In its petition, the SSA states, "The current memberships of the St. Francls/Sokoki Band is not composed of people who have membership in any other North American Indian Tribe" (SSA 1986.05.23 [Addendum 13] 171).
An earlier petition submission (SSA 1982. 10.00 Petition, 181), presenting "criteria used in determining membership" that were "otherwise tacit and taken-for-granted among Tribal Council members," contained a proscription against membership for any applicant who is a member of a federally acknowledged tribe, band, or community:
Any person of Abenaki descent, whether through the male or female Linde [sic], Who is not currently a member of another recognized North American Indian tribe, is eligible for membership in the St. Francis/Sokoki band of the Abenaki Nation. (SSA 1982. 10.00 Petition, 181)
The SSA's current governing document contains a similar proscription in Article I, Section 2 (b):
Any person of Abenaki descent as determined by the Chief and Tribal Council, who is not a citizen of any other- North American Tribe and who is not a citizen of any other country, is eligible for citizenship. The Chief and Tribal Council may seek advice and council from the Board of Elders regarding citizenship eligibility." (Petitioner 2005, 1996 constitution)
The petitioner submitted two copies of an "enfranchisement form" mentioned in Article 1, Section 2, of the current governing document. The first form was hand-labeled "Enfranchisement form" and was entitled "Application for Citizenship and Indian Status Sovereign Republic of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi." It included labeled spaces for name, address, telephone, spouse's name, maiden name, birth date and place of birth, and names, birth dates and places of birth of the applicant's children. At the top, the form provides spaces for date of "citizenship" approval, initials of certifying official, "identification number" and "band number." At the bottom of the form are two statements with a signature line for the applicant: a "certification" statement avowing that the applicant has entered true information and is applying for "citizenship" in the group, and a "subordination" statement agreeing to abide by the rules, regulations and policies of the group. Space is not provided beneath these statements for a date of signature or for a witness signature. The back of the form is a three-generation ascending pedigree history chart, beginning with the applicant's parents and ending with the applicant's great-grandparents. The second "enfranchisement form," specified for "reauthorized families," is identical to the first with the exception of the pedigree history chart, the second "enfranchisement form" has spaces only for the applicant's parents' information, followed by the statement "the remaining information is available in the archives." The "enfranchisement" forms do not have a statement that the applicants must sign affirming that they are not members of a
The petitioner indicated that a number of current members are not listed on the group's current 2005b membership list. The petitioner is strongly encouraged to include all members on its membership list for consideration under this criterion.
The Department has riot compared the petitioner's membership list with the membership lists of the Canadian Abenakis or any of the New York or northeastern United States tribes.
No evidence has been found to indicate that any of the petitioner's members are enrolled in any federally recognized tribe. Therefore, the petitioner meets the requirements of criterion 83.7(f).
In its petitioner, the SSA states, "[The Band] has never been terminated by the Congress nor does the membership of the Band belong to any terminated tribes" (SSA 1986.05.23 [SSA 1986.05.23 [Addendum B], 171)
There is no evidence that the petitioner has been subject to congressional legislation that hags terminated or forbidden the Federal relationship as an Indian tribe.
The petitioner meets the requirements of criterion 83.7(g).
Daniel Poorneuf (LS)
Francois Abenard (LS)
Francois Joseph (LS)
Jean Baptiste (LS)
Marian Poorness (LS) Theresa daughter of Michel (LS)
Magdelaine Abenard (LS)
James Robertson (LS)
Be it remembered that personally appeared before me Richard McCarty ascribing witness to the foregoing instrument, and made oath on the holy evangelist of Almighty God that he the informant is ascribing witness to and did see the within named Kapen Segou, Daniel Poorneuf, Francois Abenard, Francois Joseph, Jean Baptiste and Jeanssis, Charlotte, Marian Poorneuf, Theresa daughter to Joseph Michel, Magdelaine Abenard, sign, seal and as their respective acts and deeds, deliver the within written instrument in waiting purporting to be a lease of land therein mentioned, to James Robertson, therein also mentioned and that the several names of him this informant, Edward Simmonds and Peter Stanley are of the respective hand writing of him, this informant Edward Simmonds and Peter Stanley.
(signed) Richard McCarty
Sworn before me this 20th Day of September 1765
(signed) Thomas Brashay, J. P.
The foregoing is a true copy of the Original,
Registered and Recorded by me, J.
Goldtrap Debrigs [?]
P.O. Box 276
Swanton, Vermont 05488
Dear Ms. Merrill:
The petition of the group known as the St. Francis/ Sokoki Band of Abenakis of Vermont, Petitioner #68, for Federal acknowledgment as an Indian tribe has been reviewed under Code of Federal Regulations, Title 25, Part 83, Procedures Establishing That An American Indian Tribe Exists as An Indian Tribe (25 CFR Part 83). Based on available evidence, the Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior (ADS) is proposing to determine that the Petitioner #68 does not exist as an Indian tribe within the meaning of Federal law.
Enclosed please find copies of the Summary under the Criteria for the proposed finding. You, any individual, or organization wishing to challenge or support the proposed finding shall have 180 days from the publication date of the Federal Register notice to submit arguments and evidence to the ADS to rebut or support the proposed finding. Interested and informed parties who submit arguments or evidence to the ADS must provide copies of their submissions to the petitioner. A copy of the approved notice is enclosed and we will send you a copy of the notice when it is published in the Federal Register. The comment period will begin upon the date of publication of the notice in the Federal Register.
During the comment period, the ADS shall provide technical advice concerning the factual basis for the proposed finding, the reasoning used in preparing it, and suggestions regarding the preparation of materials in response to the proposed finding. The ADS shall make available to the petitioner in a timely fashion any records used for the proposed finding not already held by the petitioner, to the extent allowable by Federal law.
In addition, the ADS, if requested by the petitioner or any interested party, hold a formal meeting during the comment period for the purpose of inquiring into the reasoning, analyses, and factual bases for the proposed finding. The proceedings of this meeting shall be on the record. The meeting record shall be available to any participating party and become part of the record considered by the ADS in reaching a final determination. A copy of the guidelines concerning formal meetings is enclosed.
R. Lee Fleming
Director, Office of Federal Acknowledgment
Approved Federal Register Notice Summary under the Criteria
Formal Meeting Guidelines
cc With Enclosures:
Mr. Mark Nestor
Governor of Vermont
Attorney General of Vermont
Mr. John Moody
This afore-posted documentation regarding the Proposed Finding by the OFA known as the "Office of Federal Acknowledgment" from November 09, 2005 apparently is BEING IGNORED by the State of Vermont Legislative Representatives and by the Vermont Governor, James Douglas.
The B.I.A.'s "Office of Federal Acknowledgment" REPEATEDLY REQUESTED of April Ann (nee: St. Francis) Rushlow-Merrill, Frederick Matthew Wiseman PhD., and John S. Moody to substantiate their group's claims of Abenaki descent, etc., etc.
What the Office of Federal Acknowledgment got in response was NOTHING from these people. Reminds of me of the saying, "Shit in one hand, then wish in the other....and see which one fills up faster."
The reason, I think...that NO PROOF, NO CLEAR-and-CONVINCING EVIDENCE, and NO SUBSTANTIATION from this self-proclaimed "St. Francis/ Missisquoi Abenaki" group, is simply this:
THIS GROUP INCORPORATE (who are not documented socially-historically-and genealogically)....ARE NOT WHO THESE PEOPLE CLAIM TO BE. This group of people are ALLEGEDLY "Abenaki"...who have RE-INVENTED themselves, into BEING ABENAKI.
So, what the newly-appointed, recently-reconstructed, recently-restructured VCNAA and this recently-concocted or created "Abenaki Alliance "of 5 of these State of VT-sanctioned INCORPORATIONS want to do....is circumvent ("go around"), manipulate, deceive, and lie their way into gaining Vermont State Recognition...WITHOUT HAVING TO PROVIDE clear and convincing genealogical-social-or historical record documentation, that ACTUALLY APPLIES TO THESE GROUPS (or their members) in order to supposedly "sell their B.S." to everyone. Any evidence provided by these 4 or five "Abenaki" Inc. groups will be "shielded from the public review"....(that way IF the State of Vermont Legislative does succeed in their "MAKING ABENAKIS," no one will be able to realize the truth until the damage of distortions, manipulation and lies, is done).
How "FAIR" and "UNBIASED" and "TRANSPARENT" is this "GAME" these groups are playing today, while appointed to the VCNAA, to try and recommend to the VT Legislature, their own State Recognition?