Free Press. In it, he depicted the opposition to the "state recognition of the Abnakis [sic]" as "disturbing" and based on "erroneous information." In this case, Haviland was referring to the Governor's executive order that had identified the petitioning group a few weeks earlier. He based his historical argument on Gordon Day's work on the Abenakis in Vermont during the colonial period. He argued Day had "pointed out that the Abnakis at St. Francis [Odanak] . . . essentially consist of descendants of families from Lake Champlain." Haviland proposed these were the "same Abnakis [the St. Francis Indians in Quebec identified by Day] who just formally acknowledged the legitimacy of the Vermont Abnakis." In this instance, Haviland was referring to an August 20, 1976, resolution from the St. Francis (or "Odanak") Indians of Quebec (Retrospectively, the 'late' Walter Watso and the Odanak Band Council of the time period). Based on these facts, Haviland believed "the governor's decision to recognize the Vermont group was "eminently reasonable and desirable" (Haviland 1976.12.20). This letter to the editor identified the petitioner, referred to as the "Vermont Abenakis," as an American Indian entity. (29.)
28. See FAIR Image File ID: ACR-PFD-V001-D001.
29. This letter conflicts with Haviland's letter to Gordon Day, dated April 22, 1976, in which he confessed surprise at the alleged number of Indians in Vermont (1,500 as originally claimed by the petitioning group) and admitted to his lack of knowledge of the petitioning group (Haviland 1976.04.22). In addition, nothing in Day's writings to that time confirmed the existence of a group of Western Abenaki in Vermont after 1800. Indeed, Day had argued, and would continue to do so, that almost all the Western Abenaki in Vermont had removed to St. Francis in Quebec by that time. While Day acknowledged that isolated St. Francis Indians from Odanak in Quebec continued returning to Vermont up to the mid-20th century, some temporarily and others permanently, he never identified any entity of Western Abenaki in Vermont for that period.
The State provided a copy of Gordon Day's 1981 Identity of the Saint Francis Indians. This was a survey, mainly up to 1800, of the composition and demographics of the St. Francis Indians at Odanak in Quebec, Canada. Regarding the historical Missisquoi Band of Western Abenaki in northwestern Vermont, from which the petitioning group claims to have descended, Day stated that a "small village still existed at Missisquoi in 1786 after the [Revolutionary] war. Only some twenty persons remained in 1788, and these may have stayed on to contribute to the present-day Indian group at Swanton, but most of the Missisquoi had left by 1800." He stressed, however that by "1800 all but a few scattered individuals seem to have left northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and western Maine for Odanak, although they continued to hunt south of the border for many years." According to Day, the tribal composition of the Odanak village was essentially completed by that time (Day 1981, 65). While Day did not identify the petitioner by name, his reference to "the present-day group at Swanton" presents a reasonable likelihood that he was referring to the current petitioner. This book identified the petitioning group as an American Indian entity in 1981.
Also included in the petition was a copy of Colin Calloway's 1990 Western Abenakis of Vermont. Most of the study analyzed the pre-1800 history of the Western Abenaki. Regarding the current petitioner, Calloway claimed the group "reconstituted" itself in the 1970's because its members were "no longer afraid or ashamed of admitting their Indian identity," and "were tired of resting at the bottom of the social and economic ladder." So they "took action to improve their community's well-being while preserving its cultural heritage" by forming a council and reconstituting the "St. Francis-Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation" of Swanton (Calloway 1990a, 248). Calloway identified the petitioner by name as an American Indian entity in 1990.
The State submitted a copy of Gary W. Hume's 1991 article on Joseph Laurents "Indian Camp" at Intervals, New Hampshire. (30.) It began with a brief analysis of the geography of the historical Western Abenaki (Hume 1991, 102-103). The rest of the article examined Joseph Laurent, a chief of the Saint Francis Indians at Odanak in Quebec, and a summer camp he established ill 1884 in the village of Intervals in the Town of Conway in New Hampshire's White Mountains. Laurent ran the camp until 1917, when his wife and family assumed operations and kept it going until 1960. His son maintained the site afterwards. The camp became and remains an important spot for the tourist trade, and for Indians to sell baskets and handicrafts (Hume 1991, 105-106).
30. It appeared in Alkongians of New England: Past and Present published by the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife Annual Proceedings.
Regarding the 1970's and 1980's, Hume noted: "Abenaki ethnic identity has been strengthened further by the political emergence of the Missisquoi Abenaki. For two decades now Missisquoi Abenaki have sought political recognition and redress for lands they claim were taken illegally without compensation following the American Revolution." "Missisquoi Abenaki" has been a term occasionally used since the early 1970's to identify the group. He also stated that the "group" had "been active in the identification and preservation of burial sites and sacred places" (Hume 1991, 113), as confirmed by other evidence in this petition. Given Hume's use of the term "Missisquoi Abenaki," the sources he referenced which also identified the petitioner, and the context of his discussion, there is a reasonable likelihood that this article identified the petitioner as an American Indian entity in 1991.
Newspapers, Magazines, and Non-Scholarly Books that Identified an Entity
Newspapers, magazines, and non-academic books have regularly identified the petitioner since 1976. Several items dealt with the group's formation in the middle 1970's and the controversy surrounding Governor Salmon's November 1976 recognition of the group. These newspapers articles and other works referred to the group as "Swanton's tribe of Abenaki Indians," the "Abenaki tribe of Vermont," or the "Vermont Abenakis" (Hall 1976.12.13; Anonymous 1977.02.00; Pierce 1977.00.00; Abbey 1979.07.22; Slayton 1981.09.00; Gram 2002.07.12).
Many newspaper and magazine articles discussed the frequent political fissures that have developed within the petitioning group over the last 30 years. They also identified leaders of the group like Homer St. Francis and other well-known members. These articles identified the group as the "Abenaki Nation," "Abenaki Tribe," "Abenaki Tribal Council," "Abenaki Tribal Nation," and similar names (Kreiger 1977.05.00; Hoague 1977.01.12; Reid 1977.10.21; Abbey 1979.00.00; Daley 1987.11.29, 1988.01.07, 1988.01.10, 1988.01.11; Cowperthwait 1995.10.29; Anonymous 1995.10.30; Walsh 1995.11.07).
Other items dealt with the group's land claims or court cases involving its members' attempts to fish or hunt without a State license. These documents also referred to the group's leader Homer St. Francis and other well-known members by name, discussed its petition for Federal recognition, and its self-help association. These documents usually described the group imprecisely with such broad terms as the "Abenakis," "Abenaki Indians," or "Abenakis of Vermont," but based on references to the group's leaders and the context of the topics discussed there is more than a reasonable likelihood that they identified the petitioning group (Daley
Several newspaper articles focused on the leadership of Homer St. Francis, the group's leader for most of the period since 1976. These materials identified the group he led as the "Abenaki Nation," "St. Francis-Sokoki Band of Abenakis of Vermont," "Abenaki Tribal Council," or "Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi" (New York Times 1987.09.13; 1988.10.02, 1991.04.02; Daley 1987.09.13; Cowperthwait 1988.03.10, 1988.10.10, 1989.09.12; Diamond 1989.01.01; Ballinger 1995.11.17; Indian Country Today 1995.11.23; Jones 2001.07.12.).
Documents from Indian Organizations that Identified an Indian Entity
The OFA administrative correspondence file contained a copy of a 1988 statement of support from the New England Indian Task Force for the "Saint Francis Sokoki Band of Abenaki Indians in their efforts to secure justice and prosperity for all members of their nation" (New England Indian Task Force 1988.00.00). This document identified the petitioning group by name as an American Indian entity.
The available evidence demonstrates that no external observers identified the petitioning group or a group of the petitioner's ancestors from 1900 to 1975. External sources have identified the petitioner on a regular basis only since 1976. Therefore, the petitioning group has not been identified on a substantially continuous basis since 1900 and does not meet criterion 83.7(a).
The petitioner is encouraged to submit documentation that they were identified as an Indian entity from 1900 to 1975 if it wishes to overcome the documentary deficiency in the current record, which suggests the group was recently formed in the middle 1970's.