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Friday, September 17, 2010

The "Abenaki "Plot Thickens....Part 3: October 01, 1997 Band Council of Odanak Letter By Gilles O'Bomsawin; "Alsigunticook Nation of Abenakis" ~ Nidôbak, Inc. of North Stratford, N.H.:

Conseil de Bande d'Odanak Band Council
Odanak, October 01, 1997

To whom it may concern,
With this letter, the Band Council of Odanak recognizes the committee that is formed of the following people:
Richard "Rick" O'Bomsawin
Thomas "Tom" Robert O'Bomsawin
Patricia Benedict.
This committee will act on the behalf and for the ABENAKI PEOPLE in regards to land claims and environmental matters in the United States.

This committee is strictly on a volunteer basis and therefor recieves no financial aid from the Odanak Band Council.

We the Band Council and the Abenaki people of Odanak give our moral support and wish the committee all the luck in the months and years to come.

Sincere regards,
Gilles O'Bomsawin, Chief
for the Odanak Band Council
GOB/ sob
102 rue Sibosis, Odanak, (Quebec) J0G 1H0 tel.: 514-568-2810
PO Box 184, N. Stratford, NH 03590
(603) 922-5544
January 9, 1998
To whom it may concern;
This is to confirm that at the annual meeting of Nidôbak, Inc. on December 7, 1997 the board of directors agreed that Nidôbak, Inc. will be the fiscal sponsor of the Alsigunticook Sovereignty Project. The project will submit its budget to the board and all acquired funding will be deposited into and distributed from Nidôbak's bank account.
Patricia Lilly - Treasurer
Daisy Goodman - Secretary
Jim Agawa - Board Member
Tom Obomsawin - Board Member
Karen Lessard - Board Member
Alsigunticook Nation of Abenakis
Proposal Summary
Thomas Obomsawin, PO Box 184, N. Stratford, NH 03590 603-922-5544 Richard O'Bomsawin, Awassos Street, Odanak PQ JOG-1H0 514-568-0869 Patricia Benedict, 123 Wayland Ave, Waterbury, CT 06780 203-754-0039

Fiscal Sponsor: Nidôbak, Inc., U.S. Federal Tax Identification # 02-0494095

Alsigunticook Nation of Abenakis requests funding to pursue a legal challenge to industrial forestry practices in the northern forest region of northern New Hampshire, western Maine and northeastern Vermont. This challenge will take the form of a claim against title to the headwaters area of the Connecticut and Androscoggin Rivers held primarily by Champion International and Mead-Oxford Corporations. We are a federally recognized group representing the direct descendants of the St. Francis Indians, or Odanak Abenakis, recognized historically as the Native people whose territory extends from the Kennebec River watershed in Maine to Lake Champlain and Southern Quebec.
Our vast territory has been systematically deforested over the past two hundred years. The last areas of wild land within that territory are in greater danger than at any other time in history. Industrial forestry is rapidly destroying what is left through massive clearcutting. Toxic herbicides are applied by helicopter to encourage growth of a biologically simplified monocultural forest of softwoods - the trees most desired for paper production. Drastic erosion, leaching of soil nutrients, water pollution and loss of sensitive species have accompanied this form of forest management. Years of effort by the environmental community have failed to bring about the fundamental changes in forest policy critical to the survival of the northern forest ecosystem.
The northeastern forest is central to Abenaki culture and way of life. Without its survival, in its natural complexity, our traditions and our identity as a people will not survive. We depend on the land, plants and creatures, and they depend on us to live responsibly with them. Until European contact, the forest and our people lived in harmony.
Our goal is to win the return of the remaining nearly wild areas of our territory through a legal challenge to illegal land title held by the region's largest landowners- the forest products industry. To ensure that any reclaimed land will be protected during our lifetimes and forever, by our descendants, we have made a commitment to any forest land returned to us which includes: (1) A ban all commercial logging activities on our territory indefinitely; (2) A ban on the release of pesticides and other pollutants; (3) restoration of polluted areas and aiding the natural return of all indigenous species; (4) Limiting hunting, fishing, gathering wild foods, fuel, and building materials to what is required for subsistence purposes only; (5) Limiting motorized access to the land. hi addition, Alsigunticook will not accept any settlement which exchanges money for land, our goal is to protect our land, not to sell it.
Cindy Hill, Esq., an experienced environmental attorney well versed in Federal Indian Law, has completed an initial assessment of existing land titles and formulation of
legal strategy. In her opinion, a potentially successful land claim by descendants of the Odanak/St. Francis Indians exists. Such a claim by us with our commitment to protecting any of this reclaimed forest land would effectively protect the headwaters of the Connecticut and Androscoggin Rivers and surrounding watersheds from the forest products industry.
A committee has formed and been approved by the Chief and Band Council of Odanak consisting of the contact people listed at the top of this document. This committee is mandated to pursue land claims and environmental matters in Abenaki territory south of the Canada/U. S border for the Abenaki People. The committee has created the Alsigunticook Sovereignty Project to facilitate the implementation of a successful land claim. Until such time that the Alsigunticook Sovereignty Project obtains its own Tax ID number, Nidôbak, Inc. will be fiscal sponsor for any tax-deductible contributions received.
We request funding to complete legal research and litigate through the first Federal District Court (a flat fee of $50,000 US). At this time, applications for funding are pending to the Foundation For Deep Ecology and Sweetwater Trust. We are also seeking funding for grass-roots organizing, public education and administration for the implementation of this project.
Proposal for Funding

March, 1998
Alsigunticook Nation Land Claim to Protect Northern Forest Land

Who are we?
We are direct descendants of the historic Saint Francis Indians, known today as the Odanak Abenaki. Our territory traditionally stretches hundreds of miles from the St. Lawrence river as far south as Massachusetts and from the Kennebec River in Maine the Lake Champlain, however, the past four centuries of European contact have left us a reservation a mere one mile by four miles in size. Close to the mouth of the St. Francis River in Quebec Province, this reservation is known today as Odanak. The traditional name for our village, and the St. Francis River, is Alsigunticook. The Alsigunticook Nation of Abenakis are members of the federally recognized Abenakis of Odanak who are banded together in our ancient tradition. Our Land Claims committee has been recognized and endorsed by the Chief and Band Council of Odanak. (see attached)
Abenaki tradition teaches that the natural world is sacred, and that we have a duty to protect the earth and our people. Our land, although it has been subject to gross exploitation since European contact began, is in greater danger now than at any other time in history. The last large areas of forest land are quickly disappearing because of the activities of a handful of large paper and lumber companies and individuals who value nothing except profit. Toxic herbicides are applied by helicopter to encourage growth of a biologically simplified forest of fir, spruce and jack pine, trees most desirable for paper production. The natural integrity of the forest is devastated, and thousands of species of plants and animals are extinct or in danger as a result of this management. The thin topsoil of our region, which took thousands of years to accumulate, is being washed downstream, and what soil remains is subject to severe nutrient depletion and other changes caused by exposure and the application of herbicides. Because the soil now lacks the capacity to support natural regeneration, the forest products industry in Maine has begun to apply municipal sludge and hazardous mill wastes to forest lands as fertilizer. The NH legislature is considering allowing the same practice. Water contamination is widespread, a direct result of industrial forestry practices.
If the northern forest disappears, our culture, our traditions, and existence as a people will disappear too. The best efforts of Native and non-Native environmentalists to alert state and local governments to this critical situation have failed- the forest products industry is too powerful a force politically. Our territory must be protected and allowed to begin the long process of healing and regeneration. Our legal challenge to industry's ownership of our land is one of our only options. Our committee has identified an area of our illegally ceded territory that most closely resembles unbroken wild land, the northern forest area of eastern Vermont, northern New Hampshire, and western Maine.
Historical Background
When Europeans entered our land several hundred years ago they found a forest that was at least 10,000 years old. This forest provided everything our people needed to survive. In return, our people appreciated and respected the forest. We practiced the principles of sustainability in gathering wild plants, hunting, fishing, choosing village sites, and all other aspects of life. Abenaki culture, like all indigenous cultures, is built around balance and harmony with our natural environment. Our culture is connected to our land in a great circle. We depend on the land, plants, and creatures, and they depend on us to live responsibly with them.
Without the same connection to the land, European colonists and the parent governments only saw resources ripe for exploitation, including furs, minerals, timber and potential farm land, of an abundance not seen on their continent for millennia. The French were the first Europeans to contact the Abenaki, sailing up the St. Lawrence in the early 1500s. They were initially interested in establishing a trade in furs and in converting our people to Christianity. By the early 1600s.. the English had become a presence to the south. Their interest was in timber, especially the giant white pines, known to our people as Kchi Koasak. White Pine was especially valuable to the ship-building industry. For two hundred years white pines were cut until not one of the original trees were left, anywhere. The English government eventually established colonies to control the exploitation of our resources. The majority of Abenakis fiercely resisted this invasion of our territory. As a result, sizable bounties were placed on Abenaki scalps by the Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the New Hampshire Colony. These bounties remained in effect throughout the 1700s.
By the mid 1700s, what is now southern New England was deforested and hundreds of thousands of Native People had been slaughtered or dead from disease. Many survivors had fled north to the Coös region and Alsigunticook (St. Francis/Odanak). Coös or Koas (named for the giant white pines that grew abundantly here) is a large region including northeast central Vermont, northern New Hampshire and northwestern Maine, and extending 50 miles into southern Quebec. This region remained under Abenaki control until the end of the 1700s. Abenaki families traveled freely within the territory, maintaining hunting and fishing territories in the Koas region. The name survives today in northern New Hampshire's "Coös County". Attempts at English settlement of Koas were beaten back repeatedly.

Fraudulent Land Sales
In 1790, the US Congress enacted legislation commonly known as the Trade and Intercourse Act. The Act made illegal any purchase of land from Indians except by the Federal Government, and was in part an effort to prevent any more wars with the Indian inhabitants. From that point on, purchase of Indian land by individuals and individual states was a violation of Federal law.
In 1796 four land and timber speculators approached an aging Abenaki leader by the name of Philip Metallak, known regionally by the white settlers as "King Philip". They induced him to sign a deed relinquishing title to the majority of the Koas region (see
attached). These timber speculators subsequently incorporated in the new State of New Hampshire as the Eastman Land Company. While it is unlikely that Philip could read English, or understood the implications of what he was signing, the deed was immediately used as a basis for land sales by the Eastman Land Company. Two years later, in 1798, a man named Moody Bedel approached another aging group of Alsigunticook Abenakis who had served in his father's regiment during the Revolutionary War, and persuaded them to sign a deed relinquishing the portion of the Koas area falling within the boundaries of present day New Hampshire. Both these deeds remain on the registry of deeds for Coos County, NH, today.

During the early 1800s the deforestation of the Koas region was begun in earnest by the Connecticut River Valley lumber company. White pine was the first to be completely decimated, followed by oak, maple, birch, spruce and fir in order of profitability. Abenaki people watched in horror but could not prevent two centuries of assault on the integrity of the land of our ancestors. By the beginning of the twentieth century most of our territory had been completely stripped of timber. We estimate that most of the Koas region has been deforested at least twice, by a succession of different companies. At present, Mead-Oxford and Champion International are the largest landowners in the area. Champion International has recently announced the sale of all its Vermont holdings and 50,000 acres in New Hampshire. Both companies are currently clearcutting thousands of acres of forested land in this region.
The northern forest ecosystem is already struggling to recover from two centuries of deforestation. Industrial forestry has had a devastating impact on the natural recovery process because of loss of soil nutrients, altered soil microbiology, erosion of topsoil, water pollution, and loss of sensitive species.
Our people can no longer tolerate the loss of our land. Because all aspects of traditional Abenaki culture are intertwined with the survival of our northern forest homeland, our cultural survival is now at stake. Fish, game, berries, other traditional foods, and the water, are contaminated with toxic residues from aerial spraying and hazardous waste. Many of the plants our people have depended on for millennia for food, dyes, cooking utensils, medicines and other needs are disappearing. The areas where sacred plants once grew are filled with ruts and rocks from logging operations. Where can someone find a white birch large enough to make one of the canoes that this region is famous for? Or any tree with bark enough to cover a lodge? As these living things are gradually destroyed, so too is the knowledge and appreciation of their gifts lost to our children, forever. We recognize that the fate of our land is our fate, our only hope for fundamental change is to reclaim industry's title to the land they are destroying and implement a policy that will allow our forests to recover and regenerate.
Throughout Indian Country, traditional Indian people have made the same decision, to organize and stop the destruction of our land before it is too late for us and our future generations. What industry does not understand is that they have been taking not only our, and our future generations' share of the Earth's bounty, but everyone else's share as well. Soon the last remaining forests will disappear, without being able to recover, leaving a very bleak future all races of people fixing in our country.

We would like to see our forests returned to their original balance, a process which may take many life-times to accomplish. To begin this healing, our land must be freed from the vicious cycle of profit-making. In 1996, representatives of a number of Alsigunticook families came together to discuss the severity of the situation, and to consider possible strategic approaches. We saw the necessity of a clear statement of our purpose, to ensure that our land will be protected from further exploitation during our lifetimes, and also forever, by our descendants (below). The second step was the formation of a Land Claims committee to pursue these goals. Our commitment to any forest territory returned to us is as follows:
1. Ban all commercial logging activities on our territory indefinitely.
2. Ban all release of pesticides and other environmentally harmful chemicals and substances on our territory. Restore polluted areas as thoroughly as possible.
3. Facilitate the natural return of all indigenous species of flora and fauna.
4. Hunting and fishing shall be for subsistence purposes only.
5. Gathering of wild foods, fuel, building materials, etc. shall be for subsistence purposes only and for producing traditionally made goods.
6. No new roads will be built on our territory. Motorized access to remaining roads will be severely limited.
7. Our land is not for sale: we will not accept money in exchange for land.

Implementation Strategy
1. Legal Strategy
In early 1997 the Land Claims committee raised $1000 in donations from family members to retain Cindy Hill, Esq., of Middlebury, VT., a well respected environmental attorney who is also knowledgeable of Federal Indian Law. Ms. Hill conducted a preliminary investigation of the validity of land titles in northeastern Vermont, northern New Hampshire and northwestern Maine, and made recommendations on several strategies based on her findings. Under the relevant sections of US Federal Indian law, she found that transfer of ownership from the St. Francis Indians/Alsigunticook (the Abenaki at Odanak) to colonial era settlers was illegal, as is all title stemming from these transfers. Specifically, the "Phillips Deed" of 1796 and "Bedel's Grant" of 1798 are in clear violation of the Federal Trade and Intercourse Act, which states that any transfer of land title from "Indians" shall be negotiated by the federal government only and that transfers to individuals or states independently are null and void. In addition, she found that critical elements here resemble those in other precedent setting, successful land claim cases, specifically Passamaquoddy v. Morton (Maine) and Oneida Nation v. County of Oneida
Rather than sue individual, small scale land owners who live in the area, Ms. Hill recommended that we challenge the title held by the larger, corporate land owners who are causing the most extensive environmental harm. Such a strategy eliminates the cost of multiple filings on the thousands of individual land owners as well as the associated political fallout from such an action. If successful, this legal action will effectively protect a large portion of the wild lands surrounding the headwaters of the Connecticut and Androscoggin Rivers.

2. Public Education:
Public Education is an additional, and crucial, aspect of the proposed action. Two distinct communities must be educated about our position and the reasons for the legal action being filed. Until now, the larger environmental organizations, the local northern forest communities, and the continent wide network of traditional Native American groups fighting for land protection have rarely communicated closely or worked together effectively. It is our intention to involve all three communities in the proposed action through clear communication about the impact of industrial forestry on the northern forest and about our goals through the media, in writing, and in person.
We believe that the economic, political, and environmental climate at this point in time is such that both local communities and the larger environmental community are potential supporters of our claim. After years of efforts at forest policy reform, both individuals and representatives of a number of environmental groups have indicated privately that they view our approach as a realistic option and would support us. The growing strength of the traditional Native movement to protect the earth has added to this level of awareness of the non-Native environmental community. Expanding this dialogue is essential to maintain this understanding.
A growing number of north country residents are very concerned about the destructive way forest lands are being managed regionally. Support for the proposed ban on clearcutting in Maine, for legislation against heavy cutting in Vermont, and the ban on herbicide applications in forestry in Vermont are all indicators of public concern about what is happening to the northern forest. The growing movement against herbicide use in forestry in New Hampshire is based in north country communities most affected by the spraying, and has been critical in raising fundamental questions about industrial forest management in this state. Alsigunticook Abenakis have been an active part of these movements. In addition, many members of northern forest communities have Native ancestors, identify as "part Indian", have passed down centuries of knowledge about the land within their families, and feel culturally connected to the fate of the forest. As long as our intentions are clearly communicated, there is significant potential for local support of our goals. Through communication and example, we hope to change the way all communities in our region live on the land we all depend on for survival.

Financial Breakdown:
Based on her initial investigation, Ms. Hill has expressed interest in representing Alsigunticook Abenakis in the proposed action. She has agreed to represent us through to the end of a definitive judgment of the first circuit US Federal District Court
(approximately three years) for a fixed fee of $25,000, with an additional $25,000 to cover filing and other costs. Upon receipt of $27,000 she can begin work. The committee chosen to represent the Alsigunticook Abenaki Nation will be responsible for Public Education, networking with the communities described above, and to provide a basis for legal standing in Federal Court.

As a traditional and sovereign group, Alsigunticook is not and can not be incorporated in any state or province. For the purposes of this request, Nidôbak, Inc., a New Hampshire non-profit corporation, has agreed to act as our fiscal sponsor (please see attached letter).
Alsigunticook Sovereignty Project

Proposed Draft Budget
Legal Costs
Initial Investigation and recommendations on the feasibility of a Claim of Rights and Title by the Alsigunticook/Abenaki Nation to unceeded forest land in northern Vermont, New Hampshire, northwestern Maine and southern Quebec.
Litigate through first Federal District Court (approx. 3 years): 25,000
Filing Fees and related court costs.: 25,000
Sovereignty and Public Education Expenses
Public Education
Media informational announcements, and
Press Conferences: 20,000
Consultants (per year)
Media Coordinator: 12,000
Newsletter Coordinator: 12,000
Project Coordinator: 16,000
Office Equipment
Computer: 3,000
Photocopier: 2,500
Printer: 2,000
Software: 3,500
Office Expenses
Photocopying: 2,000
Newsletter Publication and Distribution: 2,000
Computer Expenses: 3,000
Supplies: 2,000 Networking
Postage: 1,000
Telephone: 4,000
Travel: 10,000
Grand Total: $148,000
National Museum of Man
Mercury Series
The Identity of the Saint Francis Indians
Gordon M. Day
Photographic copy that was written with a blue ink'd pen identifying the St. Lawrence River, Montreal, Lake Champlain, Kennebec River, Androscoggin River and the Connecticut River.
Alsigunticook Nation of Abenakis
P.O. Box 184 North Stratford, NH 03590
603 922-5544
1092 Awasos
Odanak, PQ J0G-1H0

This is to acknowledge that_________has contributed $________to the Alsigunticook Nation Legal Fund. We thank you for your support.
By supporting this fund you are helping us protect several hundred thousand acres of undeveloped traditional hunting territory in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Contributions made to Alsigunticook Nation via Nidôbak, Inc.,
federal tax ID # 02-0494095 are tax deductible.
Had a few minutes to work on this receipt. This is of course a very rough draft. I'm not certain as to how much information needs to be on this. Perhaps we need a seperate information pamphlet? Feel free to edit or add.
We have wanted to put together a newsletter for all of us relatives on the genealogy file which you now have. As you might expect it is a time intensive project. Rick Obomsawin is very busy running the Odanak Cheese Factory. Patty Benedict is finishing up her college courses.
Daisy graduates this week from nursing school. This should free up some time for me. I'm glad that we finally got together for that talk the other night. I hope we can work together on all that we spoke about. Well, give me a call or a FAX when you get a chance. Bye for now.
Thomas Robert Obomsawin
May-06-98 02:53 PM DAISY GOODMAN   6039225544


September 14, 1998

Thomas Obomsawin
P.O. Box 184
North Stratford NH 03590

RE: Odanak/Alsigunticook

Dear Tom:
Thank you for the update on the Abenaki land issue, as to liability of court costs; yes, it is possible that, should the case be lost, the other side would seek court costs. Although it is unlikely that a court would order all the individuals involved in this type of action to actually pay it is indeed possible (as opposed to probable.)

There is also a possibility of a counter-suit, popularly called a SLAPP suit (although I can't recall off hand what the acronym is for) alleging things like tortuous interference with private contracts. You will have to collectively decide whether it is time to take the rope in your teeth and jump over the side. I do feel strongly about the merits of your claim, but make no mistake about it - it may hurt, and it involves taking big risks.

As to the NARF materials, I get the sense that any funding from them would come with serious strings attached. My experience with this type of funding resource. Albeit in other areas of law, has not been favorable, even if specific requirements are not stated up front they tend to appear later coupled with the threat to withdraw funding. I would guess that straight-up fund-raising from a variety of diverse sources, so that everyone involved and benefitting from the suit would have a stake in it, would be best in the long run. Do you have a head count on the number of people in the families listed? Even $20.00 from each person would get this action underway, without being indebted to an outside organization. I realize this is easier said than done, but it's one possible solution. I suspect once we got filed, other donations would come in. Keep me posted.
Very Truly Yours,
Cindy E. Hill, Esq.
One point of interest in this documentation that caught my awareness was when Thomas O'Bomsawin wrote, "As a traditional and sovereign group, "Alsigunticook Nation of Abenakis" is not and can not be incorporated in any state or province....so what it seems to me is that Thomas Robert O'Bomsawin a known Odanak Abenaki "with Canadian First Nations Status" recognized as a "representative of the committe created by (or acknowledged at least) Odanak (a known documented historical "Abenaki" community) is that to become "incorporated," under State sanction, represents an action representing a legal loss of that "sovereignty" as a group.

Yet,  Thomas Robert O'Bomsawin created the Nidôbak, Incorporated Buisness ID No. 235748, between August 22, 1995 and September 20, 1995 ... BEFORE the "Alsigunticook, Inc." Committee was brought into reality before or on October 01, 1997.

So what does this mean, when April St. Francis-Merrill and all these "other groups" and their "spin-off groups" of alleged and re-invented "Abenakis" claim repeatedly, "to be sovereign," "a Sovereign Nation," or that they continue to retain "sovereignty" .... and yet they have "incorporated" under the State of Vermont, New Hampshire (or any other State for that matter)? Do these "groups" of self-proclaiming "Abenakis" in VT, NH, MA, etc REALLY retain their "sovereignty" AFTER these groups have retrospectively incorporated "under State Laws"; or are these "Chiefs" of alleged and re-invented Abenakis, simply delusional in their claims of being the "Sovereign Abenaki Nation"? Reality says these people are not "sovereign" at all. Reality and documentation indicate the very strong possibility that these groups in Vermont etc are even delusion is claiming that they are "Abenakis".
The Alsigunticook Abenakis Committee's "Land Claim's" regarding Philip's Grant of 1796, never went anywhere judicially-speaking or otherwise, for seeming "lack of funding" for it. Yet, I am quite aware to this day, of at least $2,600.00 USD having come from the Grass-Roots "something or other" organization, which was located in Montpelier, VT that was solicited by "Nidôbak, Inc.", for the amount of the aforesaid amount of funding, for an Abenaki Language Colouring Book, to be used for the New Hampshire School's. Where is that "Abenaki Language Colouring Book", then or today? No where, thats where. They may have used Alice Stevens Colouring Book that she created, and easily obtained at any New England Pow-wow to claim that such a Colouring Books in Abenaki was done by "Nidôbak, Inc."? Where did that $2,600.00 dollars in monetary funding go, that was received at Karen Lessard's residence in Gorham, N.H.? The answer is that such funding went very likely into "someone's pocket" for "other" possible "personal expenses". Whom was the Treasurer? Whom was the Secretary of Nidôbak, Inc.? I have the documents (including a photocopy of the check) and to this day, there is NO "Abenaki Colouring Book to be found in the New Hampshire Educational system. How much other funding was solicited for one purpose, and got "sidetracked" into "personal usage"?

Nidôbak, Inc. is today, a defunct (dead) incorporation in New Hampshire as of March 01, 2006 by Administrative Dismissal LLP-CC-NP with a last Annual Report filed on March 20, 2000. The "Land Claims" regarding Indian Chief or King "Philip" went the way of "King Philip" himself. Tom & Daisy Obomsawin left North Stratford, Coos County, New Hampshire for the Farmington, Maine area. Whether the historical Indian "Philip" was indeed actually "Metallak" has been up for debate. Another few questions or dynamic within the historical context, is this:

Why wasn't Metallak one of the signer's on his alleged father Old Indian Philip's Land Grant of June 28th 1796?
Metallak was well known to MANY people, non-native and native throughout the geographical area.
Why didn't the alleged fact, that Metallak was "the son of" Indian Philip of Coos County, New Hampshire?
According to Winifred Yaratz book page 2 (of which I have labeled as "Z19.jpg" "someone" has alleged that Metallack and Antoine Phillips Sr. were siblings. Both were the children of Old Indian Philip and his wife Molly Messel/ Missile (Marie Mitchell). So, Metallak was born in ca. 1730. If Antoine Phillips were a son of Old Indian Philip, born in ca. 1787, that boy would have been around 8 to 10 years old. Yet, both women who were documented Angelique Joseph (Mooseleck Sussop) and Mary Messell, were both in their elderly years, seemingly far past their child-bearing years of life. So again, a lot of supposition and conjecture and not much substantiation or convincing evidence that Antoine Phillips Sr. born in ca. 1787 was the son of Philip the Indian, who signed the Land Grant of June 28th, 1796. Of course Metallak, could have been "away" (it is written in Alice Daley Noyes book Prince of Darkness on Page 63) that in 1800 Louis Wawanolette "wintered at Double Pont in Salem, VT with Metallak". In all the writings concerning Old Indian Philp of Coos County, Metallak, or about these two women, it would appear that no one mentioned or indicated "young people" living with or around these "elderly Abenakis". Why not? Old Phillip "the last of...." Metallak "the last of...." Well, people get the picture.... Where were the Upper Coos Abenakis? Apparently they went to Odanak, Quebec, Canada and points west.... BEFORE June 28, 1796 and "old Indian Philip" and Metallak were simply Native People who were left behind in the Coos region, to live out their remaining elderly years.  

The "Abenaki" Plot Thickens....Part 2: Alsigunticook Nation of Abenakis:



February 24, 1997

Tom Obomsawin

P.O. Box 184
North Stratford NH 03590

Dear Tom,
I have received the statement which you sent to me, and as we discussed on the telephone last week, I believe the statement to be strong and worthwhile; however, although it may help in legal matters such as the one you recently faced, it will not have any definitive legal affect. I would be extremely excited to work with you on the idea of pressing an Abenaki land claim. As we discussed on the phone, the first step in this would be to have me research other Eastern United State's Land Claims cases, and develop a suggestive strategy or range of alternative strategies for your use in this matter. As we discussed, there are countless logistical problems to be addressed before such a claim can be initiated. I have proposed to do this research for you and develop a recommended strategy plan for a flat fee of $1,000.00. My staff is ready to get going as soon as the check arrives. I look forward to speaking with you.

Very Truly Yours,
Cind Ellen Hill, Esq.
CEH: cjc

G.P.O. BOX 1680
Date: March 19, 1997

P.O. BOX 184

Employer identification Number: 02-0494095
Case Number: 117008050
Contact Person: LORI WEBB
Contact Telephone Number: (860) 258-2040
Accounting Period Ending;: December 31
Foundation Status Classification: 509(a)(2)
Advance Ruling Period Begins: September 19, 1995
Advance Ruling Period Ends: December 31, 1999
Addendum Applies: No

Dear Applicant:
Based on information you supplied and assuming your operations will be as stated in your application for recognition of exemption, we have determined you are exempt from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as an organization described in section 501(c)(3).
Because you are a newly created organization, we are not now making a final determination of your foundation status under section 509(a) of the Code. However, we have determined that you can reasonably expect to be a publicly supported organization described in section 509(a)(2).
Accordingly, during an advance ruling period you will be treated as a publicly supported organization, and not as a private foundation. This advance ruling period begins and ends on the dates shown above.
Within 90 days after the end of your advance ruling period, you must send us the information needed to determine whether you have met the requirements of the applicable support test during the advance ruling period. If you establish that you have been a publicly supported organization, we will classify you as a section 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) organization as long as you continue to meet the requirements of the applicable support test. if you do not meet the public support requirements during the advance ruling period. we will classify you as a private foundation for future periods. Also, if we classify you as a private foundation, we will treat you as a private foundation from your beginning date for purposes of section 507(d) and 4940.
Grantors and contributors may rely on our determination that you are not a private foundation until 90 days after the end-of your advance ruling period. If you send us the required information within the 90 days, grantors and contributors may continue to rely on the advance determination until we make a final determination of your foundation status.
If we publish a notice in the Internal Revenue Bulletin stating that we....
Letter 1045 (DO/CG)



24 June 1997

Tom Obomsawin
P. 0. Box 184
North Stratford NH 03590

Dear Mr. Obomsawin,
It appears that there is a potentially successful legal claim that the Phillips Deed and the Bedell Grant, which purport to convey large tracts of land in the region of northern New Hampshire, Maine, and surrounding areas, are invalid under the Trade and Intercourse Act of 1790.
As we have previously discussed, there are numerous methods by which you could bring a lawsuit to attempt to have these transactions declared void, including suit against municipalities, the states, or individual landowners. In further discussions, you and I have concluded that it would be most effective to target the individual landowners who represent a large share of the land at interest, and are also most culpable for ecological damage being done to the region. These landowners would be Champion and Meade corporations. Additionally, I strongly recommend including in such a suit Dartmouth College, both because they are large landowners in the region, and because, given Dartmouth's history, they have in their possession a significant quantity of materials regarding Abenaki history. They also have on staff a number of people well versed in the history of the region, who could be subpoenaed to testify at trial.
The (sic) are which requires careful thought and planning regarding bringing such a suit is that of identifying the Plaintiff. In order to bring a lawsuit, you must have the proper legal standing. The court must also be able to see that, if you win, there is an appropriate party to receive whatever the settlement or judgement may be. In other words, if the court were to declare the grants to be null and void, they would have to turn the property involved over to someone. The court would need to know who they legally should turn the property over to.
  One way to approach this would to be bring a class action suit on behalf of all the descendants of the St. Francis Indians. This would probably be complicated, and would leave open the possiblity for unfortunate grandstanding or publicity battles among the

various New England groups who periodically claim to be "the real Abenaki".

The better, more legally sound way to approach bringing such a suit would be through the auspices of Odanak, given that there is lawful Canadian recognition of this entity. The council at Odanak could, itself, bring suit. To make things logistically easier, I recommend that the Odanak council designate,a group of people or an organization in New Hampshire to serve as their representative for purposes of pressing this claim of rights.
A law suit of this type would be brought in the Federal District Court for the District of New Hampshire. It would be a long and difficult process, as you may expect the corporate defendants to launch a-strong opposition. The court will also require a lot of lengthy (sic) education on the subject. You may expect the District Court process to take several years. If you lose at the District Court level, the next level of appeal would again take up to three years.
I would be very interested in representing you in this type of legal action. As I stated to you at our last meeting, my office would be willing to undertake the District Court action, through to a final initial judgement in the District Court, for a flat legal fee of $25,000.00. This fee would not include any out of pocket expenses, including phone bills, copying, filing and service fees, and expert witness charges. It would also not include any post judgement actions or appeal. The flat fee would have to be paid up front before we commenced work.
I developed this figure based on the fact that I believe over the next few years there would be quite a number of months when this legal action would occupy the full time resources of my office. I would not be able to set aside other work in order to pursue this claim without adequate up front compensation. I would have no claim on any monetary settlement which might be reached, should that be the direction this eventually goes in.
I would conservatively estimate that you should count on another $25,000.00 over the course of two to three years as out of pocket expenses. I would like to receive at least two thousand dollars in advance on the expense budget, to cover filing fees and service of process.
I look forward to speaking with you further about this.
Very Truly Yours,
Cindy Ellen Hill, Esq.
Outside of Letter Notification dated June 1997 of Abenaki "Odanak Family Alliance"  regarding meeting dated July 12, 1997, from Claudia E. Chicklas at 61 Beaver Road in Ware, MA 01082 to Richard Bernier at Bluff Road, Box 722 in Newport, VT 05855
Abenaki Odanak Family Alliance
Mali Keating
Goshen Road
R.R. 1, Box 3380
Bradford, VT 05033
(802) 222-5662

Tom Obomsawin
P.O. Box 184
North Stratford, N.H. 03590
(603) 922-544

Notice of Meeting
July 12, 1997, Ware, MA
Arrive 10:00 - 11:00 A.M.

The meeting, hosted by Claudia Chicklas and her daughter Joyce Heywood, will be held in the Social Serivce Club building at the corner of Pleasant Street and Park Street in Ware, MA. We'll have a lunch break at 1:00 P.M., then resume meeting. We need to conclude by 5:00 P.M.
The Agenda will include the following:
Minutes of last meeting
New Hampshire repatriations of remains and grave goods
Reoport on meeting with Odanak chief
Report on meeting with the Abenaki Confederacy
Organization of our band, including name
Directions to Ware, MA and the Social Science Club
Easiest access to Ware is from I 90, the MassPike. You can access the Pike from I 91, (North, Vt. N.H.) or (South, Ct); I 84 or I 395 (Ct.); I 290 (Worcester); and I 495 (MA, R.I.). From I 91 take the Pike EAST. From the others take the Pike WEST. Leave the Pike at Exit 8 (Palmer) and take a left onto Route 32. Follow Route 32 Noth to Ware, (8.4 miles). At blinking yellow light take a right. Go to the second traffic light and take a left onto Church Street. Take a second right from Church Street onto Pleasant Street. The Social Sicence Club is a stucco building on the left at the end of the block.
Reaching Ware from the north on Route 32 or the east on Route 9, go past the fire station to the first traffic light and take a right onto Church Street, then the second right onto Pleasant Stret. Social Science Club as above.
If you are approaching Ware on Route 9 from the west, go to the second traffic light, take the left onto Church Street, then the second right onto Pleasant Street. Social Science Club as above.
Please R.S.V.P. to Claudia Chicklas (sister to Mali Keating), 61 Beaver Road, Ware, MA 01082 (413) 967-3811
Let me know if you need accommodations. There are several nice bed and breakfasts in town, plus a motel (of which I have no knowledge).
Obituary for Claudia Chicklas
November 25, 2008
Ware, Massachusetts
LAW OFFICE OF802-388-1317

August 25 1997

Tom Obomsawin
P.O. Box 184
North Stratford NH 03584

Dear Tom,
Just touching base to find out hou you are getting along with the funding applications for the Abenaki Land Rights Suit. Give me a call when you know where you going with this. I look forward to working on it with you.
Very Truly Yours,
Cindy E. Hill, Esq.


The "Abenaki "Plot Thickens....Part 1: Regarding the Indian Philip's Land Grant of 1796 ~ Nidobak, Inc. and the Abenaki Odanak Family Alliance, Etc:

The following is a true copy of the original deed of a large portion of the Coos county from King Philip, an Indian who once controlled the northern lands, to Tomas Eames of Northumberland (NH). John Bradly and Jonathan Eastman of Concord (NH) and Nathan Hoist of Moultonboro (NH). The Ammonoosuck River reffered to is probably the one known as the upper Ammonusuc which joins the Connecticut at Norhtumberland (NH).

King Philip's Deed

To all persons whom these presents shall, come, greeting Know ye all that I, Philip, an Indian, a native of America, now resident in Upper Coos and chief thereof, for and in consideration of the sum hereinafter named, for which i have received security to my full satisfaction of Thomas Eames of Northumberland in the county of Grafton and State of New Hampshire and his associates, namely, John Bradly and Jonathan Eastman of Concord, county of Rockingham, and Nathan Hoit of Moultonboro in the county of Strafford all in the State of New Hampshire, esquires, all my peculiar friends, I have this day given, bargained, sold, released, conveyed and confirmed and by these presents do give, bargain, sell, release, convey and confirm to them the said Thomas, John, Jonathan and Nathan, their heirs and assigns forever all that tract or parcel of land and water, situated within the following boundaries, viz: Being on the pond to the carrying place, then across the carrying place to a small pond on the head of the Plumpetussuck, or Dead river, then down said river to Andrewscoggin river to lake Umbagog, including all waters of said lake and island; from said lake to the outlet of Mosseluckmegantik, including all the waters and islands thereof: then across the carrying place Qwasuktemick (Cupsuptic), thence down river til it empties into Awsisgowassuck river, then up the said river to Palmachinabagogg lake, including all the water and islands thereof, thence up said river to Skessawennock (Lac Magog) lake, thence up and Massheecoowanggwnall (Clyde) river to the head thereof (Island Pond); then across the carrying place to Walheogawmuck (Nulhegan), then down said river, including the waters and islands thereof, from thence up Ammonoosuc river, the place begun at, agreeably to a plan I have this day given to them, their heirs and assigns forever, with the following conditions and reservations, viz.--that I reserve free liberty to hunt all sorts of wild game on any of the foregoing territories, and taking fish in any of the waters thereof for myself, my heirs and successors and all Indian tribes forever. Also liberty of planting four bushels of corn and beans. And this, my trusty friend Thomas, having given me security to furnish me and my sqaw with provision and suitable clothing which I have accepted in full. I have for myself and in behalf of all Indians, who hunted on or inhabited any of the foregoing lands or waters forever quit, claimed and sold as aforesaid to them, the said Thomas, John, Jonathan and Nathan, their heirs and assigns forever against the claims of all or any persons whatsoever.

In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and seal and signature this twenty-eighth day of June, 1796.

Philip, x Indian Chief.

Molly, x Messel.

Moosekit, x Sussop.

Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of
Jere. Eames.
Ely Buck.
Source: History of Stratford, Jeannette Thompson, Coos and Grafton County Land Records and others.
Vol G3 pg 219 & 220

Concord Dec 11, 1796

Proposal for forming a company to be concerned ni a tract of land purchased of Philip an Indian Chief by Thomas Eames, John Bradley, Jonathan Eastman & Nathan Hoit, agreeable to a deed executed by the said Philip in manner following, viz:-

1 st That the said Thomas, John, Jonathan & Nathan make & execute proper deeds of conveyance such to the other in such manner that each shall be an owner of one fourth part of all the lands & waters conveyed by the said Philip's deed the same to be held in commonalty as an undivided interest & each in his proportion to his interest to be held accountable for the expenditures in proportion to his interest in the above said sale and subjected to his proportion of the conditions expressed in said deed.

2dly That the before named Thomas John Jonathan and Nathan shall have authority each if either shall think proper sell and convey one fifth part of the lands and waters contained in s'd Phillips deed to any person who shall be approved of by a majority of the original owners, subject to the foregoing obligations: that on the non-performance of of any payment or duty which has or may be agreed on by the above described owners such part of any delinquent share shall by sold as will be sufficient to pay such deficiency with necessary charges. 3rdly The said proprieters which shall at no time eceed twnety shares shall vote according to their respective shares either by themselves or their attorneys.

The propriters shall agree on some place where to convene to transact the business of the proprieters, always confining it within the State of New Hampshire.

5th The etce proprieters shall appoint some one of the proprieters to act as clerk, who shall record all their proceedings and where all accounts shall be lodged on file for adjustment and allowance by the said proprieters.

6th That when it shall be agreed to by the etce proprieters theyt shall petition any of the states or kingdoms where such land lay to be incorporated into a body politic to transact any of their affairs suitable to such incorporation and lastly if all _______ to keep profound secrecy- or by D.L.d.y

Grafton s.s. Sept.4.1797

Receivd, recorded and examined. P. John Rogers Reg.

Bedel's Grant: Vol. B32 pp.386-387, Lancaster; Sealed 1798-10-17; Recorded 1811-09-10 & 1835-08-14

Know all men by these Presents
++t we Manner Neuf-Langhman, Takoos Langhman, Capt +++orater D. St.Francisat, Capt. Benedic, Capt. Poornif apt. Franson Joseph, Capt. Joseph Lampis all of the Tribe _____ ation of St. Francis or Abenaque Indians. For and in consideration +++ thirty one hundred dollars to us in hand paid al_ t before the +++ delivery hereof by Nathaniel Wales of Cochburn in the County of +rafton & State of New Hampshire Esq and David Gibbs of St. A+++ in the Province of Lower Canada and Moody Bedel of Haverhill in the County of Grafton and State of New Hampshire aforesaid Es++ the receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge ourselves therewith fal++ content and satisfied. have given granted, bargained & sold & by these presents do give, grant, bargain & sell unto the said Wales, Gibbs & Bedle their heirs and assigns to their own use and benefit forever the following tract of land bounded as follows - viz -Beginning at the mouth of the Ammonusuck River where it empties into Connecticut River in Haverhill in the County of Grafton & State of New Hampshire from thence on a straight line eastwardly southward of the White Mountains to Great Ossipee River where it crosses the boundary line between the said State of New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bay from thencenortheasterly on the boundary line between the two States aforesaid on the same course to the boundary line between the United States & the Government of Great Briton + + + established by the Treaty between the Kingd of Great Briton + + +  + + +  + + +

To Have and to Hold + + + ses with all the priviledges + + + in any wise appertaining to them + their several and respective heirs, executors, admin + + our use and benefit & behoof forever, and we the s + +  + + + oos, Asan, Benedic, Pournif, Joseph & Lampis for ourselv + + + irs & assigns ++ sue cessons in office do covenant & agree to and + + the said Wales and assigns that the Nation or tribe of which we belong aforesaid + + the lawful original owners & possessors of the same, that the + + has never been sold or conveyed previous to the ensealing her + + the exception of Captain Thomas aforesaid, Nation or Tribe aforesaid + + we as the chiefs, captains & representatives of the aforesaid Nat+ + + aforesaid have full power to sell & dispose of the same in + + + + that we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, adminis+ + as well as our successors in office to warrant & forever + + their said Wales, Gibbs, & Bedel, their heirs + + +  + + + The Lawful claims or demands of any person or persons + +

In witness we have hereunto set our hands + + + twenty seventh day of October A. D. 1798. Signed, sealed & delivered

in presence of us

Thomas Arakuente                                                

Michael AraLorinuty

Mamonul X Shoasion + + +

Takus X Sansni + + +
Capt X Asan + + +

Capt X Benedic + + +

Capt X Poumife + + +

Capt Franson X Joseph + +

Capt Joseph X Lampis XXX

Bedel's Grant ss Sept 10, 18 11

Read for Record & Recorded

Attest. Timothy Bedle Recorder

Bedle's Grant as.

I hereby certify that the within & above is + + of Record as recorded in the Proprietors Records.

John Haines. Pro Clerk

Coos ss Aug( 17th 1835.
The above and foregoing copy Recd. Recorded & Examined
By R Stephenson Regr
These afore-mentioned above three (3) historical documents were transcribed by Thomas Robert O'Bomsawin, residing retrospectively-speaking in North Stratford, Coos County, New Hamshire with his wife Daisy nee: Goodman ca. 1996-1998 (who was retrospectively-speaking working at A.S.H.A.I., Incorporated in Swanton, Vermont for the late Homer Walter St. Francis, Sr., as a Grant writer for the "St. Francis Sokoki group", now led by April Merrill ... Homer's daughter) and these two documented historical Land Grant transcriptions, were stapled within the "Alsigunticook Nation of Abenakis" paperwork, which I will post on this blog, in order as to their chronological dates.
Cover Page
 "History of the Town of Stratford"
New Hampshire
By Jeannette R. Thompson
Published by
Vote of the Town
Printed by
The Rumford Press
Concord, New Hampshire
Page 465 of the "History of the Town of Stratford", N.H. Book
Page 466 of the "History of the Town of Stratford", N.H. Book
Page 467 of the "History of the Town of Stratford", N.H. Book
This is the residence of Daisy (nee: Goodman) O'Bomsawin's mother. It was Daisy's late brother Paul Goodman, whom drew this picture of the residence.
It was this residence, that Tom and Daisy brought their mobile home to (which had been restrospectively situated behind Doris Minckler's home in Swanton VT before they has altercations with the late "Chief" Homer W. St. Francis Sr.
PHILIP'S GRANT  Hampshire-Maine; Milan, New Hampshire-Maine, Errol, New Hampshire
Not sure of the source of this particular document Page 38 and 39. Regardless, this was in the "Alsigunticook Abenakis Nation" bunch of papers.

Page 38: levels were raised by damming. An 1887 guide to the Androscoggin Lakes identifies Lower Richardson as "Welokennebacook" and Upper Richardson as "Molechunkamunk."8 On the east side of Upper Richardson Lake is the outles of Lake Mooselookmeguntic.
Page 39: Maps: United States Geological Survey Quadrangles - Gorham, New Hampshire-Maine; Milan, New Hampshire-Maine; Errol, New Hampshire-Maine; Oquossoc, Maine.
3. "then up said river to said Lake Mooseluckmegantick, including all the waters and Islands thereof - then across the carrying place Quasuktecuck - thence down said River till it empties into Awsisgowassuck River -"

It is possible (see Parmachenee Lake below) that the "Awsisgowassuck River" refers to the present Magalloway River, now dammed to form Azicoos Lake. The boundary route in this area is not at all clear. "The carrying place Quasuktecuck" may be a reference to a portage from the Cupsuptic River which flows into Cupsuptic Lake. Upstream on the Cupsuptic River is a route to the Magalloway River beginning along Portage Brook presents itself as one possibility.

Maps: United States Geological Survey Quadrangles - Oquossoc, Maine; Cupsuptic, Maine; Errol, New Hampshire-Maine; Second Connecticut Lake, New Hampshire-Maine.

4. "then up said River to Palmachinanabagogg Lake, including all the waters and Island thereof - thence up Awsisgowassuck river to the carrying place that leads into Awseecunticook river, or St. Frances (sic) river -"

The boundary route here begins somewhere south of Parmachenee Lake on the Magalloway River. The similarity between the words "Parmachenee" and "Palmachinanabagogg" identifies them as most likely one and the same lake. The similarity becomes more evident if "bagogg," a common suffix, is dropped from the latter; and if "R," which is not a letter or sound int he Abenaki language,9 is dropped from Parmachenee." The boundary route follows the Magalloway River, formerly the Awsisgowassuck River, upstream to Parmachenee Lake and then continues up the Magalloway River from where it flows into the lake. From Parmachenee Lake to the headwaters of the Magalloway River near the height of land seperating the United States and Canada is about thirteen miles. The exact location of the carrying place across the height of land remains uncertain. One likely route employs the West Branch of the Magalloway to Mountain Pond and across the divide to the headwaters of the Riviere Ditton in Canada. Another possible route takes the Third East Branch of the Magalloway River across the divide to the headwaters of the Riviere au Saumon, also in Canada. In either case the Riviere Ditton joins the Riviere au Saumon in a few miles, and the deed most probably refers to the Riviere....

What can be discerned from the historical record(s) is that Thomas "Tomas" Robert O'Bomsawin "Abomsawin" was retrospectively-speaking, working with the late Homer Walter St. Francis Sr in Swanton, Vermont, lived with "Chief" Homer St. Francis (that is how he was introduced to Daisy Goodman, since she was living with Homer as well, after having altercation(s) with her companion Phenix Hearn in Swanton. She was also a grant writer for A.S.H.A.I. and Wobanaki, Incorporated etc., working for Homer St. Francis Sr. as well.) Both Tom and Daisy Goodman, as aforementioned in this blog, attempted to do a Land Claims against the Robertson's Lease of 1765 to try and stay behind Doris Minckler's home. When that endeavor failed, they left Swanton, Vermont and relocated to North Stratford, Coos County, New Hampshire to settling on Daisy's mother' property.
Later they moved into the home itself. Of course, Thomas Robert O'Bomsawin was not through with "Land Claims" endeavors. He simply went from the "Robertson's Lease of 1765" of northwestern Vermont to the "Philips Grant" of 1796 in Coos County, New Hampshire. He had to secure a known Native descendant population in the area (even if he had to solicite a "created community"). The Stone Family of East Stratford, Coos County, New Hampshire fit the effort perfectly, since they were Christie May (nee: Phillips) Sweetser or Sargent descendants through her daughter Isabelle Sargent or Sweetser having married Frank Omega Stone on October 10, 1926 in Stratford, New Hampshire. This organization of families they called "The Abenaki Family Alliance." I was a participant in the meetings, to some degree. But the following documents I had no awareness about until two weeks ago when they were placed into my hands. As follows in the next posting(s) I now share these documents on this blog.

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