Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Nulhegan Group Article in the Express Newspaper by Anne L. Squire ~ May 16, 2002 Communications from Luke A. Willard aka "Falling Owl" to "Chief" Ralph Swett aka "Chief Spirit Water":
Document 01 and 02: Some of the members of the Nulhegan Band, Cowasuck Abenaki, who are petitioning the Vermont legislature for state recognition. From left to right, rear, Luke Willard, Dawn Macie (Dancing Light), front row, left to right: Nancy Cote, Silent Thunder, Sparkingly Water. (Photo by Anne L. Squire)
Indian Derby Line
Local Abenakis forming a new band, seeking state recognition.
BY ANNE L. SQUIRE
Express Staff Writer
DERBY LINE _ For 30 years, various groups of Abenakis have petitioned the Legislature and the governors for state recogntion. This status would give that group an official status within Vermont.
Federal recognition, which has very specific criteria and is usually much harder to achieve, brings benefits such as health access and scholarships. Many tribes that have federal recognition have casinos on their land, which bring the tribes a considerable amount of money because Indian casinos are exempt from federal taxes.
For most of the 70's and 80's, the most vocal Abenaki group in Vermont was the group at Swanton, under the leadership of the late Homer St. Francis. That group applied for state recognition, but Attorney General William Sorrell denied their petition in a 254-paged document.
Although several other groups within the state have attempted some form of petition, they have been unsuccessful for several reasons.
Most recently, former Gov. Howard Dean rejected state recognition for the Swanton band because he believed recognition would open the floodgates to other Abenaki groups, and would pave the way for a casino in Vermont.
Now, an alleged group of Abenakis, meeting presently in Derby Line has petitioned the governor and the Legislature for state recognition. This group, calling themselves the Nulhegan band of the Coosuk Abenaki, originally were part of the group that meets at Evansville, under the leadership of Ralph Swett. They left to form their own group.
Luke Willard, elected as their war chief, and several members of the group were interviewed Sunday afternoon.
In only a few months, the group has grown from 15 to around 50, Willard said. The group has been incorporated in Vermont as a non-profit organization, and is seeking federal status as a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization.
Willard said the group has been in contact with local legislators about the issue, with several of them indicating support for their petition. He said their petition clearly states that they are not interested in gaming or having a casino. (REMEBER that David A. Hill's "Casino Management Contract" of 1994...and then also remember the Colebrook, N.H. Bank Account outside-of-Vermont, in which Luke A. Willard's name is on, with "Chief" David A. Hill and "Chief" Reynold Choiniere's names as well, which was and is dated April 4, 2002 and May 10, 2002)
They base their request for recognition on family genealogies that go back many generations of Abenaki-descended people who have lived in the Nulhegan watershed area. One of the few land sale records from or to Abenakis is a 200 year old sale of land by an Abenaki named Philip, who sold (illegally) about 300 square miles of territory in the northern Connecticut River-eastern Memphremagog basin area.
Philip's band were called the "Cowasuk" or "Coosuk" Abenakis, their name deriving from the Abenaki word "Coos," or "Cowas," meaning that they were the "people who live among the pine trees."
Willard said he hopes, more than anything, to make the Abenakis in this area, "more visible."
Group member and business office person Nancy Cote said that, in addition to working on genealogies, the group has also started recording oral traditions and family stories for their archives. She added that the group has started thinking about possibly a museum where people could come and see all the artifacts from this area. Artifacts include stone points, called "arrow heads," as well as other stone tools that have been found in the area.
Cote added that she hopes the group can also encourage pride in being Abenaki in this part of Vermont. She noted that many other Abenaki groups in the state have fallen apart through lack of communication and a lack of solidarity among the members.
Another woman, Sparkling Waters, noted that people stop and ask her about the medicine bag she wears around her neck.
"People want to know about the Abenakis," she noted.
This group is hoping that their petition will be the one that finally allows at least some Vermont Abenakis to be acknowledged as Vermont's original people.
Document 03: Fax'd Communication from (?) to 754-2954 at 5/16/2002 at 5:20 PM.
Chief Spirit Water
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak with you this afternoon. You stated that 'nothing can be accomplished until people come together' and you are right. This is what we are trying to do. We want to form a working and cooperating relationship between the Algonquin Wabanaki Confederation and the Clan of the Hawk. Our goal is to see as many tribes, bands, clans, etc., agree to cooperate and work together toward the goals that we can all agree on...recognition, existence, and preservation. We have been in contact with State Representatives and so far we have received very positive feedback and commitments of support. We have calls in to key officials of many Abenaki organizations in hopes to achieve friendly relations and cooperation. As you know, the Northeast Kingdom has a high population of Native peoples and I'm sure you'll agree that as Native Americans we have the obligation to respect and honor one another. With steps being taken towards recognition it is very important that we make our presence known in the Northeast. Please consider this consideration the first of many friendly relations to come. Also, notify me as soon as possible as to whether or not I may include the Clan of the Hawk in our position as I am making the trip to Montpelier next week.
May the Great Spirit guide and watch over you and yours...
AWC Tribal Spokesman
498 Highland Ave.
Newport, VT 05855
From: Northern Border Luke A. Willard
To: Clan of the Hawk
Chief Spirit Water
Document 04: Fax'd Communication from (?) to 754-2954 at 5/16/2002 at 5:31 PM.
Vermont State Legislature
Vermont State Senate
Dated: May 16, 2002
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is hereby agreed that the Vermont Abenaki, including but not limited to, the Algonquin-Wabanaki Confederation, the St. Francis-Sokoki, the Clan of the Hawk, the Alnobak Nebasakiak, and other sub clans, have occupied and inhabited the land that we know as the State of Vermont since time immemorial.
It is also agreed that there is no proof that the Abenaki knowingly or cooperatively extinguished Aboriginal Title to the land occupied by the State of Vermont.
It is finally agreed that the Vermont Abenaki, defined above, should receive the status of recognition at the state level, which would lead to federal recognition to preserve their culture, heritage, and sovereignty for future generations.
From: Northern Border Luke A. Willard
To: Clan of the Hawk
Chief Spirit Water
NOTE: Anne L. Squire is the sister of Mariella Squire, PhD and both of them wrote small booklets via Northeastern Native American Educational Association TH 3 Box 6 in West Glover, Orleans County, Vermont 05875 Telephone: (802)525-3853 in 1997. The booklets are entitled "Abenaki Biographies"/ Northeastern Native American Educational Association by Mariella Squire, PhD. Another booklet was compiled/created by Anne L. Squire entitled "Abenaki Society" again ca. 1997.
Homer Walter St. Francis Sr. Letter Dec. 27, 1994 to Ralph Swett ~ Howard F. Knight Jr. Letter Jan. 20, 1995 to Ralph Swett:
Document 01: Letter (#3) dated December 27, 1994. SOVEREIGN REPUBLIC OF THE ABENAKI, NATION OF MISSISQUOI, P.O. BOX 276 MISSISQUOI, 05488Mr. Ralph Swett
Box 1466 RR #2
Orleans, Vt. 05860
Dear Mr. Swett;
We are aware of your attempt to set up a Band of Native Americans in Abenaki Territory, per your newspaper advertisement.
You are instructed that any new Bands/Councils inside Abenaki Territory must be approved by the Grand Chief and all recognized Councils now in unity.
As for using Chief in your correspondence it is illegal as there are no chiefs in the Abenaki Territory existing councils only head spokesman. No one from Abenaki Territory appointed you Chief.
Please take this letter seriously as any further problems will be dealt with accordingly.
Grand Chief Homer W. St. Francis
CC: Grand Council
All Approved Councils
Document 02: Offices of the Grand Council, Territorial Headquarters. COWASUCK OF NORTH AMERICA, Sovereign Republic of the Abenaki Nation International.
Associate Chief of the Grand Council, R.R. #2 Box 120 Orleans, Vt. 05860. (802) 754-2346.
Mr. Ralph Swett and Family
R.R. #2, Box 1466
Orleans, Vermont 05860
WHEREAS, That as of Dec. 22, 1994 your cards are no longer valid; and that you have never signed any membership papers; when we made you and your family honorary members of the Cowasuck of North American of the Sovereign Republic of the Abenaki Nation International. Your x-wife and chilren might have Indian in them; But you do not have any Indian in your line! and that you, Mr. Swett, were never made chief of anything at all by our Grand Council at the time of the 1993 Aug. 20-22 Pow-Wow; but you promised to sign papers, (but not as a chief for membership), and....
WHEREAS, That Mr. Ralph Swett, over of the Evansville Trading Post in Evansville, Vermont and other associated with him in the So-Called Evansville Council of the Cowasuck Abenaki has come together to form an unauthorized council that was not, and it is not, approved by the Grand Chief, Homer W. St. Francis, nor by the Abenaki Nation International, (see attached paper) that was hand delivered to Mr. Swett by Amb. Darrell Larocque and Chief Spokesman for the Cowasuck of North America, Inc. Howard F. Knight Jr. (#3) paper, and....
WHEREAS, Ralph Swett and his associates in this venture have illegally, and with malicious intent, are trying to use the Cowasuck of North America Council of the Abenaki Nation's names which can only be used by this Council, within the Ancient Cowasuck Territory, per the order of the Grand Chief, who has recognized this council, and only this Cowasuck Council, as the authorized Cowasuck Council (see paper atteched #2), and....
WHEREAS, The Cowasuck of North America is a Vermont Corporation, Incorporated under the Laws of the State of Vermont and is a Non-Profit Corporation, recognized by the IRS under 501-C3 and 509 and which is wholly recognized entity of the SovereignRepublic of the Abenaki Nation International....
BE IT RESOLVED, We will take the necessary action, to protect our Council, and Incorporation as whole, and as seperate entities together in Unity in the Sovereign Republic of the Abenaki Nation International.
Dated this 20th Day of January, 1995 (January 20, 1995) in Coventry, Abenaki Territory, Vt.
Howard F. Knight, Jr. (aka Rushing Water)
Chief - Grand Council Cowasuck of North America
Official: Chuck Labor (aka Light Feather) - Tribal Judge - Grand Council
Cowasuck of North America
Cindy J. Shover (aka Loon Caller) - Assoc. Chief
Spokesman - Grand Council
Cowasuck of North America
C.C. Grand Chief, Homer St. Francis
Amb.assador Darrell Larocque
September to December 1994 Alnobak News - Volume 94 Issue 5 ~ Security Report to Grand Chief Homer St. Francis Dated January 18, 1995:
Documents 1 through 11: ALNOBAK Newsletter by the COWASS NORTH AMERICA, Inc. led by Paul Wilson Pouliot, who was and is this Inc.'s President/ "Chief".
Document 12: The Newsletter itself, contains all the mentioned names, etc. which are mentioned in the late Darrell R. Larocque "Security Recort" to so-called "Grand Chief" Homer Walter St. Francis, Sr.
Obviously, Darrell R. Larocque stated that Howard F. Knight, Jr. was NOT a Made-In-Abenaki-Territory "Chief" because of course, Howard F. Knight, Jr. was a part of their so-called "Grand-Council", of which which Paul Wilson Pouliot was NOT invited to, or was allowed to participate in.
Obviously, the late (deceased) Darrell R. Larocque, as "Head of Security" and a "Diplomatic Ambassador" to the late "Chief" Homer St. Francis, Sr. USED Paul Wilson Pouliot's ALNOBAK Newsletter, picking it apart for details and names mentioned therein.
What is interesting is the statement that the late Darrell R. Larocque stated in this "Security Report", in that, (quoting from this very document) "Our Unity Document MUST remain intact in order to counter attack."
As one will soon discover, the late so-called "Chief" and/ or "Grand Chief" Homer W. St. Francis, Sr. was what I would term, "the Whitey Bulger of Swanton, Vermont" and Darrell R. Larocque was Homer's "Capo" or "contractor".