October 29, 2008
Pay attention to section 21:45 to 24:00 when I telephoned in to VPR's Vermont Edition, to confront Mr. Wiseman on his alleged "Native Perspective" regarding the Lake Champlain "Quadricentennial Celebration."
Frederick Matthew Wiseman speaking to Vermont Edition:
“For example, Native People are the only ones that do not have to...that cannot self-identify. If I was...a member of the Gay/ Lesbian community or the Judaic Community no one would ask for my....for proof....of that. One of the interesting issues with Native People is that they are the only one's....that continually have to....prove ourselves."
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 11:08 AM
Subject: Vermont Native Community
Dear Native Leaders,
I feel that the time has come to really get serious on a united Native Agenda. The "Gay Marriage" bill passed because there was unity and strength in numbers. There was one united voice. Native people in the eyes of the public and legislative body look at us all as weak, fractured, and no more than an annoyance without the strength to do anything about it. We need to change this for our children and our future. Even if we do not concentrate on a recognition bill, let us at least focus on the Native Image or Educating those who want to participated in learing about the Native Culture. Many of you do this already, however we need to work together as one.
I am reaching out to all of you to see if we can become more of a team. I hope that meetings can happen monthly where all are invited to participate and no one is turned away. I feel that we need to bring all native people to the table for a common cause and move the Native agenda forward. At a minimum, the heads of each Tribe, band, or family should all sit down together periodically to forget past wrongs and have a say on moving forward together. If our ancestors could do these things, we should also be able to do these things.
Please let me know if anyone is interested in doing this. If so, maybe one of you or I can organize a first meeting.
Donald Warren Stevens Jr.
On Wed, 4/22/09 April 22, 2009, Nancy Millette wrote:From: Nancy Millette
Subject: Re: Vermont Native Community
Cc: "Roger Longtoe" , "luke willard" , "Luke Willard" , "Chief April"
Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 4:46 PM
HI Donald Warren Stevens Jr.
I can appreciate your concern about Native Issues but perhaps it is the commission who is out of the loop. Our tribal councils and elders councils meet often and stay abreast of the Alliance activities and agendas. I think that it is more your commission should become more in tune to what the Native Community is doing rather than asking us to spend more time with meetings that would amount to nothing more than a dog and pony show for the commission.
Respectfully Nancy Millette – Doucet
From Luke Andrew Willard
I, too, am a bit confused. I browse the commission minutes on Mark Mitchell's site. I sometimes chuckle when the commission discusses topics that only the chiefs and councils can deal with. Without the tribes, the commission is ceremonial at best... but more so, null and void in the eyes of the Alliance. That has been my understanding at least.
If you want some unity with the already unified Alliance, I would suggest pressuring the governor to cooperate with the tribes, giving us some authority over the makeup of the commission. Currently, the deck is stacked. Asking us to sit down with people like Ms. Timmy and Mr. Judy is like asking Israel to sit down with Iran, the nation who calls for Israel's extermination... fortunately for Israel, they've got the bomb... and fortunately for the Alliance, we've got the people and the podium.
My opinions have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. You just happen to be behind enemy lines. I actually like your idea a lot, but I can't waste my time when I know that the deck is stacked.
Chief Luke Willard
Nulhegan Band of Abenakis
(802) 754-6264 Home
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 12:13 PM
To: luke willard
Cc: 'Nancy Millette'; 'Chief April Merrill'; 'Fred Wiseman'; 'Elnu Abenaki'
Subject: Re: Vermont Native Community
I understand you position also. I am trying to change things as best I can. However, nothing will change if we do not at least try to move forward together. It is really going to be important to work together now more than ever! I found out yesterday that Odanak just got their Federal Recognition in Canada changed to allow Cards and full voting rights to citizens outside of the reservation and full protection as tribal members. They also won some land lawsuit they were looking for in Canada. Richard Skip Bernier informed Jeanne Brink at the meeting that she and Tim De la Breuere are getting a card and to fill out the application. They also said that they are providing cards to 350 people in Vermont. They are going to work closely with their members in Vermont to secure their rights. This will be in your neck of the woods. I will be asking them to come to a meeting sometime in the future to find out what their intentions are so I can see how it impacts Vermont. I hope that you understand that they are now going to flex their muscle and use the Federal rights in Canada to transfer to the United States. I hope you understand that they are now going to be a tribal force in Vermont and who do you think they are going to go after?? I would bet the alliance....Who do you think will be talking to the Governor to
work with the commission on who should be recognized or not? If their Federal Recognition transfers or is recognized by the United States, then Vermont has no choice but to recognize them like we would the Mahicans. As was written in S.117, the Commission has to work with All Native American Tribes and groups located in Vermont. Guess who's coming to dinner with Genealogy in hand. Food for thought...
From: Fred Wiseman
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; 'luke willard'
Cc: 'Nancy Millette' ; 'Chief April Merrill' ; 'Elnu Abenaki'
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 5:02 PM
Subject: RE: Vermont Native Community
Don't worry guys--
There is no mechanism in the BIA or any other Federal Agency (except for Indigenous refugees from third world countries inder the State Department-- a few Mosquito indians came here under that a few years ago, and for the Smithsonian which has unique and crazy rules) for any special treatment of Indians or any indigenous peoples for that matter recognized or not in their country of origin. The Iroquois have used the Jay treaty of border crossings in the past, but that was curtailed years ago and is being entirely cut off as we speak. So we don't have anything to worry about except arrogance - and that is nothing new. There is no "transferral."
Frederick Matthew Wiseman
From: Nancy Millette
To: Fred Wiseman ; email@example.com ; 'luke
Cc: 'Chief April Merrill' ; 'Elnu Abenaki'
Sent: Saturday, April 25, 2009 7:55 AM
Subject: Re: Vermont Native Community
I was thinking...if the "Vermont native Commission" is going to give so much attention and concern to Canadian Indians living in the USA and VT perhaps they should also have a special seat for the Mexicans, Aztecs and Incas living in VT ?? they too are from another country and are indigenous to their country and living here. Perhaps we could have a fire dance celebration on the state house lawn in honor of them?? Then we could celebrate the canadian indigenous fur trappers who helped develop trade in Canada? Certainly the indigenous tribe in the Alliance who are indigenous to Vermont have no support to honor our history and contributions to this state....I find it quite insulting that the NA Commission is ready to bow down and support Canadian Indians here however, here in Newbury and Haverhill they turn their noses up on the family members who live 50 feet away from each other on opposing river banks!
I am sure the BIA would think this is as ridiculous and nothing more than a scare tactic as I do.
Nancy Millette – Doucet
This was in Response to Donald Stevens Resignation from the VCNAA:
To one and all,
I have felt that since Donald Stevens recent Resignation that I would respond with the facts, as I know them from the “minutes” of the VCNAA. The following is how I see this recent situation having arisen. I think that ONLY with unbiased, truthful persons on the VCNAA will the Commission be able to move forward on any level. At this point, I think that the people that have removed themselves from VCNAA up to this point simply have left for personal reasons, not that any one VCNAA member has tried to pit one against the other, except for Donald Stevens himself in his Resignation letter. Again, members on this Commission need to maintain their positions of being unbiased and not putting forth any possible hidden agenda(s) or endeavor(s) from any one group(s) vs. another.
Douglas Lloyd Buchholz
Lancaster, New Hampshire 03584
Donald Stevens, Chairman of the VCNAA, stated in his letter dated May 4th, 2009 "I was asked by the Commission to reach out to the tribes to try to get them to come to the table to support vested authority for the commission and to start working with us”.
The commission did not ask Donald Stevens, "to reach out to the tribes to try to get them to come to the table to support vested
authority for the commission". But rather if you read the minutes from February 26, 2009 meeting you will find the following statement. "Judy moved for the Commission to move forward with the proposed language for vested authority and for Donald Stevens to extend a hand to other tribes for their input."
This is clearly the problem with the letters that Donald Stevens wrote. He did not understand what was asked of him.
In Donald Steven's letter dated April 21, 2009 He states "I am reaching out to all of you to see if we can become more of a team I hope that meetings can happen monthly where all are invited to participate and no one is turned away. "
Once again this is not what the Commission requested. They did not ask for additionally monthly meetings, rather they asked "for input from the other tribes."
Again in the April 21, 2009 letter Donald Stevens states “I hope that meetings can happen monthly where all are invited to participate and no one is turned away…..If so, maybe one of you or I can organize a first meeting.”
Once again the Commission asked Donald Stevens to gather input, not to create a series of separate meetings that he or someone else can or would organize. This would be like running a parallel Commission.
In a letter dated April 24, 2009 Donald Stevens wrote the following: “I found out yesterday that Odanak just got their Federal Recognition changed to allow cards and full voting rights to citizens outside of the reservation and full protection as tribal members.”
Canada has always allowed cards and voting rights to citizens outside of the reservation, they merely increased the amount of descendant generations that they would include recently. Which includes those person’s or families south of the Canadian/USA Border.
In this same letter Donald Stevens stated “Skip informed Jeanne at the meeting that she and Tim are getting a card and to fill out the application. They also said that they are providing cards to 350 people in Vermont. They are going to work closely with their members in Vermont to secure their rights….Who do you the commission on who should be recognized or not?….As was written in S.117, the Commission has to work with All Native American Tribes and groups located in Vermont. Guess who’s coming to dinner with Genealogy
[sic] in hand….”
This was an informational comment from a member of the community. This comment should have been taken only as information, and subsequently then researched and documented, and afterwards introduced to the community at large. For Donald Stevens to take the comments from a community member out of context, distort it, add his own personal interpretations and then sent it out for publication and gossip is outrageous. This certainly will not encourage other community members to speak out at VCNAA meetings in the future.
The chain of emails in question was addressed to Luke Willard, Nancy Lee Millette, Chief April nee: St. Francis - Merrill, Frederick Wiseman, and Elnu Abenaki.
As stated above the commission requested that Don reach out to “other tribes for input”. However, Don specifically left out The Cowasuck and the Clan of the Hawk and various other family bands such as Louise Lampman. The commission needs to be as inclusive as possible. Don chose to recognize the “Native Alliance ” only, and excluded thousands of other people. This is very concerning and clearly shows where Don’s “alliance” stands.
In a letter dated April 24, 2009 Don writes in response to a letter from Luke Willard, Attached to Don’s response was a copy of Luke’s original letter. “Asking us to sit down with people like Ms. Timmy and Mr. Judy is like asking Israel to sit down with Iran , the nation who calls for Israel ’s extermination….. fortunately for Israel , they’ve got the bomb and fortunately for the Alliance we’ve got the people and the podium.”
Rather than responding to such an egregious statement from Luke Willard, by not responding, Donald Stevens chose to respond to such an insulting statement by replying and totally ignoring the comment made Mr. Luke Willard, and Donald Stevens completely seemingly ignoring the comment altogether in his response regarding two of his fellow Commission members. Something a Commission member especially a Chairman ought never to have been involved with in the first place.
June 03, 2009
“It’s a little frustrating for us when the gay-rights movement was able to get its legislation passed in one session, and we have been trying to get our rights for generations,” said Donald Stevens, who recently resigned as the VCNAA’s chairman. He was the second chairman within six months to resign — Mark Mitchell stepped down last fall.
Donald Stevens says some members of the VCNAA appear hostile to the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi St.Francis/Sokoki Band. He and others, including Chief April St. Francis, have complained to the governor and his staff.
Luke Willard’s commentary on ABENAKI NATION AT NULHEGAN/ MEMPHREMAGOG on Facebook.com
Evil things happened in Montpelier, Vermont today (Friday, April 16, 2010). What can you expect from a legislature that made it a "priority" to protect the feelings of transvestites? Soon, you will be able to marry your dog and your sister at the same time...but Vermont Abenakis will NEVER be recognized ....FORCING our artisans to be criminals for selling their crafts as “Abenaki Made”. Shame upon these “lawmakers”. Friday (April 16, 2010) at 9:39pm....
Over a period of time, this self-created and self-promoting "Abenaki Alliance" so-called (of which are merely (4) four Incorporations *under Vermont State laws) has made numberous references to the GLBT Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgendered Organization in rather a denigrating homophobic tone since about 2007 in the media. Is this to solicit Media and PUBLIC "sympathies" because Gay Marriage/ Civil Union rights were bestowed upon the GLBT minority of Vermont, and at the same time, the "Abenaki Incorporated Alliance" felt "it was their due" as well to be officially "VT State Legislature Recognized"?
Well, it would be rather easy if we had a lot of GLBT Abenaki in Vermont. At least that would be a better excuse for an "Abenaki Alliance" member to dye one's hair black, wear dark eye contacts, and/or run a curling iron and hair straightening solution through one's hair so one could look "more Abenaki/ Indian" like some of the so-called "Abenaki Alliance" had retrospectively done in the Quadricentennial Celebration there in Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont !)
Then again, I keep going back to the question...
What really truthfully does "Gay Marriage" or the GLBT minority have to do with "Abenaki Recognition" in the State of Vermont. It's like comparing apples to bananas or nuts to fruits.
One dynamic has really NOTHING do to with other, unless of course your part of the GLBT minority AND of Abenaki descent. Maybe its just the point these people are attempting very poorly to make and that is, that if the State of VT Legislative members can pass a Gay Marriage or Civil Union law (some say "against the Will of the People blah, blah, blah) then that why can't that same Legislature of Vermont officially recognize the newly created "Abenaki Alliance" groups? I guess its because the one minority within Vermont has NOTHING to do with the other alleged/ reinvented Abenaki minority.
I think these disgusting ~ homophobic "sympathy" plea's and "bashing undertones" by these self-proclaimed - self-promoting spokespersons/ or self declared "Chiefs" simply SHOWS and PROVIDES the documentary evidence, that these people could NEVER be inclusive in their dialogues or their recognition of "other Abenakis" that exist outside of the Incorporate Dynamic within the State of VT (or NH). Anyone can read how they "step on" "step over" and "tear down" the alleged "expatriot" descendants from Odanak of whom continue to live in Vermont up to today (and their ancestors have been here for many generations), not to mention that Odanak was documentarily verified to have been created by "relocated Abenakis" THAT CAME in part FROM VERMONT...in particular Abenakis from MISSISQUOI i.e. Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont). Of course, most people obviously KNOW that ODANAK is an legitimate ABENAKI COMMUNITY (Odanak or "St. Francis" was a community in existence since ca. 1672. French Mission established in 1683 which was relocated in 1700, and essentially complete by 1800). When someone looks beyond all other inflammatory rhetoric from the so-called Abenaki Alliance as they want to call themselves, it is ONLY one (1) word that TERRIFIES these Incorporate "groups"/ Organization's who are the Alleged and Re-Invented Abenakis of Vermont (and or New Hampshire). That word is: