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Friday, October 1, 2010

The "Abenaki" Plot Thickens....Part 6: May 14, 2010 Signing by Gov. Jim Douglas of Amendment Bill S.222~Gov. Wanna-Be of Vermont Dennis Paul Steele of Kirby, Vermont~Article Regarding April Merrill of May 28, 2010 Etc:

From left to right, here one can see Luke Willard, Nancy Millette-Doucet, Rep. Hinda Miller (who "belongs to the Jewish Tribe", Fred Wiseman Sr. whose standing behind Gov. Jim Douglas whose seated, in the black shirt is Donald Warren Stevens Jr., and person in the yellow-red tie is Charles "Megeso" Lawrence Delaney Jr. This photograph was taken in mid-May (14th) of 2010 at the signing by Gov. Douglas of the Senate-Amended S.222 Abenaki Recognition Bill Amendment. The House version failed.
~So much for transparency and fairness~
Again, they are all "smiles" and satisfied looks on each of their faces. Not one of them has been willing to provide the physical evidence genealogically-speaking, that would documentarily connect them to the Abenakis. So, the question still remains, are they really Abenakis or "alleged & re-invented Abenakis"?
Against all odds, law backs Abenaki effort
May 15, 2010
Charles Delaney-Megeso (right) of Burlington speaks with Gov. Jim Douglas in his ceremonial office of the Statehouse in Montpelier on Friday. Douglas signed a bill that helps the Abenaki come closer to state recognition.
More like it was the signing of a "Just-For-Us-State-Recognition"
Rookie lawmaker takes heat in effort to gain recognition for Vt. tribes
By Terri Hallenbeck
Free Press State Writer
MONTPELIER -- It would be easy to argue that Rep. Kesha Ram, the Legislature's youngest member in her first term in office, had no business weighing in the centuries-old issue of official recognition for Vermont's Abenaki that had eluded a long line of her predecessors.
Before it was over, the 23-year-old lawmaker from Burlington managed to become the target of a torrent of e-mails and blog postings filled with anger and hate. She was accused of being a racist. There was talk of marching on Montpelier to ruin her career.
She also helped forge an agreement that just might suceed where previous
Rep. Kesha Ram, D-Burlington, speaks with a colleague on the House floor Wednesday at the Statehouse.
efforts have failed. Gov. Jim Douglas signed the bill into law Friday morning with several Abenaki leaders looking on.
"We have a very bight and positive future ahead," said Nancy Millette Doucet, chief of the Koasek Traditional Band See Abenaki, 4A
What the Abenaki recognition bill does
Gov. Jim Douglas signed a bill Friday that sets criteria for Abenaki tribes to gain official state recognition, in hopes that that will allow tribe members to sell arts and crafts as native-made. Highlights of the bill:
*Expands the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs from seven to nine members, with all nine to be newly appointed by the governor and a chairman to be chosen by the members. If a tribe gains recogntion. It will have priority for a seat on the panel.
*Sets a process and criteria for granting recognition after review by a three-person expert panel. The commission would then make recommendations for recognition to the Legislature, which would make the final decision.
The Burlington Free Press Saturday, May 15, 2010
"Hinda (Miller) took the ball to the 50-yard line. Kesha (Ram) took it all the way to the 5. Then there was a crowd of people who ushered it the last 5 yards."
Yet no where in the photograph does one see April St. Francis-Merrill, Louise Lampman-Larivee, Richard "Skip" Bernier, etc. I guess Judy Dow, Tim de la Bruere, nor Rep. Kesha Ram "weren't invited"? Also, what does the "title" of this illustration really represent; that "Abenaki Recognition" in the state of Vermont, is some sort of game? I can just "see" the Kahniakehake People, the Aln8bak of the Waubanakiak People's, Anishinaabek People's thinking this assault on Native Identity, and their remaining retained "limited sovereignty", as some sort of game. I do not find it funny or comparative, to insinuate that what is happening in Vermont and New Hampshire, to a game. This whole dynamic is NOT a game at all. I find it a blatant mockery of Native People's who HAVE HAD TO submit their genealogies to PROVE who they are in order to retain their Native Identities and yet in Vermont this is not an absolutely definitive requirement...and that these people's genealogical connection to the Abenakis is not required to be made part of the Public Record. What is happening in Vermont and New Hampshire ought to piss off every Native human being in this country in my opinion. Then again, maybe I am just over-reacting?
Everyone wants to be an Indian, and every so often someone in the bunch also wants to be a Chief or a Shaman, all because their 9th or 11th Great Grandmother was allegedly some supposed Algonquin, Abenaki, Huron or Indian Princess! Then they create incorporations sacntioned by the State, to suck off the Federal System (monies that are meant to go to legitimately documented Native People's)....only to harass the state Legislative representatives repeatedly in their leathers, feathers, and plastic beaded headbands, to get the state to validate or re-invent those incorporations in Vermont, into being legitmate "Tribes" and or "Bands" of Abenakis.
May 15, 2010 Page 4A
ABENAKI: Tribes gain form of recognition
Continued from Page 1A
...of the Koas in Newbury, even as she and fellow Abenaki acknowledged the bill was not quite what they had hoped for.
"It's not what we wanted," said Fred Wiseman of Swanton, tribal historian for the Missisquoi band of the Abenaki who helped negotiate the bill (and who created the recognition criteria for such bill) , but he added, "We're satisfied."
Sen. Hinda Miller, D-Chittenden, who started the renewed effort to solve the recognition conundrum, summed up why the issue is so difficult. "It's not only legislation and a bill," she said. "It deals with the hearts and souls of people."
Efforts to gain recognition as an American Indian tribe have eluded the Abenaki for generations. The federal government turned down applications for official recognition. (No, that is not true. There was ONLY 1 group...who applied for Federal Recognition. That Swanton, VT incorporate group took their application "off the BIA table" and merely some years later....put that same application for Federal Recognition "back on the BIA table"; and were subsequently denied Federal Acknowledgment because April St. Francis-Merrill, Federick M. Wiseman, nor John Moody could not validate their claims of being Abenaki let alone Native Americans regarding their submitted historical, social or genealogical documention) .
State recognition has seen fleeting success followed by bitter disappointment. Recognition granted in November 1976 was rescinded in early 1977. (Such State Gov. Proclamation/ State Recognition was rescinded because Gov. Thomas Salmon was attempting to give a Thanksgiving present back to the alleged and re-invented "Abenakis" led by then Homer St. Francis, Sr. WITHOUT any genealogical foundations as to their claims of being legitimately Abenakis) A 2006 law, heralded with a celebration on the Statehouse lawn, ended up not meeting federal rules that would allow Abenaki to sell arts and crafts as native-made. A 2008 effort to fix the 2006 law fizzled.
Last summer, Miller, a veteran of the 2006 and 2008 efforts, hosted a potluck dinner with representatives of four core Abenaki groups and several legislators to launch a new effort. Nothing like harassing the Legislature every other year eh. "Just like a child who keeps asking Mommy for a cookie, and hopefully Mommy relents and gives the cookie to the screaming child. The only problem is...once the cookie is gone, the child (these Inc.'d groups a.k.a. "VT Abenaki Alliance" will scream for more MORE MORE. State and Federally.
Driven by shared frustrations with the 2006, the four Abenaki tribes -- the Missisquoi, the Koasek Traditional Band, the Nulhegan Band and the Elnu -- had formed a coalition called the Alliance. The plan was to craft legislation that would grant recognition to those tribes based on their stature in Vermont. (Again, this statement is NOT TRUE, the State of VT Recognition of these 4 groups of alleged and re-invented "Abenakis," would be based solely on their INCORPORATE status with the state of Vermont, under the laws of the state; and NOT based on clear and convincing genealogical documentary evidence of these group's....or their members....actually being from the Abenaki Ancestors).
The Senate passed such a bill in March, sending it the House.
Ram runs into a firestorm
When Kesha Ram was elected to the House in 2008, she asked to be assigned to the House General, Housing and Millitary Affairs Committee in hopes of tackling the Abenaki recognition issue. With a father from India and mother of European descent, Ram said her own heritage and upbringing in California have given her a drive to fight for minority rights.
She said she studied up on the history of the Vermont Abenaki, but was sensitive to the fact that tthe issue long preceded her. "I knew some of this has affected their identity longer than I have been alive," she said.
She has no qualms, however, about raising concerns she had with the Senate bill when it arrived in her House committee. Have the Legislature grant recognition to four tribes would not meet the federal arts and crafts standards, she argued, because the criteria established was not specific enough.
Ram and her fellow committee members also heard complaints from other Abenakis who are not part of the Alliance that they would shut out if the Senate bill became law. The committee quickly became hip-deep in the complexities hat have made this issue so difficult to solve: There is deep-seeded mistrust among various Abenaki tribes about who is really Abenaki and who deserves recognition.
Actually these alleged Abenaki tribes are still incorporated groups, sanctioned by the State Secretary's Office, and NOTHING MORE THAN THAT at this time, until it can be determined IF these or any of these groups are legitimately "Abenaki Tribes". A commission created by the 2006 law was riddled with paralyzing distrust. No, the only distrust that was coming from the VNAA (commission) was from the appointed Chairperson's and this so-called Alliance! There was no distrust coming from anyone else, other than the fact that the members of the VNCAA were fighting for fairness and transparency of the recognition process for all Native People's residing in Vermont. Kesha Ram also fought for "fairness and transparency" in the Recognition process "for the Abenakis".
Ram said the committee tried to turn to neutral sources for information, looking at other state's recognition laws and turning to anyone else for expertise. Everyone had a particular interest," she said. These efforts infuriated the Alliance, whose members suddenly felt they were being left out. Of course, the so-called Abenaki Alliance, like the screaming upset child, wanted their cookie, NOW, not later. It's called "instantaneous gratification" or Instantaneous Recogniton that this "Abenaki Alliance" wanted, without any protest or hesitation (or review) from anyone. Wiseman, a humanities professor at Johnson State College as well as tribal historian, siad his work as a scholar was under fire.
"I was angry, I was frustrated," said Wiseman, an outwardly calm man whose demeanor seems to match his name. Really, not according to what I have read, of his so-called "scholarly work." "My research was called into question for the first time in my career." Really? Because usually the "scholarly work" of any PhD is usually called into question repeatedly by others. It's called "Peer Review" and as an scholar, Wiseman Sr. should expect that his "scholarly work" would be called into question, by anyone.
Don Stevens, a Missisquoi Abenaki from Shelburne who is former chairman of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, sent an email to other legislators seeking to kill the bill Ram and the rest of her committee had rewritten before it reached the House floor. That was because he is April St. Francis-Merrill's "stooge" "puppet" and it was "I want it all, or NOTHING at all." The "Alliance" wants "instantaneous recognition" without genealogical evidence of their group or their members have to prove legitimately anything, especially where it concerns genealogical connection, to the Abenakis.
"We thought we had been hoodwinked," Don Stevens said. No, the only "hoodwinking" that has been going on (and continues to this day), is from the very so-called "Abenaki Alliance" that Mr. Donald Warren Stevens Jr. himself belongs to, and adovcates for.
Rep. Tom Stevens, D-Waterbury, a member of the House committee, said much of the anger was generated because a proposed bill circulated and was thrown out of proportion. It contained ideas about criteria for recogntion that hadn't yet been considered and weren't necessarily going to survive, he said.
The Alliance's angry reaction spread quickly on the Internet, with Ram as the central target. "I had a lot of hostility aimed at me that made it difficult to keep engaging," Ram said. "There were a lot of moments that were hard for me to handle."
It looked very much like the bill would die. It didn't.
The last 5 years
Despite their anger and sense of betrayal, Wiseman and Don Stevens said they kept coming back to the fact that they really wanted to find a way for Abenaki to sell their arts and crafts as native-made, a marketing advantage the federal government allows only for those in recognized tribes.
"My goal was to see this through," Wiseman said. Based on his own created recognition criteria and manipulation of the recognition process itself. "I've been in this game since 1993." There these people again, calling this Recogntion Process a game. Native Identity and Sovereignty Issues are NOT a game. Of course, to these 4 incorporations "it is a game" because they are already under the laws of the state of Vermont and or New Hampshire, and these groups want their instantaneous gratification of VT-NH State Recognition, the sooner the better for them, so these groups can suck more Grant Monies from any State or Federal sources that they can. It's grand to be paid-to-be-Abenaki these days. It's all about the $$$$. Selling their alleged Abenaki Culture and Heritage to the highest buyer.
Anyone who thought Ram would give up, underestimated her tanacity. She was surrouned by others who wanted the bill to succeed -- her own committee and her roommate in Montpelier, Rep. Kate Webb, D-Shelburne, who was attuned to the issue on behalf of constituent Don Stevens.
When the Alliance would no longer work with Ram, they turned to Webb and Reps. Michael Consejo and Carolyn Branagan, whose Franklin County districts include the Missisquoi Abenaki.
"There just was this incredible miscommunication about what people were doing," Webb said. "My role was to keep everybody playing."
Running out of time as the Legislature;s adjourment neared, they kept playing even if they didn't particularly like all their playmates.
Within a week's time, they settled on a revised bill. it doesn't offer the immediate recognition the Alliance had hoped for. Instead, tribes may apply for recognition to a new commission, which will rely on a three-person expert panel to make recommendations for recognition to the Legislature.
"This is the second-best thing to direct recognition," Don Stevens said.
Consejo, who had fought to kill the House version of the bill at one point, said the final product is a good balance, which surprised him. "Against all odds, it was done with the cooperation of everybody. Most of us didn't think would happen," he said. What Rep. Consejo does not state, was that everyone was delighted with "this version of the Abenaki Recognition bill S.222 Amendment, that was passed by the VT legislature, at all.
Webb summed up the long process this way, "Hinda took the ball to the 50-yard line, Kesha took it all the way to the 5. Then there was a crowd of people who ushered it the last 5 yards."
Ram said, "The entire bill was a journey for me."
As Douglas signed the bill Friday, Don Stevens warned the governor that the journey isn't necessarily over. Of course not, the concocted "Abenaki Alliance" has more games to play with the politician and residents of Vermont assuredly in the future. "This is only half the battle," he said. "You have to appoint good people to the commission." What Donald Stevens Jr. actually was meaning, was that Gov. Douglas better appoint the "Abenaki Alliance" members onto the newly constructed VCNAA (commission) so that the "Abenaki Alliance" could attempt to continue "hoodwinking" the VT Abenaki Recognition Process and VT Legislator's. The game that the "Abenaki Alliance" continues to play goes on.....
Looking at the historical past, it struck me reviewing this May 15th, 2010 photograph, that Gov. Jim Douglas has merely repeated what the retrosepctive Gov. Thomas Salmon had done in late November 1976 with "Abenaki Recognition". Here, Gov. Jim Douglas is "sitting in that finely carved ornamently carved King's "ceremonial" chair, in His "Ceremonial Room" like some King of England, granting away with the stroke of His fancy pen, the integrity of the Abenaki People's....all the while "King" Luke Willard, "Queen" Nancy Millette-Doucet, "Jewish tribal member" Rep. Hinda Miller, "Professor PhD" Frederick M. Wiseman (with the digital camera) and Charles "Megeso" Lawrence Delaney stand around, clapping their hands (Don Stevens is in some of the photo's but not this particular one) and the whole lot of them, grinning at what they have supposedly succeeded in doing.
"HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF" is truly what comes to my mind. What does the Gov. of Vermont Jim Douglas care (or even give a damn) since of couse, like Gov. Thomas Salmon at Thanksgiving 1976, he'll be leaving Office pretty soon anyway. Better to help re-write "Abenaki" history in Vermont dealing with dubious people and inc'd groups sanctioned by VT than be called a supposed "racist"; better than to relate politically to genuine Abenakis from an Abenaki historical community. In conclusion, looking at this photograph, it certainly reminds of a statement a friend recently said to me, about this photo, "Fools Faces are often seen in Public Places." My reply: Isn't that the truth!
Here is Dennis Paul Steele, politican running for VT Gov. in November 2010, shaking hands with Ralph Skinner Swett, who is "Chief" of the "Clan of the Hawk, Inc." in Evansville, Orleans County, Vermont. Dennis Steele, has "known Ralph Swett for years, since Dennis was young person." Clan of the Hawk, Inc. is a self-proclaimed "Indianist group," that sometimes declares itself to be an Abenaki Tribe as well.
Dennis Paul Steele's website "Dennis Steele for VT Governor" LINK: www.governorsteele.com He claims that he has a political platform: which is secession from the United States. Daniel Steele’s an active member of the Second Vermont Republic movement (publishers of Vermont Commons newspaper) and thinks Vermont must secede from the United States to avoid economic and social catastrophe. He believes the United States has lost its “moral authority” and that deepening federal deficits make it a “sinking ship” that Vermont should jump off of. Seceding would keep Vermont afloat, he believes, by reclaiming the $2 billion Vermonters currently pay into the U.S. Department of Defense budget. Steele served in the U.S. Army for three years in the late 1980s — he joined to get money for college — and served as a helicopter crew chief.
Dennis Steele is a Native American Abenaki Indian from Vermont and a Northeast Kingdom businessman who recently launched the highly successful Internet radio station, Radio Free Vermont. Organized to promote Vermont music and Vermont musicians, Radio Free Vermont now has listeners in over 120 countries worldwide.
In 2003 Dennis started what has become a very popular chess-playing website of which he is sole owner and CEO. Over 200,000 people worldwide regularly play chess on this site.
After spending three years in the U.S. Army and a number of years in Hawaii and California as a sales executive, Dennis, his wife, and two children moved back to his hometown of Kirby, VT in 2006. Since that time Dennis has been an active supporter of the Second Vermont Republic and the entire Vermont independence movement.
Mr. Steele has a B.A. from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. He has been the recipient of numerous academic and military honors. He participates frequently in community affairs. An avid hunter, Mr. Steele often processes the family’s meat himself.
Steele’s political philosophy can be summarized by the following statement, “The gods of the American Empire are not the gods of Vermont.” He is committed to the return of Vermont to its status as an independent republic as it was between 1777 and 1791. When he is elected governor, he will call a statewide convention to consider articles of political independence. He will simultaneously do everything in his power to bring home Vermont’s National Guard troops immediately.
The theme of Dennis’s gubernatorial campaign is “Imagine… Free Vermont.” He can be reached at radiofreevermont@gmail.com, tel. 802-748-3475, or P.O. Box 28, E. St. Johnsbury, VT 05838. His website is http://www.freevermontradio.org/.
Review the afore-mentioned website, its quite revealing. I am sure he would immediately upon becoming Gov. (or should I say King or Dictator of the Sovereign Republic of Vermont?) subsequently grant "instantaneous state recognition" to the "Abenaki Alliance of VT," just as I am assured that this man, watched "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson (in Blu Ray format) way too many times! Dennis Steele relocated out of Vermont, to California, married and had two children. Big Deal. IN MY OPINION, now he's promoting a militia seperatist movement within Vermont. He's got an agenda, and like any politician, the smile's, the Carhartt pants, and the persona (just like the "Abenaki Alliance"), such does not mask the whacked out political nuttiness of these sorts of people. He's just another late Homer Walter St. Francis Sr. running for Governor of Vermont. He also claims to be "Abenaki." He was born November 03, 1967 in Connecticut, his wife Amber Antoinette (nee: Sprouse) was born in California. The couple lived in Paso Robles, California, but now live in Kirby, Vermont. I relocated to Vermont where some of my "Abenaki" ancestors come from too. Big Deal. That doesn't make me "special," better than or less than anyone else, and because I might have an Abenaki ancestor in my family geneaology doesn't make me "special" either. Neither does it mean that Dennis Steele, politician and wanna-be Gov. of Vermont, has all the answers to the problems in our society, as a state, or as a country. He who assumes he does is a fool, in my opinion.
Photo by Donna Laurent Caruso
Baskets such as these were once the sole means of monetary survival throughout "New England" in the 19th and 20th centuries. (Actually that is not true. Documentarily and historically-speaking the Native People's throughout "New England" were capable and did work in various occupations of work, such as farming, mill work, woolen mills, logging, carpentry, iron working, blacksmithing, etc throughout the 19th and 20th centuries) The art is now in in revival, with or without federal recognition. The above basket is ca. 1930 to 1950, with the color dyed ash splint of a Canadian Native made basket, using Hong-Kong grass, and some sweetgrass. It was a basket, in my thinking, that very likely not even made in Vermont, by these incorporated group's.
Vermont Abenaki Heritage Days
By Donna Laurent Caruso
Indian Country Today correspondent
Story Published: May 28, 2010
Story Updated: May 28, 2010
SWANTON, Vt. -- The Abenaki people will celebrate their culture, promote their crafts, and honor Vermont state Legislators who helped pass new legislation affecting the livlihood and education of the people, at the 18th Annual Abenki Heritage Celebration on the Village Green in Swanton May 29 - 30, 2010.
"Circle of Courage will be here, which is very exciting, because this year represents the first in many when our band has had a youth drum," said Chief April St. Francis-Merrill, of the Abenaki Self-Help and Tribal Headquarters in Swanton.
Abenaki will honor state legislators "who worked dilligently to pass S.222, which was recently signed by the governor, and that corrects the many flaws of the first state bill so that we can earn a livelihood with our crafts as well as educate our children," she said. April St. Francis-Merrill contradicts the reality of this bill, yet again, in what it actually does, and does not do. It would appear that she is, once again, "counting her chickens BEFORE they've even hatched" in this article.
The list of those who assisted the Abenaki is extensive. Heritage Day celebrants will honor state senators Ashe, Brock, Carris, Illuzzi, Miller, and Racine as well as state representatives Whitney, Branagan, Consejo, Copeland-Hanzas, Savage, and Webb, and legislative counsel Meredith Sumner.
"These people worked very hard to get this first (state) bill corrected. We lost our federal recognition in 2005, even though no one from the federal government visited our homeland or interviewed us. First of all, April St. Francis-Merrill is absolutely WRONG in stating that "her group lost their federal recognition in 2005".....because that group (nor any other in Vermont) NEVER had federal recognition in the first place! Their application petition was denied (which people will be able to see, evaluate and review on this blog in the very near future). Secondly, the Office of Federal Acknowledgment did IN FACT enter into the Franklin County, Vermont geographic area, enter into Town Clerk's Office's, etc. and did IN FACT evaluate and attempt to confirm/ substantiate, that which was meagerly submitted to that federal agency, by April Merrill, John Moody, and Frederick M. Wiseman PhD before the petitioning group was denied. The Office of Federal Acknowledgment of the Bureau of Indian Affairs does not have to "interview" anyone of the Petitioning group, unless that agency wants to. It is the RESPONSIBILITY of the Petitioning group of Alleged and Re-Invented Abenakis of Vermont, to substantiate their proclamations, claims and statements with factually clear and convincing documentary evidence. The O.F.A. repeatedly requested documentary evidence from April, John, and Fred by that agency. That agency was left, looking at their hands thinking, "shit in one hand, wish in the other, and see which one fills up faster." April St. Francis-Merrill did not submit any documentary evidence to substantiate or validate historical, social or genealogical evidence that anyone in her group, was Abenaki, let alone "Indian" or "Native American." Therefore, her petition for acknowledgment by the Federal Government was subsequently denied. She couldn't have "lost federal recognition" in 2005, because she NEVER had "federal recognition" in the first place. Period. In the 1920's and 1930's our people were being sterilized so our way of adapting to that pressure precludes meeting all seven of the federal criteria for recognition This is also NOT TRUE, because when the O.F.A. requested April St. Francis-Merrill and her group to validate and explain how their ancestors related to, reacted or adapted to the Eugenics Survey of Vermont, the O.F.A. simply received NO RESPONSE, from April or anyone else. The Eugenic's Survey was a S-U-R-V-E-Y, not a kitchen-table "Abenaki" sterilization clinic, coming to the Vermont Town-near-you. The Eugenics's NEVER once identified anyone as "BEING ABENAKI, MOHAWK ETC" within it's files. What the Eugenic's did do was IDENTIFY criminal or mentally defective persons (or so the Field Researchers sometimes assumed). The St. Francis family (in small part) were identified by the Eugenics. Why? Because the St. Francis' two or three members were incarcerated for criminal behaviors, etc. It was NOT "because they were Abenakis." In fact, even the Phillips' were identified, not as Mohawk or even Abenakis, but merely that perhaps they were SAID to have possible Mohawk ancestry, as well as French and or African American ancestry. (and please, do not try to insinuate that discussing the so-called present day self-identifying "abenakis" i.e. the Phillips or the St. Francis' as being disrespectful, simply because historically they were in the Eugenic's Survey papers that were merely found in the mid 1980's or so) Fact is, where the heck would any of these people be today, awareness wise, IF those very records had NOT been found, and retained at Middlesex, Vermont...."open" to the public? -- so this state bill is an important one for us." April St. Francis-Merrill said.
Many Abenaki artisans will be available to demonstrate and sell their products. "Last year," St. Francis-Merrill said, "some artisans' tags stated that their products were 'almost Abenaki made.'"
In addition to the newly formed youth drum, the host drum for the event is Negoot-gook, a Maliseet drum from New Brunswick, Spirit of the Wind, a ladies drum from Quebec, and a guest Mohawk drum, Red Tail Spirit Singers.
More than 1,000 people are expected to come to the event, especially if the weather is good. "Passports are an issue for our people, though," the chief April Merrill explained. "Our sisters and brothers, (who are recognized as Odanak Abenaki from Canada), now have to have a passport to cross into the states and many people refuse to get a passport on principle that the Jay Treaty still exists."
Now wait just a minute there....first Frederick M. Wiseman PhD and this concocted "Abenaki Alliance of VT" stated quote, that Odanak Abenakis from Canada are merely "Ex-Patriots" who live in Vermont....and now these same Abenakis, "are our sisters and brothers"?! April and this so-called "Abenaki Alliance" can't have it both ways, to my thinking.

Either Odanak Abenakis are indeed historically and contemporarily as much a part of Vermont today...as they have been in the past (and therefore ought to be "officially recognized" by the state of Vermont...without hesitation or protest...of which BEFORE this article, the "Alliance" did IN FACT bitch and whine, complain, holler, moan and groan...about Odanak people gaining "Vermont State Recognition"..."oh no, Odanak is invading VT to get a Casinoa because they were denied one in Quebec".... "and Odanak 'already' has recongition in Quebec and all over Canada....so they don't need to interfere 'in OUR Abenakis recognition affairs here in VT"....quote)....or as April's "stooge" Mr. PhD Professor Frederick Wiseman liked to call Odanak Abenakis who have for generations been residents of Vermont....that these Abenakis are merely quote "Ex-Patriots" who just happen to be living in Vermont, and Wiseman continued to assume these Abenakis "are not really politically (incorporated) organized within Vermont." I would beg to differ with Fred W. Wiseman's conclusion on that! At least, in conclusion, the Abenakis "from Odanak" do not have to hesitate and protest (or protect) their genealogical connections to their Abenaki Ancestors!
Ironically, born in the states but living in ancestral Canadian territory, film artisan Alanis O'Bomsawin is awarded numerous U.S. honors for her work as an Abenaki artist; she recieved a Luminaria Award for her lifetime achievement
producing documentaries.

Interviews from the Robin Washington TV Library (on You Tube) with the current chief's late father, Chief Homer St. Francis, explain some of the conflicts that arose when the federal government established a wildlife refuge on Abenaki land in the 1980's. The Abenaki of Vermont received federal recognition in 1976, but a few months later, newly elected Gov. Richard Snelling rescinded the act.
Again, the Missisquoi St. Francis-Sokoki group led by the late Homer St. Francis and subsequently he appointed his daughter April as "Chief" of such group, DID NOT RECEIVE FEDERAL RECOGNITION WHATSOEVER. Richard Snelling, the subsequent Governor of Vermont in early 1977 rescinded the former out-going Governor Thomas Salmon's "recognition" because Mr. Snelling obviously was aware that such "recognition" by the State of Vermont, was NOT BASED ON ADEQUATE GENEALOGICAL FOUNDATIONS that this group of self-proclaiming "abenakis" up in Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont were IN FACT descendants of the Abenakis.
Here we see at the 2010 Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont "Abenaki" Pow-wow a photograph taken by none other than Sherrie Gould of Bradford, New Hampshire, Mr. Luke Willard (hands on hips, wearing a Ribbon shirt and sunglasses) who "was" Chief of the Nulhegan but is now merely Vice-President of the Nulhegan, Inc.'d, April Ann St. Francis-Merrill in the white buckskin commercially tanned dress, who is allegedly Missisquoi Abenaki (I say she is merely French and God knows what else, but I certainly don't see Abenaki in her ancestry), and lastly "the Jewish Tribal Member Mrs. Hinda Miller, whose a Democratic Representative of Chittenden County, Vermont who advocated for April St. Francis-Merrill and the other three so-called concocted VT "Chiefs" of the "Alliance" in the Senate Legislature. So, Hinda and the rest of the Legislator's got a hand-clapping thank you and a piece of paper....BIG DEAL. April St. Francis-Merrill and the "Alliance" ought to have made this Jewish Politician a real Adopted Honorary Abenaki, like April's father did to George "Peskunck" Larrabee of Woodberry, Vermont or like Ralph Skinner Swett of the Clan of the Hawk Inc. made Rep. Vincent Illuzzi, an Honorary Chief (and a REAL Indian name to go along with the Certificate too!). 

I don't know whether to laugh at the antic's of this concocted "Abenaki Alliance," or cry at the absurdity of it all.

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