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Friday, September 3, 2010

Pages 1-11 of "Decolonizing the Abenaki: A Methodology for Detecting the Vermont Tribal Identity"

The Vermont
Indigenous Alliance
Elnu, Koasek, Missisquoi, Nulhegan
Founded 2008
February 27, 2010
To whom it may concern
For the Chiefs;
This document represents the collective application of the Vermont Indigenous Alliance's constituent bands to be recognized as Indian Tribes under the proposed Vermont legislative bill S. 222. It contains responses to the specific criteria under "§ 853 (b), as well as additional appended material deemed important by the bands' chiefs as supporting the responses to certain criteria in the legislative bill S. 222.

In order to assure that all tribes of the Alliance are anthropologically and legally verifiable Indian Tribes, we have completed a two year (2008-2010) internal review of the cultural and geographic history, as well as the modern political nature, of our constituent members. In order to properly complete this process we adopted the definition:

A Vermont tribe is a cultural entity with demonstrable historical and spatial dimension within the borders of the State of Vermont that demonstrates a measure of continuing community in its economic, political and cultural activities. To restate the supposition; a VT tribe is 1.) a community of people that 2.) has a documented history of practiced culture (doing things, saying things, making things, and belonging to kin-groups [families] that any unbiased observer would say is "distinctly ethnic"); and 3.) has left physical, historical, and testimonial evidence of this communal Indigenous practiced culture within defined areas contained by the borders of Vermont that 4.) applies to the period between 1780, when scholars and lawyers agree that there were Vermont Indians, and today, when there are numerous self-identifying Native entities, that 5.) can be analyzed from scholarly perspectives that include archaeology, physical anthropology, ethnohistory, ethnography, linguistics, folkloric studies, genealogy, history, economic ethnobotany, cultural and historical geography, political science and race relations study.

After extensive discussion and correspondence, we believe that each constituent member meets the criteria embedded in the definition, and therefore under the proposed bill S. 222, "§ 853 (b) (5) Been and continues to be recognized by other Native American communities in Vermont as a Vermont tribe. " We therefore recognize our constituent Elnu, Koasek, Missisquoi and Nulhegan bands as "a Vermont tribe. We are confident in the internal Alliance vetting process, so we have determined that if one constituent band is denied Vermont state recognition under § 853 (b), for whatever reason, the other three bands will withdraw from the recognition process.

Some of the results of this research are appended to the end of each band's individual application section as "A summary of Geographic History (1780-2009) information to support Vermont State Legislative Recognition Criterion #3." We expect that this forensic authentication will meet any residual concerns that the VT Legislature may have regarding the tribal status of the Alliance's constituent bands 
Decolonizing the Abenaki:
A methodology for detecting Vermont Tribal Identity
The VT Indigenous bands in action: Elnu, Nulhegan, Missisquoi, and Koasek Abenakis preparing to lead the VT Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Parade. Burlington, July 11, 2009
Frederick M. Wiseman PhD
Chair Department of Humanities
Johnson State College
Johnson, VT 05488
© 2010 Frederick M. Wiseman
The material in this paper explains the development and nature of the forensic method and operational definition/criteria used to confirm Vermont ethnic identity at the tribal level. The results of this research have been presented elsewhere (e.g. appendices in Roger Longtoe and Fred Wiseman, 2010; S. 222 § 853. (b) Recognition Criteria: Elnu Tribe of the Abenaki; Nancy Millette Doucet and Fred Wiseman, 2010; S. 222 § 853. (b) Recognition Criteria: Lower Cowass (Northern Sector) Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki - Nation; April Merrill and Fred Wiseman, 2010; S. 222 § 853. (b) Recognition Criteria: Missisquoi; St. Francis Sokoki Band/Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi, and Luke Willard and Fred Wiseman, 2010; S. 222 § 853. (b) Recognition Criteria: Nulhegan Band of the Coosuck). However, VT self-identified Abenaki entities that were excluded by this analysis are listed in an appendix to this paper.

In my 1980's and 1990's research on the Vermont Abenaki experience (e.g. Wiseman 2001, Voice of the Dawn) I was unaware of any significant tribal entities in Vermont other than Missisquoi (NW Vermont), and was skeptical of claims that there were other functional tribal homelands in the state. The conventional wisdom of the time (and the official position of the State of Vermont) was that any observation of, or materials produced by, Native-practice people within the boundaries of Vermont were not Vermont Indians, but expatriate citizens from the Quebec Odanak Abenaki Reserve (reservation) plying the tourist wares trade. The first evidence that my scholarly skepticism was unfounded came from the work of my students at Johnson State College in 1988-1991 under the Laboratory For Traditional Technology's “Material Heritage of Native Vermont” Project. The students fanned out all over the state (and Upstate NY, NH and Northern Maine) to identify, record and photograph obviously Native artifacts with confirmed local provenance (history of origin) found in antique shops, local historical societies and garage sales. I was able to use this valuable database to determine if there was a materialist residue of Indigenous Indian activity in VT. I excluded from this analysis the tourist wares that could have been made by itinerant Canadian-expatriate basket makers, whose well-documented trade was in baskets and cultural miniatures such as snowshoes, canoes, paddles, and war clubs. There was a residue of subsistence materials, attire, and tools that seemed to be from regions that extended from Missisquoi through the Northeast Kingdom and Vermont's Connecticut River Drainage. Except for one distinctive beaded, ca. 1780 wool trade-cloth panel, all of these materials dated to the 19th and 20th centuries, precisely the time when Indigenous Abenaki culture in Vermont was supposedly extinct. During the 1990's, as part of my artifacts collecting for a hoped-for Abenaki Cultural Center, I was also able to track down a few 19th century culturally distinct items. These items included crooked knives, basket gauges, and even utility baskets that were known to be made by "Indian" families in Cambridge, Swanton, the Newport area, and the Connecticut River, especially in the White River Valley, Brattleboro and Vernon. My interest was scholarly, to understand the cultural dynamics of the obviously dispersed and stressed late 18th and 19th century native people in New England for an upcoming book, Against the Darkness: The Wabanaki World 1609-1970 to be published by University Press of New England.

The possible cultural origin of these enigmatic materials was revealed in April, 2006, at an Abenaki "unity" meeting in Randolph VT (Nancy nee: Millette-Lyons residence), intended to dampen nascent inter-Abenaki conflict. During this period Abenaki politics  of (sic) shifted from attacks against Missisquoi by Vermont Governor Howard Dean and Attorney General William Sorrell. Taking its place was a cacophony of claims and counterclaims by individuals and groups, from all over New England, New York and Quebec, saying that they were the "only Indians in town," and that all others were "fakes." At the Randolph meeting, I met with leaders of other VT and NH Native bands, most of whom I had never known before. In discussions that day, I was roundly criticized for focusing only on Missisquoi; and there was a collective sense that the regional Vermont Indigenous history needed to be investigated and told. I agreed to add more documentary historical study (which as an archaeologist, I dislike) to my previous materials research in other regions of Vermont. But turmoil concerning the ethnic identity of the ancient people -- who produced these materials -- was exploding beyond any hope of containment; with the Internet as the weapon of choice. However, out of this tumultuous 2006-2008 period, there were some non-Missisquoi people who agreed to work with me to discover what lay in the Indigenous history of their regions. The puzzle to solve, as I see it now, was not history or even culture, but the fundamental nature of Abenaki Identity.
The intractable problem of Vermont Abenaki Identity
Ethnic, religious and gender minorities have the human right to self identify, and upon self identification, have the civil rights that accrue to that status. But not Indigenous people -- this power to identify has remained firmly in Euroamerican hands. Kathleen Fitzgerald's 2007 book, Beyond white ethnicity: developing a sociological understanding of Native American Identity reclamation (Altamira Press) reveals, in detail, that scholars have moved well beyond the antiquated "Kinship primordialism" premise that to be "Indian," one needs to be bound by Euroamerican-derived material, genetic or behavioral concepts of "authenticity." The nature of the "original" American Indian names of identification is in itself complex and uncertain (i.e. "Alnôbak" vs. "Wapôniawkawik" =Abenaki), and the Euroamerican terms of ethnic identity derived from them are themselves fluid and indeterminate (i.e. "St. Francis Indian" vs. "Abenaki"):

"The names given by European writers and administrators to the indigenous peoples of North America have changed many times since the beginning of contact. These names were never neutral despite the pretense of objectivity coded by the nineteenth century discourse of ethnicity to which we are heir. Rather, in almost every instance, they reflected a combination of misinformation, rapidly changing demographic configurations, and European concepts of political organization imposed on indigenous peoples, even as these concepts were evolving in Europe and North America."

Ruth B. Phillips, 1998, Trading Identities
University of Washington Press

Nevertheless, in the eyes of American bureaucrats, to express an individual Indian identity, one must be an enrolled citizen of a tribal or band organization that white people have acknowledged as "Indian." Thus individual ethnic Native American identity flows from intellectually passé but still legalistic Euroamerican determinations of collective ethnicity, an unfortunate residue of colonialism that is alive and well in VT.

"The position of the state (VT) is that in the late 1700's the Abenaki ceased functioning as a tribe and although they have regrouped, it still doesn't meet the legal test."

Janet Ancel, Governor Howard Dean's Counsel,
St. Albans Messenger May 15, 1995

Vermont Native American tribal identity carries a unique socioeconomic value, one that may seem threatening to others who fear loss of sovereignty. This feared loss may be through dwindling of jurisdiction and taxing authority by "Indian land claims" and gambling revenue through "Indian casinos:"

The consequences that flow from tribal recognition include special privileges and broad exemptions from environmental, tax, licensing, and even criminal laws that applies to other citizens. That is why we examined the claims made by the Saint Francis/Sokoki Abenaki and responded (negatively) to them... "

William Sorrel, VT Attorney General
Seven Days, Aug. 27, 2003

Ethnic peer groups or even individuals may also feel that they have something to gain by denigrating the ethnic identity of their neighbors. One of the better developed efforts at denying VT Abenaki identity is the ominously titled blog reinventedvermontabenaki.blogspot.com. It consists of scores of scanned online copies of important historical letters, newspaper articles, correspondence etc. from the Abenaki Renaissance Period of 1980-today with added commentary. Thus the blog is an important documentary resource for historians. However, its purpose is revealed in the associated commentary. A recent (2009) posting gives a feeling of its intent:

Perhaps these "groups" (The Vermont Abenaki bands) are so deseperate (sic) to establish themselves as allegedly Abenaki, Koasek, Cowasuck, Missisquoi, Nulhegan, etc. simply because IF they can twist, distort, and manipulate long enough (like a pit of snakes), then once they alleged (sic) gain their sought after Vermont or New Hampshire State Recognition, we'll all find out that they had their fingers in the Casino Pie all along, just waiting to lick their fingers! THINK ABOUT IT
Douglas Bucholtz (correction: Buchholz), Oct. 26, 2009 commentary
These people's motivation is more difficult to understand than the jurisdictional and revenue concerns of states or even the media, but scholar Hillary Weaver stated in American Indian Quarterly (Volume 25, 2:240-255, unfortunately web-quote not page cited) that "The roots of this type of behavior probably lie deep in the accusers' own insecurities about identity..." These individual and collective feelings and expressions of ethnic suspicion are the foundations of Abenaki identity politics in Vermont. Such words and actions may also be analyzed under the rubric of "lateral oppression," a topic that is beyond the scope of this paper. The particular technique that has recently developed to deny Vermont's Native Peoples' identity is to first assert that XXX band of Native People is not "Indian." After this prejudgment has been promulgated, the opponents of an Indigenous VT identity then publically demand evidence of legitimacy from the targeted group, at the same time unilaterally setting the standards of acceptable evidence (usually based on Anglo legal recognition criteria). In the case of Vermont's Indigenous people, the evidence must demonstrate genealogical continuity from historical populations (as described by Euroamericans), originally resident in or near the area that the modem Native group(s) currently reside in. However, there is little consideration of who these original "real VT Abenakis" were. An appeal is always made to Euroamerican scholarship, often Gordon Day's somewhat dated Identity of the St. Francis Indians, which refers to the hypothetical origins (in Day's opinion) of the population of Odanak, an Abenaki reserve in Quebec that he studied in the mid-20th century.

The catch 22 that attempts to deny Vermont Abenaki people their Indigenous identity
There is a logical fallacy (now often called the "catch 22" fallacy) embedded in these demands. For clarity's sake I break the argument into five component antecedent clauses and a "therefore:"

l.) Collective native ethnic identity (such as an "Abenaki tribe/band") necessarily:

2.) flows from a communal genealogical descendency

3.) from a fundamental wellspring of "legitimate Indian" names

4.) in refugee, native-practice communities such as Odanak, QC or Indian Island, ME.

5. that lie beyond the borders of the state of Vermont.

Therefore -- Indigenous people of whatever name, who chose to remain in VT (and not to go to distant refugee communities), could not bestow Indigenous identity on their descendents.

If this requirement were valid, no one can establish any kind of continuity within Vermont by appealing to a genealogy that, to be acceptable, necessarily originates outside of VT's borders. An excellent example promoting this fallacy are the "Ne-do-ba" and "Abenaki Justice" websites (abenakijustice.blogspot.com; and nedoba.org/topic_truth3.html). The Ne-do-ba website clearly states that (except perhaps for the Missisquoi Valley "Robertson's Lease" which is too early for analysis of "1780-2009" historical and geographic continuity), the only satisfactory name-origin is from accepted Indian communities scores or hundreds of miles distant from VT. A corollary of this logical fallacy is:

1.) If people have their "Indian genealogy" from outside VT

2.) they cannot meet the continuous residency component of the continuity criterion,

3.) because their ancestors were immigrants, not VT resident Indians.

The fallacy and its corollary make a "catch 22" type of conundrum of "no valid Indian names from inside of VT", and "anyone with a valid name is, by definition, not from Vermont" - quickly and effectively solving the problem of Indigenous VT Indian identity.

In addition to being logically fallacious, the genealogical primacy argument is also historically wrong. The "Indian sounding name" demand, when applied to post 1800's American-resident Native people, is unsuitable. For example, of the "Four Indians" documented in the Oct 1863 Alburgh, VT; Land and
Miscellaneous Records (Book 16, pp. 593-594) two, George Burk, and Jason Vosburg, have typical New England sounding names, one, Charles Partlow, has a vaguely French sounding name, and only one, Albert Olena has a surname that could even remotely considered as non-Euroamerican. These alleged 4 Indians mentioned in the Alburg, VT Misc. Books was addressed by the Office of Federal Acknowlegment, as being unfounded, unsubstantiated, and dubious. An Indian woman in Native regalia captured in a photo preserved in the Jamaica (VT) Historical Foundation was, according to the director of the Foundation, a member of local Native enclave. Unfortunately for the naysayers, the photo's label sports a classic old-time Vermont name -- "Ruth W. Stark."

However, if individuals claiming an Abenaki identity prove descendency from an original, genealogically acceptable "Indian" ancestor, there is a fall-back position, crafted by the naysayers to discredit even proven genealogical connection:

Just because someone has found (a) Native ancestral connection(s) does not make that person "Native", nor does having a (sic) Abenaki ancestral connection(s), make that person "An Abenaki" either. Anyone care for a shake and bake Abenaki?
Douglas Lloyd Bucholtz (Buchholz) 1/5/2010

I surmise that, for the naysayers, there can never be a satisfactory genealogical argument for determining VT Indian identity. That last "fall-back" argument is, among other factors, why genealogy cannot bestow individual or collective Indian status. For instance, Barack Obama's Native ancestor (through Maureen Duvall) is "Darky" Clark(e), and her Patowomac mother Mary Wishbone. That distant connection does not, in our current sociopolitical climate, confirm Mr. Obama as our first Native president, unless his bloodline continued native practice within its Southern Maryland homeland down to at least his mother's family.

Nevertheless, the multi-pronged media assault against Vermont Indian genealogy, culture and polity encapsulates the results of this whole drear process.

The family history of these (VT Abenaki) members cannot be traced back through history to this Indian tribe.
Editorial "Opinion"
Burlington Free Press, May 2, 2005

So the Vermont Native people and organizations face a political dilemma – to disregard these attacks as unenlightened intolerance -- or attempt to fight them. Many Native activists have simply dismissed such negativity as racist. It may be, but that concern is also beyond the scope of this paper, which focuses specifically on the logic underlying Vermont identity politics. Since a measure of VT state recognition was achieved in the spring of 2006, the organized bands and tribes in Vermont have ignored these attacks as a matter of policy.

A methodological solution to the naysayers' logical dilemma

If a supposed absence of collective, tribal continuity is the fundamental argument against modern Abenaki tribal identity, as proposed by organizations such as the Burlington Free Press, or individuals such as Douglas Bucholtz (Buchholz), or Karen Mica (nee: Bordreau - Majka); it can only be refuted using time-tested scholarly analytic and inferential methods applied to Vermont's observational, ecological, material culture, and written records. Yet, Fred M. Wiseman DOES NOT even meet his own "time tested scholarly analytical methodology" Wiseman PhD never explains what exactly his analytical methodology is, other than to say, "in his scholarly opinion..." When Wiseman cannot meet the already established "time tested scholarly analytical methodology", he simply seems to have created "his own definitional terminology's" for his own "time tested scholarly analytical and inferential methods of study". Why? Because from the start, Mr. Wiseman PhD knows as a scholar that the standard time tested scholarly definitions do not work for him, or to the benefit of the St. Francis Sokoki Inc. group led by his Chief April St. Francis-Merrill. So, in conclusion, it would appear that he is not using anything but what he makes up himself, coming to conclusionary scholarly opinions that suit and benefit where he wants the analysis to go. Documented continuity of practiced Indigenous culture and place is essentialist and epistemologically impervious to those who choose to manipulate ethnic identity requirements/criteria against Abenaki identity.

But if there has been a verifiable, continuous tribal-based practiced culture in much of Vermont, it has been little studied. Its lack of documentation may be due to scholarly disinterest in the post-colonial Vermont Abenaki narrative. Historians traditionally have had little interest in American Indians unless there is some kind of embedded military, social or economic conflict; and so scholarly appeal of Vermont's Indigenous peoples in the "more peaceful" post 1780's era just was not there. If the pioneering 1980's ethnohistorians,
folklorists and anthropologists would have researched and published the now-known nineteenth century VT record; controversy over VT Indigenous identity would not exist. However, the essential materials the early scholars neglected are still there, although most of the Indigenous tradition bearers of thirty or more years ago have now passed.

A multidisciplinary forensic approach
Forensic science is the application of a broad spectrum of natural and social scientific disciplines that can be used to answer ambiguous or controversial political questions -- in this case, confirming or rejecting Vermont Indigenous tribal identity. Implicit in forensics is the concept of "strong authentication," a layered and multifaceted analytic procedure of confirming the identity of a person, or tracing the origins of an artifact or behavior that can withstand hostile cross-examination.
Implicit: means "implied, indirect, unclear, vague.
Explicit: means "fully revealed or expressed without vagueness
Mr. Wiseman PhD, by using the word "hostile" towards any cross-examination, review, or evaluation of his "scholarly opinions," has already become biased against anyone that might disagree with his conclusions/ opinions. In this paper, I propose to investigate region-based, long-term practiced culture as the forensic foundation of ethnic identity. I begin with the rather basic logical postulate that individual ethnic identity necessarily flows from membership in practiced culture -- not the other way around. To restate the supposition; if a person is a recognized member of a community of people that has a documented history of practiced culture (doing things, saying things, making things, and belonging to kin-groups [families, bands etc.] that any unbiased observer would say is -"distinctly ethnic"), then he or she may assert a personal ethnic identity that is derivative of that practiced culture. My research methodology is to consider and evaluate the specific 1780's-2000 VT, physical, historical, and testimonial evidence of Indigenous practiced culture within the borders of Vermont — from the perspectives of archaeology, physical anthropology, ethnohistory, ethnography, linguistics, folkloric studies, history, economic ethnobotany, cultural and historical geography, as well as political science and race relations study. A multidisciplinary research method is forensically necessary in controversial cases such as this; in that that the "naysayers" mentioned above can attempt to cast a measure of doubt upon certain individual data sets. However, if a multidisciplinary approach is used, critics would not be able to cast reasonable doubt upon a totality of internally-reinforcing information scattered across independent originating media (e.g. artifacts, newspaper articles, interview testimony, paintings etc.) and scholarly research techniques and disciplines. In essence, one geo-referenced data set would be logically confirm or at least strengthen the case for acceptance of other data sets from the same geographic area and historical time period. Such cross-correlations could then be the basis for well-grounded logical inferences regarding the ethnicity of the people of the place and time considered in the data. This forensic approach, though time-consuming and painstaking, yields robust authentication of practiced culture (if indeed it existed!); from which must flow sound assessment of VT ethnic identity.

Furthermore, if there is a multidisciplinary trace of regional practiced culture in VT as revealed by several independent disciplines, it would be the future genealogists' responsibility to link candidate individuals and families to these local communities that are not distant in space and time.

The concept of the "Abenaki tribe"
Before any research can proceed, however, I need first to clarify the operational aspects of the concepts of "Abenaki" and tribe." This is necessary for the purposes of this research -- to create a "methodological standard" to logically separate organized collective native groups, the focus of the controversy surrounding American Abenaki Identity; from ethnically unstructured and ambiguous individuals and organizations. These last may confuse scholarly debate over VT policy regarding its Indigenous people. There is a well-defined cultural/social/political gradient beginning with individual, self identified Abenakis, through isolated Abenaki families, to loose organizations of intermarrying Abenaki families inhabiting relatively amorphous regions, to well organized discrete political "Abenaki" organizations that generally call themselves "bands" (a Canadian legal/political term = "tribe"). So the procedural issue is "where to draw the line" separating what policymakers should consider "tribes" and these other entities. To accomplish this analytic goal, I occasionally use definitions and criteria somewhat at variance with the anthropological meanings of "Abenaki," tribe," and "band" - but rather more in line with those legalistic definitions routinely used by bureaucrats, lawmakers and lawyers - the potential users of the results of this methodology for making policy decisions regarding VT's Native people

Vermont Indigenous persons, organizations and polities colloquially consider themselves "Abenakis" and consider themselves parts of a larger, anthropologically known "Western Abenaki" or "Abenaki Nation" culture (this is separate from Maine "Eastern Abenakis"). "The Abenaki Nation" extends far beyond the
borders of Vermont – into Quebec, New Hampshire, northernmost Massachusetts and even Eastern Maine. There are also known disjunct Abenaki enclaves in Northeastern New York, Southern New England and perhaps elsewhere that could also be considered part of the Nation. Therefore, "Vermont Abenakis" is too vague and broad a unit for analysis and interpretation of collective Indigenous identity in this paper.

Vermont Native polities, like their "eastern" kin such as the Penobscots (E. Abenakis) or Listigouches (Mik'maqs), traditionally use a "geographic determinate" that identifies them by a "village" or limited regional locus; not culture in the anthropological sense. This regional cultural focus will be the methodological heart of my investigation. For precision's sake in the historical analyses to be undertaken, I will discuss several Vermont regional geographic subdivisions, but we must all remember that all of the people living in these regions these have in the past; and continue to today; consider themselves "Abenaki."

Just as there is confusion concerning the term "Abenaki," there is confusion of the term "tribe." I have researched the cultural history and geography of the Vermont Abenakis for the last twenty-one years, giving papers and publishing articles and books on the subject. As alluded to above, I have found that Vermont is a pot-pourri of different entities self-identifying as "Abenaki," and the average Vermonter or policy maker is unable to distinguish which should qualify as tribal organizations in the more scholarly sense necessary for a multidisciplinary forensic science approach. For purposes of forensic authentication, I define a VT tribe thus:

A Vermont tribe is a cultural entity with demonstrable historical and spatial dimension within the borders of the State of Vermont that demonstrates a measure of continuing community in its economic, political and cultural activities. To restate the supposition; a VT tribe is 1.) a community of people that 2.) has a documented history of practiced culture (doing things, saying things, making things, and belonging to kin-groups [families] that any unbiased observer would say is "distinctly ethnic"); and 3.) has left physical, historical, and testimonial evidence of this communal Indigenous practiced culture within defined areas contained by the borders of Vermont that 4.) applies to the period between 1780, when scholars and lawyers agree that there were Vermont Indians, and today, when there are numerous self-identifying Native entities, that 5.) can be analyzed from scholarly perspectives that include archaeology, physical anthropology, ethnohistory, ethnography, linguistics, folkloric studies, genealogy, history, economic ethnobotany, cultural and historical geography, political science and race relations study.

Conclusion: "Through the looking glass"
I have used a multidisciplinary forensic research methodology, as well as an explicit, criteria-laden definition that I believe to locate, identify and authenticate Vermont Abenaki cultural collectives that would withstand any reasonable scrutiny as "tribes." As pointed out in the "Introduction," the results of these researches are currently presented elsewhere in a specific format to meet the requirements of Vermont State Recognition. Later, they will be published in Against the Darkness: The Wabanaki World, 1600-1970, by the University Press of New England. But I must admit again, that in my 1980's and 1990's research, I was basically unaware of any tribal entities in Vermont other than Missisquoi, and was skeptical of claims made by people from other regions of Vermont that there were and are other functional tribal homelands.

Using this methodology, I was able to detect in the VT historical/geographic record, similarities in land tenure, technology, subsistence and other cultural systems that cut across modern regional Euroamerican VT cultural boundaries; yet were distinct from those of the Abenaki reserves in Canada. Upon comparative analysis, some of these cultural characteristics were found most akin to the Eastern Abenakis of Maine. Some regions retained one part of such a cultural system, while regional gaps could be filled in by comparative infomation from other areas. On the whole, there has been both a much larger revealed native population in Vermont, as well as a persistence of many more Indigenous cultural attributes into the recent past than anyone had thought before. In conclusion, I believe that a rigorous multifaceted research methodology developed here has been a much needed and critical tool in settling the decades - long political controversy over who and or what is an Abenaki in Vermont. These researches have led to the development of two cultural axioms I wish to end with.
1. It is improbable that the Odanak Reserve (QC) Native population provided a significant portion of the observed 1780-1930 VT Native activity.

Most important for any forensic analysis of local Indigenous practiced culture is empirical evidence of raw Indian population within 19th century VT's borders, and this population's relation to the documented population of the 19th century Odanak Abenaki Reserve. Without delving deep into the historical documents, there are written records of several types and scales of 1780-1930 VT Indian communities.

Documented Vermont Indigenous geographic entities, 1780-1930
Large, long lasting communities
Newbury "100 Indians"
Swanton Village; burial ground with approximately 29 individuals identified as native; "Back Bay, French and Indian" early 20th century community.
Camps and settlements
Cambridge "Indian Hill" "a party of.... Indians"
Craftsbury (near) "wigwams"
Crystal Lake "wigwams"
Elligo, Lake "wigwams"
Indian Point (Lake Memphramagog) "a significant camp of Indians"
Jamaica "Native enclave"
Kingfisher Bay (Swanton) "24 Indians"
Lamoille River "River Rat"' camp(s)
Missisquoi River "River Rat'" camp(s)
Newbury "a wigwam"
Pine Hill, Bellows Falls, VT "...a settlement" -
Salem Lake "wigwams"
Saxton's River (The mouth of, Bellows Falls, VT), "a second settlement"
Seymour, Lake "wigwams",
South Burlington "tar-paper shanty Gypsy Camp"
Winooski River below the Salmon Hole and Intervale "River Rat'" camp(s)
White River, Otter Creek below Vergennes "River Rat'" camp(s). •

Migratory bands
Gypsies, (at least four bands in Chittenden, Addison, Lamoille Counties)
"Roving Bands of Indians" (Windham Co., VT)

Individual Indian People and/or families
Brattleboro "Indian Girl"
Burlington "Old North End community"
Champlain Islands "Pirate" families
Essex Junction
Shelburne Point, 'Pirate" families
St. Albans,
Swanton Town

If we calculate a population using the anthropological standard of 5.2 persons per family/wigwam, there was a remarkably large, historically identified population of Indian people in Vermont, in the hundreds at
least, and perhaps as many as one thousand people. Of course this covers several generations, so the figure may be somewhat inflated, but even if we cut it by 1/2 to be conservative, it still implies a remarkable number of Native households in Vermont. However, I suspect that more in-depth research would doubtless reveal other regional Native population nodes, since Western and Central Vermont have seen little geographic study (except for Franklin County and parts of Chittenden and Lamoille Counties). These population data are fundamental to understanding the scope of Vermont's Indigenous history, as well as its arithmetical relationship to any Canadian expatriates residing in VT during this period.

For example, Odanak had less than 100 family households in the 1822 census (avcnet.org/ne-doba/cen_o22.html), and this figure seems to be representative of much of the 19th century. If we subtract from the Odanak household total, the documented seasonal expatriate Odanak families living on Lake Champlain (five households), the White Mountains (two Households), and Lake Region in New Hampshire, the Adirondacks (a large camp, and illustration of which shows at least four wigwams = households), and elsewhere; that leaves less than 90 households to supply the rest of the observed VT Native communities enumerated in Table 1. This cursory comparison implies that there were as many (or more!) "Euroamerican-visible" 19th century Native people dwelling in VT than on the Odanak Reserve in Canada. Therefore, Odanak could simply not supply any significant portion of these observed VT people — even if it depleted its population by 2/3rd during the spring, summer, and fall -- a depletion which would have crippled, if not destroyed its social fabric.

Therefore, we may surmise that this preliminary numerical estimate of a heretofore unknown high VT-resident population makes it unlikely that the Indigenous inhabitants described for 19th century VT all lived in Quebec and only visited Vermont for part of the year.

2. The "hiding in plain sight" assertion is unnecessary
These data lead to a second important result of this research. For many years there has been a subaltern oral narrative among Vermont's Native people that their ancestors "hid in plain sight," in the 19th century or "went into hiding during the Eugenics years (1920-1940)." Heretofore, this narrative has been based largely on powerful, but individual family histories at places such as Koas or Missisquoi, but lacked a regional historical context. However, the collective information indicates that, on the whole, the VT Native population was never "hidden" but was "in plain sight" – as acknowledged Indigenous people – throughout the regions and times (1780-early 20th century) considered. The totality of the case is unambiguous—geographically organized groups of large Native populations have always been resident in the Missisquoi, Upper Cowass, and two parts of the Lower Cowass regions of Vermont. This multidisciplinary information concerning cultural continuity provides an objective documentary "strong authentication" for policy-makers to properly evaluate the claims made by individuals and organizations who wish to extinguish the ethnic identity of Vermont's original inhabitants.

Appendix: Indigenous "non-tribal" Vermont entities

Not all Vermont Indigenous entities qualify as tribes, and some must be reluctantly excluded from this "political/forensic" analysis, so that I can properly evaluate Abenaki tribal historical geography of VT. In this section, I use the explicit criteria embedded in the "Abenaki" and "Tribe" concepts to evaluate and classify this VT ethnic blend. Please note that I am not saying that these people and organizations are not "Abenaki," just that they do not exhibit the historical, cultural and geographic dimension to qualify as tribes at this time. However, they can be counted as VT Indians" in analytic population estimates.

First; the documentation of VT pre 1780 tribal communities such as that implied by Missisquoi's "Robertson's Lease" is not considered here. The materials have already been reported on by scholars such as William Haviland or Cohn Calloway, and are considered "settled facts" by even the most uncompromising opponents of modern VT Abenaki identity. Therefore, I state again that the period of interest for locking in an Indigenous VT identity lies in that little-known historical period between 1780, when even the most "anti-Abenaki" people agree there were Abenakis in VT; and today, when everyone agrees there are Vermonters proclaiming an Indian identity.
Second, there were expatriate Quebec Abenaki families along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain in the early 20th century, such as the Obomsawins of Thompson's Point, the Watsos of Ferrisburg or the Panadis of Highgate Springs, who spent their winters at Odanak, a Canadian Abenaki reserve near the St. Lawrence River. From my interviews with descendents of these families in the 1950's and again in the 1980's and 1990's, I believe that they were individual families (while residing in Vermont) rather than an organized tribal entity, or a legal extension of corporate tribal authority. Even though many, such as my grandfather's friend Nicholas Panadis, spent much more time in VT than in Canada, bi-nationals were claimed as Odanak residents by former Odanak Chief Gilles Obomsawin and the Odanak Band Council in their assertion of sovereignty over Vermont as written in an Oct. 23, 2003 letter to me, as well as their correspondence with the Vermont Attorney General in 2004 and 2005. My purpose is not to contest the legal residency of our "partially Quebec" brethren. Although they are "authentic Abenaki;" they draw their ethnic status from outside of VT's boundaries, and their genealogies, life stories, historical imagery and creations will not be considered in this paper. Indigenous Vermont tribal identity must be explicitly resident in the state and not claimed by tribal entities outside of the state. Unfortunately, these expatriate families' presence caused some challenges in materials analyses; in that they made snowshoes, canoes and baskets, often similar to their distant VT kin. It is often difficult after almost a century, to separate the observations of, and materials produced by, the Obomsawin/Panadis/Watso families from the larger corporate VT Indigenous bands. There are also families and individuals currently residing in Vermont who claim Indian status through the Odanak Reserve in Quebec. If they have acknowledged citizenship at Odanak, they have rights given to them under Canada's Indian Act. However, they cannot be considered individually or collectively an Indigenous VT Indian tribe -- as long as they draw their legal ethnic status from beyond Vermont's (and the United States') borders.

Third, there were historically important, 19th and early 20th century Native VT family-based groups without a settled abode, such as the "Gypsies" who frequented VT Routes 15 and 7, and produced ethnic arts such as Native-style baskets, furniture and trinkets curated at the Wôbanakik Heritage Center and Fleming Museum (UVM) collections. In origin, some of these VT Gypsy families can be traced back to settled Abenaki territories, such as the Lake Memphramagog area. There were also outlying, apolitical groups of "highly probably Indigenous" families such as the "Pirates,", mostly of Grand Isle County, VT. These people achieved the ultimate form of land disconnection to choose to live on houseboats moored at various places on the Lake Champlain Islands, as well as at Shelburne Point.

Fourth, Chittenden County, especially Burlington's "Old North End," South Burlington, Essex Junction and Winooski have evidence of post 1780's Abenaki occupation. For example, a ca. 1920 "cut cloth fringe" man's outfit has an Essex Junction, VT provenance, and there was also a "gypsy village" of "tar-paper shanties" in South Burlington in the early 20th century. However, I have not been able to discover any extant collective organizational or political structure in these areas in my documentary historical research or oral history interviews. All of these family-based groups of the greater Burlington Metropolitan Area need more research in the future, and some may, ultimately qualify as "VT tribes," if given a long enough documented history of political revitalization and sustained organizational activity. There may the beginning stages of political organization in Winooski under the leadership of activist Judy Dow.

Fifth, and perhaps the most complex historical ethnic grouping that we must reluctantly dispense with; is the little known Indian enclave of Lamoille County VT. I have completed a measure of oral history research with members of the German/Abenaki Sweetser basket making family from Morrisville and Stowe, VT who have attended my college, Johnson State College, over the years. They have stated that their possible Indigenous ancestors may have been associated with the Indigenous population of "Indian Hill" (modern location unknown) - in Cambridge Town VT. The website vermontgenealogy.com/lamoille/indians.htm, noted that "In the early part of the (19th) century, a party of St. Francis Indians tarried on this hill, and hunted and fished in the neighborhood, and as late as 1840, a number of families (of) St. Francis Indians came into the town and encamped and made baskets and bark dishes for a while." Also, my informants talk about "Indian Joe and Molly." This Indigenous couple lived in Hyde Park, VT in the early 19th century, where they had been wards of the State of VT, with a Mr. John McDonald appointed their guardian on Nov. 7, 1792. But the Central VT enclave of Joe and Molly's (possible) descendents, were, as far as I can discern, family based, not tribe based groups – much like the Odanak expatriates mentioned above. There is no active or recent unifying political activity in Lamoille
County that could be deemed a tribal entity — although the Sweetser Baskets with the distinctive "radial star" basal design are well-known and highly desired collectibles. Why does Frederick M. Wiseman opinionate and assume that these people were/or are not part of a kinship based tribal entity?....Because these Sweetser descendants haven't "incorporated" and recieved "State of Vermont's Secretary-of-State Stamp of Approval"?

Remember, Newton Washburn, Sweetser-ash-basketmaker of Stowe, Vermont (and then later of Bethlehem, N.H.) did obtain from either "tribal judge" Michael Delaney and or "Grand Chief" Homer St. Francis, a membership card into the Swanton "St. Francis-Sokoki" group at some point in retrospective time. So did my own person. Based on what genealogy, culture, heritage background did Mr. Washburn gain this membership card from Swanton's so-called "St. Francis-Sokoki" group? His father was Frank Sweetser and his mother Lefa (nee: Armstrong) though he was raised by Frank's sister Lula nee: Sweetser. Seems to me, Mr. Wiseman, PhD. is simply stating his "personal opinions", and that his conclusions are not seemingly factually and verifiably based.

Sixth, there are Vermont educational, social and service organizations in that could be confused with tribal polities. For example, The Clan of the Hawk Inc. has a chief, an organizational structure, events and cultural activities paralleling those of tribal polities. How is this any different than what the so-called St. Francis-Sokoki group has been? But Mr. Randy Smith, spokesperson for the Clan of the Hawk, gave on-the-record testimony at the VT State House during a 01/26/10 committee hearing, in which he stressed that the Clan was an educational organization that accepted people from "all tribes" as members, and so would not have the necessary political and ethnic focus to qualify as an Abenaki tribe. Neither does Swanton's St. Francis-Sokoki group qualify; Mike Delaney and Homer St. Francis Sr. were issuing membership cards to anyone they deemed they could use, liked, etc. even if that membership petitioner didn't seemingly have adequate genealogical records to verify that they were Abenakis! For example, "Dee Brightstar" (actually Deanna Lou nee: Dudley born September 13, 1942 in Rutland, Vermont to Harley Edward Dudley and Elaine Vivian nee: Park) or Mary Warren of Bethlehem, N.H. who supposedly was "verified as being an Abenaki descendant" by John Moody, but he couldn't have done any  verifiable research on her ancestry whatsoever because the surname she thought she had been born into, at birth, was absolutely verifiably wrong! Yet she too got a Missisquoi Abenaki Membership Card! These are just two examples to prove my point. These entities may also be arms of local government, such as Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union Title VII Indian Education; regional 501(c) non-profits such as, the Ndakinna Cultural Center; or even official adjuncts to multi-tribal alliances such as the Wôbanakik Heritage Center. They are necessarily based on business or non-profit organizational structure -- substantively different from politically-based tribal entities that necessarily maintain tribal rolls founded on documented regional tribal origin, and base their collective identity on continuity from antecedent regional tribal peoples.

And lastly, there are well-educated individuals without clear ties to American VT tribal groups, cultural homelands or genealogies -- who make their livelihood "being" Abenaki Indians, usually as educators, storytellers and craftspeople. They are often outspoken and influential, and may align themselves with Euroamerican institutions or create their own private institutes. But these people and their families cannot be included in this analysis, unless they are accepted as part of a larger tribal polity.

Although most, if not all of these personal/cultural/business/nonprofit entities may self-identify as "Abenaki," they are not "tribes" in the political sense defined above -- that requires collective sociopolitical continuity.

In essence, what Frederick Matthew Wiseman is stating here, is that to be an "Abenaki Tribe" in Vermont (or elsewhere in New England), a group MUST be "INCORPORATED" under political documentary sanction of the Secretary of State's Office, of a perspective State/ Commonwealth. Yet, in all of his created criteria, he is being blinded by his own hypocracy, inflated egotistical personality and arrogance!. "Pushing himself up", by promoting a supposed validity, based on criteria he himself created and promoted in this "introduction" (yet could only meet that criteria with inaccurate, distorted factualizations) and yet "tears down" and diminishes vocally, the Sweetser family of Vermont, and an incorporation created and promoted by Ralph Swett (which is much like the one Mr. Wiseman himself is a member of btw). Now, I want people reading this post, to read Page 4 (though not numbered by Mr. Wiseman, so I cannot cite this make-believe scholarly work) and read the top paragraph. I can surmise that this man, is in fact perpetuating in his own work right here, exactly what he is accusing my person of doing, simply because of this blog. Mr. PhD Wiseman himself is perpetuating "lateral oppression" against the Sweetser's and anyone associated with the Clan of the Hawk, Inc. group. Does anyone honestly believe that the "NEW" VCNAA members afore-mentioned in the previous recent postings on this blog are not going to perpetuate their own "lateral violence" against those who come in front of them, seeking State of Vermont Recognition? THINK ABOUT IT. I have already concluded the answer has already been answered simply by reading Mr. Wiseman's "Decolonizing the Abenaki of Vermont..." write-up's first 11 pages!

"We must set forth an equitable, inclusive, and standardized criteria and process for recognition, and we must hold all of the alleged and reinvented tribes and bands that come forward accountable to that standard. It does not appear to be just or reasonable to recognize any tribes before there is criteria in statute for them to meet....

Is it "FAIR" or "INCLUSIVE", for Frederick Matthew Wiseman to have created this so-called standarized criteria, to benefit himself (and those of so-called the Vermont Indigenous Alliance)?

Someone ought to inquire of the Odanak "expatriots" living in Vermont, etc., the "Clan of the Hawk" "Chief" (Ralph Skinner Swett), and or the members of the "star-bottom" "Abenaki" ash-basketmaking Sweetser family members, and find out what they think of Frederick M. Wiseman's alleged "inclusiveness, fairness, or transparency in this recognition process of the alleged and reinvented Abenakis of Vermont and New Hampshire, AFTER they read this write-up of Mr. Frederick Wiseman's eh? I bet that after reading this 'paper' they will very likely get the distinct feeling of their being "stepped on, stepped over, simply ignored, demeaned, diminished, down-sized, etc".
....This decision will not only level the playing field, but my firm belief is that it will demonstrate to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board and other federal entities that we are standing on solid ground with our recognition process. So, in sum, it is my sense that the House will be seeking to write into law a standard recognition criteria and process and will not recognize any individual tribes or bands at this time."

It has been brought to my attention and awareness, that Frederick Matthew Wiseman PhD Professor etc etc etc etc., created his own personal "criteria for recognition" without getting contribution from others to create this criteria. He then submitted what he believed PROVED that he (and these fellow associated groups/i.e. the created "Vermont Indigenous Alliance" 4 groups) met his created criteria for gaining State of Vermont "Abenaki Recognition".

Just like I have previously stated, these WEASELS comprised of these 4 groups that are composing themselves today, calling themselves "The VT Indigenous Alliance", were and are plotting to create the blueprints/ draft, to their own VT State Recognition process, slapping anyone else's fingers away from the "Recognition Pie", while they themselves lick their lips, and have their own fingers stained with their distortions, deceit and lies against the legitimate historical Abenakis (and other incorporated groups who also claim to be "Abenakis"). Does this sound FAIR, INCLUSIVE, or TRUTHFULLY TRANSPARENT of this so-called Vermont Indigenous Alliance, and Frederick Matthew Wiseman PhD.? It's like the chicken house is being built by the weasel's, which is then going to be guarded by those same weasel's, and in the end they will make sure there are going to be no chickens going to get in or out of that hen-house!

I would say it is politics as usual !!

Douglas Buchholz Inquiry to Representative Kesha Ram June 24, 2010 and Rep. Kesha Ram's Repsonse to Douglas Buchholz regarding his inquiry:

On June 24, 2010 at 6:57 p.m. I had email inquired to Representative Kesha Ram as to the "Decolonizing the Abenakis: A Methodology for detecting Vermont Tribal Identity." which was compiled and copyrighted by Frederick Matthew Wiseman and his fellow "Alliance" associate's. I communicated with Representative Kesha Ram to inquire as to if this particular material that was mailed to me, was in fact, submitted to her while she served on the Committee regarding "Abenaki Recognition", and if so, was this particular Fred M. Wiseman (etc.) a matter of PUBLIC RECORD.

Since Mr. Frederick Matthew Wiseman felt the need to address my person by name in this writeup of his, I conclude that it is only fitting that I now respond to this man and this pathetic piece of garbage writeup for what it is.
If I didn't know Mr. Fred M. Wiseman was considered a PhD, and I was a Professor at a College and he was my student....the grade on this particular work would have been a D- or worse! But as some would say, "if you can't convince them with the truth, then bedazzle them with b.s." (just like April Merrill's son Rene St. Francis posted on his MYSPACE.com webpage some time ago).
On Friday, June 25, 2010 at 12:26 p.m. Representative Kesha Ram kindly replied to my inquiry regarding the afore-mentioned material documentation by Frederick M. Wiseman and his associates i.e. the so-called "Abenaki Alliance of Vermont" (1. Luke Willard's group...the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk, 2. April Merrill's group...the Sovereign Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi St. Francis/Sokoki Band group,  3. Nancy Millette-Doucet's group...Koasek Traditional Abenaki of the KOAS, and 4. Roger "Longtoe" A. Sheehan's group...the El-nu Tribe of the Abenaki).

Kesha Ram stated in her email response, "My understanding is that anything presented to us in an open committee meeting is part of the public record. I have reason to believe this is absolutely accurate because, as clerk of the committee, I try to save copies of everything we receive and turn them over to the State Archivist at the end of the year. That is pretty much the basis for the ongoing public record of the legislative process. Many of the documents related to S.222 are in the state archives now. If your friend has a copy and is willing to share it with you, that would be the easiest way to procure it.......

Clerk, Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs
Vermont House of Representatives, Chittenden 3-4: Burlington.

January 18, 1995 Darrell Larocque "Security Report" to Homer St. Francis ~ September 02, 2010 "NEW" Vermont Commission On Native American Affairs Appointee's:

Review the "LINK" given below, regarding the document previously placed on this blog, concerning the "Security Report" which was dated January 18, 1995 from Darrell R. Larocque of Charlotte, North Carolina to "Grand Chief" Homer St. Francis, Sr. of Swanton, Vermont.

LINK: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_hqC5V9v2WXg/S3EO3v2CdEI/AAAAAAAAC2w/-yBx9zxY_z8/s1600-h/Darrell+Larocque+Jan+18+1995.jpg

This document was a mere five (5) days AFTER Paul Wilson Pouliot created his "Letter-of-Intent-to-Petition-for-Federal-Acknowledgment" dated January 13, 1995 and received by the OFA (Office of Federal Acknowledgment) on January 23, 1995 in Washington, D.C.

What caused the late (now deceased) Darrell R. Larocque to create this so-called "Security Report" to his "Grand Chief" Homer Walter St. Francis, Sr. (also now deceased)?

It probably begins and ends with North Carolina Senator "Jesse Alexander Helms, Jr." (who is also now deceased as of July 04, 2008) of whom Darrell Larocque was regularly in communication with. How else would Darrell Larocque become so suddenly aware of what Paul Wilson Pouliot was politically doing (a mere five days earlier from this "Security Report" to Homer St. Francis, Sr.)? Perhaps it was merely Darrell R. Larocque obtaining and reviewing Paul Wilson Pouliot's "Newsletter" of that time period (?) but I don't think so. I think it was moreso about Homer St. Francis' inflated ego-power-and control issue's, as to who was "Abenaki" and who he concluded wasn't. 

One question that comes to mind....where was the so-called UNITY amongst all these alleged and reinvented "Abenakis" of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts in early 1995? Apparently the "Unity Meeting" of mid-July 1994 at Littleton, New Hampshire was merely an illusory endeavor, because these incorporate Presidents/ "Chiefs" "Grand Chiefs", etc. were simply working with their "inflated EGO'S", their "hunger for POWER", and their "thirst for CONTROL of other people", who also claimed or claim to be "Abenakis" within New England.

Kind of reminds of me the movie "Highlander", with the character Connor McCleod repeating the line, "There Can Only Be One"; except at the end, in an Wannabe "Abenaki" version, it would be "Grand Chief" Homer Walter St. Francis or "Chief" Paul Pouliot (etc) who would be saying "There-Can-Only- Be-One-Abenaki-Chief", followed by their trying to cut everybody else' head's off! Humor aside, let's take a temporary look at some contemporary activity regarding these incorporated so-called "Abenaki" "Tribes" and or "Bands" shall we?

This morning I got several email notifications regarding Governor Douglas going to announce later today his selection for the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. After a long 4 year battle with the Vermont State Legislature, this NEWLY APPOINTED (but this Commission is NOT "New") Commission begins with an established authority, which is no longer illusory.

When Rep. Hinda Miller and Rep. Vincent Illuzzi began their Legislative campaign to distort and blantantly insult any legitimacy in this "recognition process" in Vermont, they made damned sure that the previously VT Gov. appointed Commission on Native American Affairs members (Judy Dow, Brad Barratt, Tim de la Bruere, Jeanne Brink....) were not going to be on their planned "reconstructed" "NEW" VCNAA. The VT VCNAA members afore-mentioned, right along with Chair Charles Lawrence Delaney Jr. too, were told to "go home" "your services, your thoughts, your merits, and your decisions are no longer needed". Of course, that didn't bother Mr. Delaney Jr. because he was politicianing for being an Assitant Judge to Chittenden County, I guess "on his name only" I also noticed he never used his moniker "Megeso" in his Campaign. I guess being putting on the "Abenaki" persona wasn't politically correct campaigning politically for being an Assistant Judge eh? So today, the notification was about the new Governor Appointee's to the "NEW" VCNAA. They are as follows:
Melody (nee: Walker) Brook of Jeffersonville, Vermont
She is a member of Roger "Longto" Sheehan's group calling itself today, the "El-Nu Abenaki Tribe". She is also a descendant of Charles Partlow of Alburg, Vermont whom Swanton's "St. Francis/Sokoki" group claims were "Indians" in the Civil War (1860's). The Office of Federal Acknowledgment shot that "theory" full of holes btw.

Shirly (nee: Hook) Therrien of Braintree, Vermont
She is an associate with Todd Hebert. In this blog I have mentioned her name before. She was or still is allied with Nancy (nee: Millette) Doucet. The following information has been placed on this blog previously:
0157824 12/23/2008 Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation. John Prescott – Nancy Millette – Shirley Hook. Tradename.
We also know that her 'business partner' Todd Hebert was and still is allied with and associated with Mr. Ralph Swett, so-called "Chief" of the Clan of the Hawk group.
Recently, this came to me via mail:
Todd Hebert has been invested/ appointed with the Title of "Ambassador of Unity". As Todd Hebert has rejoined the Clan of the Hawk (yeah, he's on Clan of the Hawk Incorporation Papers too, and that was BEFORE he allied with Nancy Millette-Doucet and Luke Andrew Willard), he has agreed to be the leader at present for the Northeast Wind Council (another B.S. "Council" created- out-of-thin-air in-August-1994, by a bunch of "New" Indianist dubious questionable people of very unlikely Abenaki ancestry) and to increase its’ membership from eight members to more than 20 members in the Northeast Wind Council. He will be working to bring great unity to the Abenaki community here in Vermont and elsewhere. Our goal is to promote unity among all bands so that everyone has a voice in the affairs of the native community here in Vermont, and all of New England. A great lot of work has gone into this and Todd Hebert has taken over the job of bringing in as many groups as possible. The Northeast Wind Council is promoting unity for all groups and natives so that we can all work together in a positive mode and bring a unified voice that will be heard everywhere needed and also foster a feeling of family so that we an all come together and work for everyone. Congratulations to all of these appointments to the Clan of the Hawk and related Bands.
Chief Lone Cloud (Ralph Skinner Swett aka Chief Spirit Water) And Clan of The Hawk Tribal Council
Dawn Macie of Rutland, Vermont
She was and or still is in association with Luke Andrew Willard (his father is either Mr. Sackett or Mr. Pike, but when he was born his mother gave him her name, and did not list the father of Luke, her son). She was and or is a "trustee"/Registrar/ member of the Nulhegan Coosuk group/inc. Dawn Macie currently, according to her MYSPACE.COM webpage, states that she provides technical assistance and management to Luke A. Willard and his friend/Band partner. Her mother was Nancy L. Cote, who was a former member of Ralph Swett (Chief Spirit Water a.k.a. Chief Lone Cloud)'s group Clan of the Hawk, that was created by Howard Franklin Knight Jr. and Raymond "Looking Glass" Lussier ca. August 1994 or shortly thereafter.

Takara Matthews (Takara Cynda Matthews) of Richmond, Vermont
She is the daughter of Carollee nee: Reynolds and mother of Wanibaugh Namih8sat Cook. I have also written quite a few commentaries about this young woman who is also a descendant of Charles Partlow's sister, Elizabeth Jane (nee: Partlow) Covey in this blog previously. Takara (a.k.a. "T.K.") was a member of Swanton's St. Francis/Sokoki group led by April (nee: St. Francis) Merrill previous but she relocated to the Nancy Millette-Doucet group and does have associations with the El-Nu group as well which is led by Roger "LOngto" Sheehan.

Charlene McManis of Worcester, Vermont
She was on the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs previously. On numerous occasions she has stated vocally that "she will support "Missisquoi" i.e. April (nee: St. Francis) Merrill 100% percent no matter what it takes to gain State Recognition" while she sat on that Commission, even if it meant going against all the other members of that VCNAA. Charlene McManis, Grande Ronde, 53, of Worcester served in the U.S. Navy for 8 years and has resided in Vermont for the past 21 years. She has been active in community service in the Central Vermont community, particularly in schools, where she has consulted in theater, taught bead work, served as a dance instructor and created after-school and breakfast programs. Charlene McManis served for four years on the Board of Directors for the Dawnland Indian Center (Judy Dow, Skip Bernier and Rick Hunt also served on the Dawnland Indian Center as well). Charlene McManis is currently employed as a technical assistant for Lost Nation theater and as a cartoonist for Indian Country Today.

Nathan Elwin Pero of West Fairlee, Vermont
I have previously posted on this blog about this man as well. Nathan E. Pero (Nathan Elwin Pero is the son of Elwin Merle Pero and Alberta Lorraine Preston). He was born August 22, 1949 in Thetford, Orange County, Vermont. It was ALLEGEDLY Elwin "Joe" Elwin Pero who became friends with Howard F. Knight Jr. AFTER Howard Knight and his wife Minnie relocated to Thetford, Vermont in 1979 according to the obituary of Minnie Davidson Knight on August 01, 2006. ALLEGEDLY, "Chief" Elwin "Joe" Merle Pero of the alleged Nolka/Deer Clan who was allegedly chosen as Chief in the Spring of 1947, and was the first to organize alleged Abenaki People in the Coos/Koas area under his leadership and the leadership of alleged Council members such as E. Paige, R. Reginald A. Pero, A. Agnes? Pero, and Associate Chief M. Stone.

In allegedly 1980, the alleged Tolba/Turtle Clan and the Knight familiy allegedly joined the other alleged Clans of Nolka/Deer, Awasos/Bear, Molsem/Wolf and others of the Coos Band, and Howard Franklin Knight Jr. was allegedly elected as Associate Chief in allegedly December 1980. Then in allegedly April of 1981, the alleged Coos Band under alleged Chief Elwin "Joe" Merle Pero and alleged Associate Chief Howard Franklin Knight Jr. merged with the Eastern Woodlands Band under alleged Chief Richard "Black Horse" Phillips and Associate Chief Emerson Garfield, to form the Northeast Woodlands-Coos Band. In 1985 allegedly, following the death of alleged Chief Elwin Merle Pero on October 13, 1983 in Thetford Center, Orange County, Vermont and the alleged stepping down of Chief Richard Black Horse Phillips, Howard Franklin Knight Jr. allegedly became "Chief" of the Northeast Woodland's-Coos Band.
N-30389-0 04/07/2009 Cowasuck of North America, Inc. Howard F. Knight Jr. Officers: (Officer5) Nathan Pero, (Officer6) Matthew R. Knight, (Officer7) Morris Pero.*

Luke Andrew Willard of Brownington, Vermont
There is NOTHING worthwhile to say about this man, that hasn't been said already on this blog, but maybe later I will think of something....

Anyone can go into the "googlesearchengine" line on this blog and type in his name and find out just what a distortionist the man seemingly is. Also check out the nedoba.org website regarding this man's alleged and reinvented Abenaki/ Mohawk supposed ancestry.

Frederick W. Wiseman of Newport, Vermont

This is the son of Frederick Matthew Wiseman and Diane C. (nee: Peel). It can be surmised that Fred W. Wiseman is a member of and advocate for April Ann (nee: St. Francis) Merrill and the "St. Francis-Sokoki" so-called "Abenaki" group up in Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont....the same as can be strongly surmised about his son Fred Jr. One can be assured that "the apple doesn't fall far from the rotten tree." It might appear to be RED on the outside (which btw is really "thin", but it's all thick and WHITE on the inside! So go ahead Vermont and New Hampshire, take a bite of those rotten "Abenaki" apples and see what happens when you give these "apples" an inch of "legitimacy"/ "recognition" and then they begin to demand mile of this and or that!


So what do all of these people have in common with each other and to the alleged and reinvented "Abenakis" of Vermont and New Hampshire you may inquire?

Well, if you have studied the contents of this blog based on this particular posting, you would already know that answer. Yet, the answer is that they all advocate and are members of these created and self-promoting incorporations in Vermont claiming to be "Abenaki Tribes" and or "Abenaki Bands" seeking State Recognition from the State of Vermont, based on dubious questionable connections and research by either John Moody and or Frederick Matthew Wiseman PhD.

LINK: http://www.nedoba.org/topic_wiseman.html

In the following postings I will now show and provide the documentation entitled, "Decolonizing the Abenaki....." of which nedoba.org "addresses" on that site. Professional researchers, Ph.d's and the common Vermonter (including Native People's need to be able to evaluate this material first hand and come to their own conclusions about Mr. Frederick M. Wiseman's "copyrighted" paper "Decolonizing the Abenakis, a Methodology for Detecting Vermont Tribal Identity". Plus a sideline into Donald Warren Stevens Jr.'s communications with myself, and with Nancy Millette-Doucet in 2009 when he was actively on the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs as Chairman.

Following the posting on this blog of the above mentioned material, I will begin showing the doucmentation that the Office of Federal Acknowledgement published entitled, "Summary under the Criteria for the Proposed Finding on (against) the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Abenakis of Vermont, dated November 09, 1995. After that, I will show and provide the "Summary under the Criteria and Evidence for Final Determination against Federal Acknowledgment of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Abenakis of Vermont" dated and Approved June 22, 2007.

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