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Thursday, December 16, 2010

State of VT's Response to Petition for Federal Acknowledgment of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation of Vermont: Pages 191 to 200:

The ambiguities in the genealogies of these individuals illustrate the uncertainties and weaknesses in the evidence. Not only is it not clear that the progenitors were Abenaki, it is not clear that the present-day members of the petitioner are descended from them.

Petitioner Self-Identified as White
In addition to the doubts cast by the genealogies as to whether the petitioner is descended from a historic tribe, there are documents indicating a lack of self-identification with any tribe. These are the World War I draft registration cards for members of the Lampman and St. Francis families in which they indicated their race as white or Caucasian.
There were two draft efforts during that war, and the registration form changed slightly the second time. The first form asked "Race (specify which)." The second form had boxes to check for each race, including one marked "Indian." The following people indicated they were Caucasian or white on those forms:

Nazaire St. Francis....father of Homer St. Francis
George St. Francis....uncle of Homer St. Francis
Mitchell St. Francis....uncle of Homer St. Francis
Joseph Julian St. Francis....first cousin of father of Homer St. Francis
Herbert Lampman....father of Leonard Lampman
Walter Lampman....uncle of Leonard Lampman
Herman Deney Lampman....uncle of Leonard Lampman
Edward Hoag....grandson of Flavien Hoague, cousin of both Leonard Lampman and Homer St. Francis

(U.S. Military, Local Registration Boards). These registrant forms are especially interesting because they pre-date the eugenics movement of Vermont. Any argument that petitioner's
ancestors sought to hide their Indian identities because they feared being targeted by the eugenics survey is misplaced here. The survey did not start until nearly a decade later.
Another snapshot of self-identification can be seen in applications for marriage licenses in Vermont between 1955 and 1968. During this time period, applicants for a marriage license filled out forms on which they included certain personal information, including their race. The applicants signed these forms under oath. The town clerks certified to the Department of Health that they had the applicants' forms on record, and then sent certified copies of the information to the state Department of Health. These copies are available on microfilm at the Division of Public Records. 86. After 1968, the portion of the certificates indicating the race of the applicants was excised from the microfilm copies on file at Public Records. An inspection of marriage records sampled from the 1955 to 1968 time period reveals the following people self-identified as white:

Gary Belrose married Andrea Ledoux (daughter of Hazel Vincelette who is probably #44 on LaFrance Family Descendancy Chart) 87.

Leo Belrose (Belrose Family Descendancy Chart #9) married Eldora Cheney and Gwendolyn Boucher

Armand Lampman (J.F. Morits Family Descendancy Chart #82, and Gardner Family Descendancy Chart #36) married Marjorie Greenia (Phillips Family Descendancy Chart #95)
86. The marriage records on file at Public Records for marriages prior to 1955 are in a different format and do not include the certification by the town clerk.
87. Because the names of living people were excised from the genealogical charts provided to the State of Vermont by BAR, the State was unable to confirm exactly which individuals these two were on the Family Descendancy Charts. Undoubtedly, BAR will be able to confirm this by examining the complete genealogical charts in its files.
Francis Lampman (son of Herman Lampman, J.F. Morits Family Descendancy Chart #26)88 married Edna Martin

Josephine (Gardner) Lampman (Gardner Family Descendancy Chart #29) married Raymond Harrington

Marjorie Lampman (daughter of Herman Lampman, J.F. Morits Family Descendancy Chart #26) married Armand West

Roberta Lampman (daughter of Herman Lampman, J.F. Morits Family Descendancy Chart #26) married Norman West

Virginia Lampman (J.F. Morits Family Descendancy Chart #78, Gardner Family Descendancy Chart #32) married Maurice Young

George Medor (St. Laurent Family Descendancy Chart #405) married Viola Virian

Homer St. Francis (St. Francis Family Descendancy Chart #49) married Patsy Partlow

Pauline St. Francis (daughter of Eli St. Francis) married Robert Menard

Robert St. Francis (son of Hubert St. Francis, St. Francis Family Descendancy Chart #43) married Nancy Dudley

Ronald St. Francis (son of Hubert St. Francis, St. Francis Family Descendancy Chart #43) married Loretta Laplant

(State of Vermont, Public Records Division 1955-1968).

These records indicate that a decade before the formation of the Abenaki Tribal Council, the petitioner's members did not view themselves as Indian. This raises the possibility that the sense of Indian identity was not deeply rooted in these people, but rather was a new concept. It raises questions as to the continuity of Indian heritage, ancestry, and community.
88. Francis's father's name is shown on the marriage certificate, and was found on the Family Descendancy Charts, even though Francis's name was excised from the charts provided to the State. For that reason, the state was only able to indicate the father's identification number on the charts. A similar approach was taken for other names in this list.
Summary of Failure of Evidence to Satisfy Criterion (e)
The petitioner has not submitted evidence to show that its current membership is descended from the historic Abenaki tribe that once occupied the Missisquoi region. Petitioner admits that it "has always been receptive to Indian families from anywhere in the northeastern U.S. and the border region with Canada" (Petition: 158-59). This Pan-Indian attitude, along with many generations of marriages to French Canadians and other whites has resulted in family genealogies without any clear Abenaki ancestry.

On the four criteria for federal acknowledgment examined, the evidence raises serious questions about the existence of a tribe of Abenakis in Vermont who are a continuation of the historic Abenakis who lived at Missisquoi prior to the American Revolution. The invisibility of any tribe from 1790 to 1974 was so complete that historians, anthropologists and census takers were unable to locate it. No outside observers verify its existence during that time period thus precluding a finding on Criterion (a) for federal acknowledgment.
The absence of any indication of a separate and distinct Indian community suggests that the petitioner's ancestors did not live in an Indian community as required by Criterion (b). The silence of any political authority until 1974, followed by the lack of widespread acceptance once a formal organization was created, supports a negative finding on Criterion (c). Lastly the lack of proof of Abenaki heritage pervades the petitioner's submission with respect to Criterion (e). Any one of these deficiencies would be enough to merit a finding
against federal acknowledgment. The presence of serious questions regarding the evidence on all four of them requires a finding against federal acknowledgment.

Dated, this day of December, 2002.
Eve Jacobs-Carnahan
Special Assistant Attorney General
Sources and Authorities Cited
Books, Articles, Reports, and Manuscripts

Adams, Charles, Commissioner to investigate Indian land claims
Notes of conversation with Elvine Royce, Charles Adams Papers, Commission to Investigate Indian Claims Vermont, State Archives

Ainsworth, Lillian M.
"Vermont Studies in Mental Disorders," undated typescript in Vermont Historical Society manuscript collection, MS/613.94/Ai66. Substantially reprinted in Vermont Studies in Mental Disorders, Vermont Social Welfare, 2:10 (Fall 1944)

Aldrich, Lewis Cass
History of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vermont. Syracuse, N.Y.:D. Mason & Co.

Anderson, Elm
We Americans: A Study of Cleavage in an American City. New York: Russell & Russell

Baker, Jane S.
Report to Governor Thomas P. Salmon of the State of Vermont Regarding the Claims Presented by the Abenaki Nation with marginal comments by Gordon Day. Dr. Gordon M. Day Papers, Box 566, f. 1, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec

Barney, George
1882 History of the Town of Swanton, Vermont, in Vermont Historical Gazeteer, iv:989-1144. Montpelier, Vt.: Abby Maria Hemenway

Barry, Gwen Rawlings
A History of Megantic County: Downhomers of Quebec's Eastern Townships. Pub. by the Author

Benedict, Jeff
Without Reservation: The Making of America's Most Powerful Indian Tribe and Foxwoods, the World's Largest Casino. New York: Harper Collins

Boston Globe
Stephen Laurent, worked long to save a language [Obituary], June 2, 2001

Brasser, Ted
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Burlington Free Press
4/20/1951 Two Iroquois Indian Chiefs Press Claim to State, April 20, 1951

Charles Adams Appointed to Investigate Iroquois Indians' Claim to Land in Vt., April 19, 1952

Abenaki Council Ex-Member Seeks To Block Federal Grant to Tribe, Jan. 17, 1977

Hoague Ouster Blamed on Tribal Split, May 1977

Snelling Perplexed by Abenaki Tribal Split, Oct. 21, 1977

Abenaki Chieftain is Buried, May 10, 1987

Abenaki Chiefs Election Elicits Mixed Emotions, Sept. 13, 1987

Election day quiet as Abenakis cast ballots, Oct. 10, 1988

Abenakis make leader chief for life, Sept. 12, 1989

Abenaki break with chief, Oct. 29, 1995

Constitution revisions widen Abenaki rift, Nov. 7, 1995

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Abenaki bury their chief, July 12, 2001
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Green Mountain Diaspora: Indian Population Movements in Vermont, c.1600-1800, Vermont History 54:197-228

Grey Lock's War, Vermont History 55:212-226

Surviving the Dark Ages: Vermont Abenakis During the Contact Period, Vermont History 58:70-81

The Western Abenakis of Vermont 1600-1800: War, Migration, and the Survival of an Indian People. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press

Canada, Indian Affairs
Durham Grant Letters Patent. Saint Francois Agency Correspondence Regarding an Abenaki Woman's Claim to a Lot in Durham Township as Part of Inheritance, Forty Years Later. RG 10, vol. 2443, file 47,112, reel C-1186, National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.

Nominal Return of the Abenaquois Indians at the Village of St. Francois. Gordon Day Collection of Manuscripts on the Languages of the Indians of Canada, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., microfilm reel 12, item 8

Agreement of the Tribe for building spots and gardens [Text of decision of Abenaki council of warriors and chiefs concerning setting aside of land for St. Francis Reserve]. Gordon Day Collection of Manuscripts on the Languages of the Indians of Canada, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., microfilm reel 12, item 8

Recuisement du Village des Sauvages Abenakis de St. Francois. Gordon Day Collection of Manuscripts on the Languages of the Indians of Canada, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., microfilm reel 12, item 4
(Canada, Indian Affairs...continued)
Petition of the Abenakis of St. Francois Against General Emancipation of Indians in the Dominion, signed by Grand Chief of Abenakis. RG10, File 3204, National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.

Recuisement du Village des Abenakis de St. Francois 1875. Gordon Day Collection of Manuscripts on the Languages of the Indians of Canada, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., microfilm reel 12, item 4

Indian Distribution Paylists, Abenakis of St. Francis, signed by Abenaki chiefs. RG10, vol. 9806, reel C-7268, National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ont.

Canadian Encyclopedia
"St.-Jean-Baptiste Society," by Richard Jones, 3:1619

"St. Jean-sur-Richelieu," by Kathleen Lord, 3:1619

Charland, Thomas-M.
Un village d'Abenaquis sur la riviere Missisquoi, (An Abenaki Village on the Missisquoi River) in Revue d'Histoire L'Amerique Francaise, 15:319-332. Translation by Grace B. Huden, typescript, MS974.31/Sw24ch, Vermont Historical Society, Barre, Vt.

Histoire des Abenakis d'Odanak, 1675-1937. Montreal: Editions du Uvrier

Child, Hamilton
Gazetteer and Business Directory of Franklin and Grand Isle Counties, Vt., for 1882-83. Syracuse, N.Y.: Hamilton Child

Clifford, Deborah
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Colby, Elbridge
ca. 1964
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[Biographical Note], Arlington National Cemetery Website, www.arlingtoncemetery.com/ecolby.htm
Collins, Edward D.
Foreword, to Robinson, Rowland E., Uncle Lisha's Outing, The Buttles Gals and Along Three Rivers. Rutland, Vt.: The Tuttle Co.

Coolidge, Guy Omeron
The French Occupation of the Champlain Valley from 1609 to 1759, Revised and annotated by Alexander Dunnett Gibson. Montpelier, Vt.: Vermont Historical Society

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Daniels, Thomas
Vermont Indians. Orwell, Vt.: Mrs. Thomas E. Daniels

Dann, Kevin
Letter to Gordon Day, December 1, 1989, Dr. Gordon M. Day Papers, Box 515, 03, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec

From Degeneration to Regeneration: The Eugenics Survey of Vermont, 1925-1936, Vermont History 59:5-29

Lewis Creek, Lost and Found. Hanover: Middlebury College Press

Davis, J. Kay
Affidavit of J. Kay Davis

Day, Gordon
Abenaki Journal of Gordon M. Day, Typescript, Special Collections, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.

Letter to Charles Adams, Dec. 28, 1952, Charles Adams Papers, Commission to Investigate Indian Claims Vermont, State Archives

The Indian Occupation of Vermont, Vermont History 33:365

"Gray Lock," Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. III, 1741 to 1770:265

The Eastern Boundary of Iroquoia: Abenaki Evidence, reprinted in Foster, Michael K. and Cowan, William, eds., In Search of New England's Past. Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press (1998)

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