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Saturday, December 18, 2010

State of VT's Response to Petition for Federal Acknowledgment of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation of Vermont: Pages 230 to 244:


Federal Census Records and Community
One of the criteria that petitioners must meet for federal acknowledgment focuses on community. The federal regulations, 25 C.F.R. 83.7 (b), require that

A predominant portion of the petitioning group comprises a distinct community and has existed as a community from historical times to the present.

This is a very difficult criterion to examine for the petitioner, because there appears to be no historical times from which to begin. However, assuming the historical times are the late 1700's, the only time there appears to be a community of Abenaki Indians in Vermont is prior to 1765, when Robertson's lease was signed. Instead of tracing the descendants of members of that community down to the present, the petition attempts to show a community by listing all of the people who may have surnames similar to today's members. The petition lists both people who have married in to the group, who are non-Indian, as well as those who may have Indian ancestry. This confuses the issue. In various forms of the petition submitted at different times, census records are used to show the appearance of persons from whom the modern-day community may descend.
In examining the federal censuses for all available years, and especially the 19th century, I find the ancestry of today's petitioner looking much like the rest of the communities that were predominantly French Canadian. Many had the same occupations, such as farm laborer, day laborer; many could not read or write English.
Their uniqueness from the other communities appears to be that they or their parents were born in Canada. They did not identify in the records as Indians, and were living intermixed with other French-Canadians, and many others. Although the petition attempts to give reasons for this phenomenon, the fact is there were other persons listed in Vermont as Indian when these censuses were taken. For instance, in 1880, in Grand Isle, Grand Isle, Vermont, William and Mary Bomsawin [sic] were listed as Indians. They are not ancestors of the modern-day community members. The ancestors of the modern-day community were consistently listed as white on Federal Census records.
The petition stresses that the ancestors of the modern-day community lived in the Back Bay section of Swanton. From the 1870 census records, I was able to determine that these people were scattered through Back Bay and Swanton. They were often as many as 5 or 15 houses away from each other. This entire area was populated by French Canadians. It was not a neighborhood uniquely populated by the petitioner's ancestors.
The several Federal censuses for communities in the 19th century show that the families are not only scattered about, but they do not appear to be interacting with one another. They were not distinct from their non-Indian neighbors. Few, if any, were identified as basket maker, broom maker, hunter, fisherman, etc., as found in other Indian tribes. Rather, their occupations were given as day laborers, masons, farmers or farm laborers. In the 1870 Federal Census, there were scant listings of anyone as basket maker. One found was that of Mary Francis, 23, who was living with Elizabeth Francis, 44, both born in Maine; Mary was listed as a basket maker. Another woman in the same household,

Eunice Francis, age 77, was also listed as a basket maker. She was born in Canada. (In the same household was a child, Lewis Francis, age 3, born in Vermont and Frank Ross, 22, basket maker, born in Canada.) None of these persons is claimed to be an ancestor of the modern-day petitioner.
In addition, the petitioner worked hard to present what may look like interacting communities of people, listing the numbers and surnames shown on many censuses. These appear in the many appendices submitted with the Addendum to the Petition in 1986. Researching many of those names in vital records, I discovered that the majority of the people listed were not ancestors of the present-day petitioner, nor even of documented Indian descent.

In recent findings, the BIA has said,

In this case, the DTO's [Duwamish Tribal Organization's] interpretation of historical events pertaining to its ancestors is not accurate or complete, even when the circumstances of contact are taken into consideration. For example, [petitioner's expert] does not give specific descriptions ofeach ofthe petitioner's isolated family enclaves which the writer says were widely distributed in the Puget Sound region. The PF [Proposed Finding] found that many Duwamish maintained contact with one another or those who moved to reservations, despite the impact of Euro-American settlement. However, these Duwamish were not the petitioner's ancestors. The petitioner's ancestors were not in contact with the Duwamish tribe.

(Final Determination for the Duwamish Tribal Organization, p. 18)

[T]he primary problem is that the petitioner is a group that was formed in recent times, specifically during the last two decades of the 20th century.
(Webster/Dudley Band of Chaubaunagungamaug Nipmuck Indians Proposed Finding, p. 104)

Descent From a Historic Tribe
One of the tribal acknowledgment criteria applied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs is 25 C.F.R. 83.7(e)(1), which says

The petitioner's membership [must] consist[ ] of individuals who descend from a historical Indian tribe or from historical Indian tribes which combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity.

The problematic wording of criterion 83.7(e)(1), "who descend from a historical Indian tribe," may imply that any historical Indian Tribe will do. However, the last portion of the criterion, "which combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity," clearly shows that the tribe must have functioned as a political entity. This means the group must have behaved as a political entity throughout time, since first contact. Though the petitioner may be able to show that its members descend from people considered Indians, the political entity was nonexistent. If there was a historical tribe of Abenaki, it was in Canada by the time of the formation of the United States.
The tribal acknowledgment process requires an examination of just who the present-day members of the petitioner are. Though the petitioner has submitted many community surveys, census surveys, etc., those materials include many persons who are not listed as ancestors on the Family Descendancy Charts submitted in 1995. Perhaps the petitioner was attempting to make a more all-inclusive list of Indians, but what they compiled was a more all-inclusive list of French Canadians and their non-
Indian spouses' families. This method of attempting to produce a base roll of ancestry is flawed at best. The most effective way to identify ancestry is to look at the 18th-century lists that did identify Abenaki in or near Vermont, attempt to find those individuals on the earliest census records of Franklin and Grand Isle counties, and follow them through the more recent census returns. In attempting to research in this manner, tracing such individuals did not lead to the petitioner's members.
In an effort to identify individuals and spouses who may be Indian, I have searched through church, vital and war records. Many of the church records were located in Canada, and are written in French. Other names submitted on the petitioner's Petition Addendum Appendices were searched in the Vermont vital records and federal census records. These were examined and most of the individuals were found to be non-Indian. None was listed as Indian. Rather, many of them were born in Canada and listed as white in the vital records. No trend of immigration was noted.
From all of the records, it appears that descent from an Abenaki tribal entity is not only non-existent, but impossible to document. That some families may have Indian ancestry is not in question; it is the tribal ancestry that is lacking.
In the 1900 and 1910 federal censuses, when self-identification was recommended to census enumerators, giving special attention to Indians and Indian tribes, the compilation of the total number of Indians for the entire State of Vermont listed 5 Indians in 1900, and 26 in 1910. In Franklin County, in 1900, not a single Indian was listed. In 1910, 5 were listed, but they were from one of the New York tribes and none of them were the ancestors of the
modern community of Abenaki. These Franklin county census records are significant,
because Franklin County was the residence of the majority of the ancestors of the modern community. The census of 1920 showed no Indians in residence in Franklin County as well. (U.S. Bureau of the Census, Fourteenth Census of the United States taken in the Year 1920, vol. III, Population, (1922), p. 1049 (listing figures for 1900, 1910, and 1920)).
Some familial connections were extracted from information of burials in the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Swanton. Ledoux, Tom, and family, "St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Swanton, Vt.," Swanton Historical Society, August 1993. There does not appear to be a distinct burial pattern, but the information about the persons buried was helpful to identify maiden names and familial connections. The graves of the ancestry of the petitioner appear to be scattered throughout the cemetery, and no specific "Indian Burials" were noted. Just as with the census information regarding residence and occupation patterns, nothing in the burial records suggested that the petitioner's ancestors were any different from the rest of the French Canadians in Swanton.

Did the Eugenics Survey Identify the Petitioner's Indianness?
The Eugenics Survey of Vermont in the 20th-century included some of the ancestry of today's petitioner. It has been given a great deal of weight in the public statements of the petitioner as a reason for lack of evidence necessary for federal acknowledgment as an Indian tribe. Because the Eugenics Survey has been misinterpreted and misused by the petitioner, I comment on it here.
The Eugenics Survey (hereafter called the Survey) in Vermont was one of many eugenic programs of the 1920's and 1930's in the United States, especially on the East Coast. Established in 1925 in Vermont, the Survey was organized and directed by Henry F. Perkins, Chairman of the University of Vermont Zoology
Department. In 1927 the Survey was expanded to address all factors affecting rural life. It became part of the Vermont Commission on Country Life. The Survey ended its activities in 1936. (Gallagher, Nancy, summary of Eugenics Survey of Vermont, Vermont Public Records website: www.bgs.state.vt.us/gsc/pubrec/referen/eugenics.htm).
According to a paper read by Perkins and reprinted in The American Eugenics Society, Inc.'s publication Eugenics in 1930, the aim of the Survey was "to secure usable data upon the hereditary aspects of what we have called the Human Factor." He went on to describe the ethnicity of Vermont, stating that "[t]he largest single foreign element is French-Canadian." (Perkins, Henry F., "Hereditary Factors in Rural Communities," Eugenics, vol. III, no. 8, August 1930. Offprint in Vermont Historical Society pamphlet collection, Montpelier, Vt ). He explained that some fifty-four families were worked up, some including 5 to 7 generations per family. I examined those family charts and quote from some of them in this paper.
While it is true that the Survey included some of the ancestry of today's petitioner, I do not find that they survey was directed toward Indians. I have researched the Survey in depth, and found that the ancestry of the petitioner was not targeted as Indian, but perhaps as French Canadian. Some of these French Canadians mentioned their Indian ancestry, but that was not the focus of the Survey.
In looking at communities from which to study the inhabitants, the eugenics program looked at the community of Grand Isle and reported that:

[There are] Two distinct classes. Quite old settlers (Democrats) and the French who have come in from Canada (Catholics). The French Canadians
farm and are gradually buying farms of their own. They do not mix with the others. The former class of people are well read and intelligent. They are said to buy more magazines than most other towns. They are not all college graduates but seem to be quite well educated. They do not allow the French-Canadians to mix with them, although of course, the children of both classes go to school together. The French-Canadians take an active part in politics and have social organizations of their own. They have been in Grand Isle a long time. French Village is part of the town, where some French-Canadians have settled. Few Catholics go to high school and they are not as educated as the other class. One of the Catholic organizations is the Woodmen's Club.

(Eugenics Survey Papers, "Towns Suggested for Study, Grand Isle," p. 1)
Though some of the persons in Grand Isle that were French-Canadian may have had Indian ancestry, it is clear that they were not targeted as Indians, nor identified as Abenaki.
She says that Old Antione had Indian blood and had something to do with the Kickapoo. (Agent H.E.A. thinks that the above statement is probably rather doubtful except for the fact that Old Antione did have Indian blood and probably was related to some of the inhabitants of an Indian reservation in southeastern Canada.)
(Eugenics Survey Papers, "Phillips General History")
She came from an Indian Reservation Caughnewaga, sixteen miles from Montreal.
(Eugenics Survey Papers, "Phillips General History, Delia Bone, Generation II")
Interestingly, one of the writers on the Survey team used the term of "tribe" when discussing the above-mentioned families, but she used the term in the context of a family.
Peter Phillips and all his tribe were constantly traveling. They traveled all over northern and eastern Vermont, the Vermont border of New York State, the Vermont border of New Hampshire, and went as far as Belfast, Maine.
For a great many years and probably until his first wife Delia Bone died, the headquarters of the tribe was South Burlington. Peter's children call that part of the country "The Plains. " Here the tribe camped down in winter and devoted themselves to making baskets and collecting horses. In early spring as soon as they could travel they started out selling baskets. When their baskets were sold they started to trade horses.
After Delia died, on one of their trips they camped for a while in Danville and Peacham. While there they found "Old Jake" Way (whose mother was Sarah Jane nee: Woodward, daughter of Darius Woodward and Nancy Taylor) and his daughter living in Paradise Alley in Peacham, near West Danville. The Phillipses joined forces with the Ways in Paradise Alley and made their rendez-vous [sic] for some time, when they were in the eastern part of Vermont.
(Eugenics Survey Papers, "Phillips General History, Generation II, Delia Bone")

Though the term, "tribe" was used in that passage, nowhere in the entire papers of the Survey were the people ever identified as belonging to an Abenaki Tribe. Indeed the term "Abenaki" was never used, only "Indian," and that very sparingly.
Years later, after some of the claimed Abenaki descendants began their campaign for recognition as Indians, writers began writing about the Eugenics movement as including those of Abenaki descent. This story caught the attention of the media and received a great deal of coverage.

In 1991, Kevin Dann wrote that the Survey's purpose was "to gather information, as full and accurate as possible, that can be used for the social betterment in Vermont." (Dann, Kevin, "From Degeneration to Regeneration: The Eugenics Survey of Vermont, 1925-1936," 59 Vermont History 5, 8 (1991)). In the gathering,

[no] people represented a mobile, uncontrolled social group in Vermont better than the first two subjects of the Eugenics Survey investigations - the "gypsy" and "pirate" families. Principally of Abenaki and French - Canadian
ancestry, the "gypsies" moved freely about a wide part of the state, almost entirely outside mainstream economy and society.

(Kevin Dann, p. 14)

I found no evidence that these families were Abenaki. He added,

That the program of the Eugenics Survey was still largely a racist hereditarian endeavor was betrayed by the first section of the Third Annual Report, which was a list of English corruptions ofFrench names. Such corruptions, especially those whose spelling changed through successive generations, "might throw one offthe track for a long time. " Seemingly an allusion to the difficulty that the Eugenics Survey fieldworkers had with French names in their genealogical detective work, the publication of the list, accompanied by the statements that the Eugenics Survey had a cross index of ninety such names, was clearly intended to alert readers to the ethnic background of third and fourth generation Vermonters of French-Canadian descent whose ethnicity might not be apparent by their surnames. Indeed one of the names in the list was that of the family upon whom the Rector narrative was based. A strong current of anti-French-Canadian bigotry runs through the work of the Eugenics Survey.
(Kevin Dann, p. 15)

The Eugenics Survey of Vermont was disbanded in 1936, yet it smoldered on during WWII when a paper on mental deficiency was written. Statistics had been released following WWI that showed,

Vermont...had the highest number of rejections except Rhode Island of any state in the Union for nervous and mental diseases, mental deficiency, epilepsy, psychoses, neuroses...When returns from the induction centers in the present war gave us no better reports we became a bit panicky.

(Ainsworth, Lillian M., "Vermont Studies in Mental Disorders,"
[1944], typescript, Vermont Historical Society, MS/613.94/Ai66.)
The author continues by praising the Survey and the 1941 law setting up a Board for Control of Mentally Defective Persons. Again, identification, registration, segregation, education and supervision of mentally defective persons were codified in law. If the same families were targeted as were in the Survey, no wonder the families felt more anxiety than did those of other Vermonters. Clearly, French-Canadians were targeted; some of the ancestors of the petitioner were French-Canadians. Thus, family tradition may have blamed the Survey for causing Indians to hide their identity as well, regardless of whether they had any Indian identity to hide.
As time passed, the role of the Eugenics Survey took on more significance in writings about the Abenaki. Since the "emergence" of the Abenaki in the early 1970's, there were marked changes in the literature. In a history kit published by the Vermont Historical Society in 1998, an explanation was given for the absence of Abenaki history.

History books have long claimed that the Abenaki "disappeared" from Vermont. While some Abenaki did leave Vermont for Canada, many others remained. As the Abenaki began to speak French or English and adopted European dress, historians of the nineteenth century assumed that the Abenaki had vanished. The Abenaki families who remained in Vermont survived in a variety of ways. Some lived a nomadic life and were called "gypsies." Others remained on the outskirts of their communities and lived off the land as they had for centuries- hunting, fishing, and trapping.

From the 1920's through the 1940's the Eugenics Survey of Vermont sought to "improve " Vermont by seeking out "genetically inferior peoples" such as Indians, illiterates, thieves, the insane, paupers, alcoholics, those with harelips, etc. ... As a result of this program, Abenaki had to hide their
heritage even more. They were forced to deny their culture to their children and grandchildren ...

("Abenaki in Vermont," A History Kit for Students and their Teachers, p. 31)

It is interesting that the kit made up to teach Vermont's children about the Abenaki does not mention that for at least 100 years prior to the 1920's, the purported Abenaki in Vermont did not identify as Indian on any public documents. They do not self-identify as Indian in census records or military records. It is incorrect to blame the Eugenics Survey for the denial of their culture to the public, and certainly incorrect to blame it for the denial of their identity to their children and grandchildren. The Eugenics Survey of the 1920's has been used as a tool to try to explain why the Abenaki have no presence in the 200 years of history from the time of the American Revolution to the time of the Abenaki "emergence" in 1972.
As time went on, the flame of the Eugenics Survey ignited. In 1999, Nancy L.
Gallagher wrote a book about the Survey. When writing about it she said,

The "Gypsy family " of Vermont was one of the first and most extensively studied kinship networks in the survey. Harriett Abbott's genealogical work had traced the family line back five generations to an ancestor from Quebec of "mixed ancestry with apparently very strong doses of Indian and Negro. " His descendants, Perkins claimed, retained "their ancestor's roving or Gypsy tendency. ... What is startling about the Gypsy family is that, over a period of four months, Abbott had been able to triple the number of descendants and relatives of these families, bring their numbers to 436. ... They bore a resemblance to the "inferior class" of French Canadians that Rowland E. Robinson claimed had "infested the state" and then mysteriously disappeared, but they also seemed a lot like the Native American nomadic families that nineteenth-century Vermonters had also called Gypsies. ... The descendants of the French Canadians who settled in Vermont, after moving back and forth across the border for seasonal work, represented, in Robinson's analysis, an "insidious and continuous invasion" of remnants of a defeated enemy.
 (Gallagher, Nancy, Breeding Better Vermonters: The Eugenics Project in the Green Mountain State (1999), p.81)

Frederick M. Wiseman, in The Voice of the Dawn: An Autohistory of the Abenaki Nation, written in 2001, spoke of the Vermont Eugenics Survey, as follows:

Soon the lens of genocide was trained on the Gypsies, Pirates, and River Rats, as well as other ethnic groups. Employing the latest genealogical research and statistical record keeping techniques, the survey added new technologies to the list of ancient genocidal procedures used by New English authorities against the Abenakis. In addition, they provided social and police organizations with lists of families to "watch. " Unfortunately, the social gulf between elite Anglo culture and the village dwelling River Rats and Pirates was not so wide that they could entirely escape notice. Major Abenaki families at Missisquoi were especially at risk. The more "hidden" families and the Gypsies partially escaped unheeded - for a while. But then began ethnic conflict incidents as Gypsies and Pirates had their children taken from them. The theft of children and the hatred emanating from the burning cross and Ku Klux Klan rallies are still recalled by Abenaki and French Canadian elders in Barre, Vermont. Any family who still had thoughts about standing forth as Abenaki, due to the tourists' continued interest in our arts and culture quickly retired to obscurity as the tide of intolerance rose. We continually needed to be on our guard with the police, the tax man, and the school board, the eyes and ears of the survey.

(Wiseman, pp. 147-148)

Mr. Wiseman became a member of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi in 1987, and later became a citizen ofthe St. Francis - Sokoki band. (Wiseman, p.231)
In the papers of the Survey, clearly the Indians were NOT targeted, but French-Canadians were. The survey may have included some persons with Indian descent, and especially two families that intertwine with others of Indian descent. However, there is no documentation that these people were Abenaki. So how did the ALLEGED and RE-INVENTED Abenaki use the Eugenics Survey to their benefit?
1) By using such a disagreeable subject as ethnic cleansing to excuse their lack of documentation as a tribe.

2) By eliciting sympathy from Vermonters who were no doubt ashamed of their state's participation in the Survey. (This is an especially effective tool after WWII and Hitler's ethnic cleansing.)

3) By swaying public opinion towards allowing less documented facts and more


4) By influencing historians and others writing about them to include undocumented suppositions on the grounds that the Eugenics Survey had made real evidence scarce. Examples of this include:

a. Colin G. Calloway's The Abenaki in the Indians offorth America series. His information is mostly about the Maine Abenaki, but he generalizes it to apply equally to Vermont, as if one branch of Algonkians s equal to another. Generalizations are abundant.

b. Gordon Day's study of Odanak/St. Francis. It was quoted widely in the Abenaki Petition, but Day does not document the people in Vermont. He does mention that some have probably remained, but in his own journal, he notes that he went to Swanton, yet does not mention visiting with any Indians there. (Day, "Abenaki Journal," Dartmouth College, 1955).


As I examined the petition, and the genealogical and historical material, and compared it with my understanding of federally acknowledged Indian tribes, I came to the conclusion that this petitioner cannot satisfy the criteria for federal tribal acknowledgment. There is no continuity of community or political authority evident
in the petitioner's records. The genealogical materials related to petitioner's ancestors do not establish descent from an Abenaki tribal entity. The petitioner simply does not have the necessary Historical-Genealogical or Social characteristics of an Indian Tribe.


State of VT's Response to Petition for Federal Acknowledgment of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation of Vermont: Pages 219 to 229:

Attachment B
Review of Historical Narrative, pages 1-70, of
"Petition for Federal Recognition as an American Indian Tribe
submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs
by the Abenaki Nation of Vermont dated October 1982"
by John Alexander Dickinson
Professor, University of Montreal
The historical document drawn up on behalf of the Abenaki tribal council of Vermont, presents a reasonable reconstruction of most historical events and relies on widely held assumptions concerning social and political organization amongst hunting-gathering communities in the Northeast. Unfortunately, the Western Abenaki remain a largely unknown quantity and much of their history must be pieced together using indirect evidence which is open to interpretation. For example, Volume 1 of the Historical Atlas of Canada, does not indicate any Native populations in the Appalachian region from the Green Mountains to the Gaspe.
I will first go over the entire document submitted to me and comment on statements that I find incorrect or interpretations that could be challenged. Then I will answer in more detail the specific questions raised by the Vermont Attorney Generals office.
It is erroneous to state that Champlain learned of the Abenaki on his 1609 expedition to Lake Champlain (pages 2 and 24). Champlain states that the area along the Richelieu and Lake Champlain was formerly inhabited and that there were rich corn fields east of the Lake (without specifying that these fields were along the Missisquoi or elsewhere). From the native peoples that were accompanying him, Champlain understood that these lands were formerly occupied by the Iroquois but that they had been abandoned because of warfare (Biggar edition, Vol. II, pp. 90-93). The Iroquois referred to here might be Saint-Lawrence Iroquoians, who left sites along the Richelieu River and who mysteriously disappeared before 1580. It is also possible that Champlain, who was not familiar with the region or its inhabitants, misunderstood his informers (the competence of interpreters at this early stage can be called into question), and that the residents of this region were Sokokis, Pennacooks or Mahicans; nations that later merged to form the Western Abenaki.
Early town histories written in the nineteenth century are not usually the most reliable sources, but do contain oral traditions otherwise forgotten and details not found in archives. At best, however, they provide indications of a Native presence in the region in a not too distant past, but have more difficulty establishing exact dates. They are also very imprecise as to the exact identity of the peoples they deal with.
The question of whether land was held in common or by individual families (raised on page 9) is a difficult one. The opinions of Speck, once seen as a model for family
hunting territories, have been challenged by Leacock and more recently both were put into question by Feit (in G.W.Stocking ed., Colonial Situations. Essays in the Contextualization of Ethnographic Knowledge, Madison, 1991). It seems evident that the Abenaki frequented the Missisquoi area throughout most of the eighteenth century and developed a spiritual relation with the spirits of the lakes and rivers of the region. During the nineteenth century, they probably continued to hunt in areas not occupied by Euro-American settlers on both sides of the Canadian-United States border, as before. Property is probably not the correct concept to use here, but familiarity with the game and geography gave certain hunters a prime role in exploiting the area. Unfortunately, it seems impossible to identify exactly who these hunters who lead bands were.
The problem of estimating pre-contact native populations is extremely difficult (pages 12-14). The authors cited were all writing in a period when it was current to exaggerate the effects of epidemics and, as David Henige mentions in several articles, high count with no real documentary basis. Days estimate of 5000 is plausible. The flora and fauna of the region could probably sustain a higher population, but was the maximum carrying capacity attained or had warfare dispersed populations? It is impossible to answer these questions in any definitive manner especially given the paucity of documentary and archeological sources. The only clear evidence available concerns the eighteenth century, and it would seem that the 60 to 80 warriors mentioned in French documents regarding the village at Missisquoi relate to an Abenaki community of some 300-400 people. According to figures worked out by W.A. Starna for the neighboring Adirondacs, such a population would require an area of about 1000 to 1500 square kilometers (up to 600 square miles) for subsistence hunting (see my article in S. Courville et N. Seguin, dirs., Espace et culture/Space and Culture, Quebec, 1995, pp. 117-125). Such a population could have continued to exploit areas of northern Vermont and New Hampshire after the advent of Euro-American settlers and after the American Revolution without entering into conflict with the latter and without disrupting their traditional way of life. The references to small groups of hunters could refer to such bands continuing to occupy the territory, but they could also refer to bands from St-Francois coming south to exploit traditional territories. The evidence is not clear enough to definitively state which of these two possibilities (or both of them) is actually what happened.
The paper is correct to emphasize band rather than tribal organization as the basic socio-economic and political unit. The description of a fluid group is appropriate and follows the standard interpretation of what hunting community organization was like (my only complaint would be with the introduction of a Delaware matrilineal pattern which is something of a red herring since it refers to groups farther south cultivating more corn and relying less on hunting). Unfortunately, it is impossible to say with any certainty how many bands exploited the Missisquoi watershed and what their relations with the bands at St-Francois were.
Mission communities in the St. Lawrence valley had become somewhat acculturated by the eighteenth century with populations adopting some elements of European apparel and some other elements of material culture. The most important link to Europeans, however, seems to be the Roman Catholic Religion although there is considerable debate amongst scholars as to the degree to which Catholicism had been internalized. The different communities did have a clear identity within the French domain, however, and French documents refer specifically to the Abenaki whereas British documents after the Conquest of New France often subsume all mission Indians under the term Seven Nations of Canada. This alliance was certainly present as of the American Revolution and oral tradition would have it beginning in the seventeenth century (see Jean-Pierre Sawaya, Les Sept Feux du Canada, Sillery, 1998). This political organization existed and was at a level superior to the hunting band throughout the period 1760-1840. The Missisquoi Abenaki would have been considered part of this larger unit prior to 1783. The recognition by Britain of an independent United States, however, would have put them outside the geographical limits of Quebec and, in British opinion, out of the alliance although the exact boundary line was not clearly known in the area for several years. The Missisquoi Abenaki would probably still have considered themselves part of the Saint-Francis mission political unit.
The establishment of Kanhnawake in 1668 had nothing to do with a desire to link the Iroquois and the Abenaki. From an Iroquois perspective, it was established to exploit traditional fisheries in the region and to enable some converts to have access to missionaries. From a French perspective, it drew christianized Iroquois and captives and thereby enfeebling the Five Nations confederacy as well as establishing a protective shield to the south of French settlements. The alliance between Kahnawake Mohawk and Abenaki was a later development and these groups only really acted in unison at the end of the French and Indian War. D. Peter MacLeod (The Canadian Iroquois and the Seven Years War, Toronto, 1996) considers that the Abenaki were already involved in warfare since 1750 to defend their traditional hunting grounds in Vermont and were more willing partners than the Iroquois. After the war and during the American Revolution the Canadian League became firmer with the Kahnawakes playing a leading role and often speaking for the other members in formal meetings with government authorities. It is often difficult to distinguish which is the voice of the Mohawks and which is the voice of the confederacy.
There seems to be a contradiction in stating that the hunting grounds of this extraordinarily rich area would have been depleted in 1700 (page 26) and then claim that many Abenaki were living there. It is true that the area to the east of Lake Champlain was little known and it is reasonable to assume that the Abenaki established at St-Francois would exploit the area south of them as a hunting territory. However, at this time both French and British had mapped the area and territory. However, at this time both French and British had mapped the area and claimed it as their territory. The French claim rested mainly on allied Indians occupying and exploiting the region and this justified the concession of seigneurial grants down the Richelieu and around the north of Lake Champlain in the early
eighteenth century. It was certainly at this time that a group of Abenakis from St-Francis established a village at Missisquoi. Whether they were returning to lands they had previously occupied or not cannot be proved, but their occupation of the area in the last half century of French domination in Canada is certain. Refugees from Shaghticoke might have joined the original groups or may have been some of the original inhabitants. Again, this cannot be demonstrated one way or another.
The question of political authority is difficult. Europeans had difficulty recognizing Native systems of social control and what they have to say, if taken too literally, can be misleading. French officers, especially during the wars at the end of the French period, were often critical of Natives and considered them undisciplined. This stemmed from misunderstanding of Native goals and the need to proceed through consensus rather than by command. Europeans took note of war leaders who were helpful to them but not of other leaders who probably had as great if not greater influence in the community. At times, the French tried to impose chiefs they thought would do their bidding, but this was generally refused by the Natives, although the French continued to treat "their chief' as the principal spokesman for the nation. Grey Lock was recognized as a major war chief, but this would not necessarily have made Missisquoi a "center" (p. 30) since the French amalgamated his actions with those of the Abenakis in general.
The Dutch were not a threat during the French and Indian War (p. 31)
The population counts on page 32 are speculative. There was a lot of population movement, but it is unlikely that the Abenaki of St. Francois and Missisquoi would have grown to more that 1300-1500 in the period. The Missisquoi population for the 1750s seems very optimistic since the village was on the front line and the growth of Odanak is probably attributable to families moving back there from Missisquoi. The number of hunting bands in the interior would have had been based at a permanent settlement (probably St-Francois). Likewise, Bougainville's report concerns warriors that were with the army and they came from St-Francois as well as from Missisquoi. I believe that it would be wrong to assume that the 100 to 150 men were all from Missisquoi.
I am wary of Bougainville's statement that Abenaki youth had less respect for their elders that other Indians nations (p. 34). Native government was not coercive and chiefs had little authority (as Europeans understood the term) over their followers. It is strange that a document written to reflect Native views would uncritically accept such claims by European observers who had little knowledge of Indians especially at a time when French officers views were becoming more racist (Saliha Belmessous thesis at Ecole des Hautes Etudes, 2000). The Abenaki continued to be represented by the Seven Nations of Canada in the years after the 1760 so there is evidence of a political grouping above the family hunting band.
  We know too little of the movements of Native populations to state that "Indians from all over New England were on the move" (p. 36) in the period right after the
surrender of New France. Most were pragmatists and would have realized that they would have to deal with British authorities in the future.
Perry's suppositions are merely that and there is no proof that there were more Abenaki at Missisquoi than elsewhere (p. 37). Lower Canada did not yet exist when Murray was governor, but this passage indicates the uncertainty over the boundary. There is no proof that the Charlotte mentioned a little lower was the daughter of Grey Lock. Charlotte is such a common Christian name that nothing certain can be deduced from this.
The lease in Appendix A and mentioned on page 38 certainly is clear evidence that the Abenaki considered the land around Missisquoi as their land. The collective signing can be interpreted as evidence of a higher political organization than that of the hunting band. At this time it was still rare for Natives to consider property as being held individually but rather as a collective gift from the Creator. The signatories would seem to be the elders responsible for community organization.
The relations between Kahnawake and the other members of the Seven Nations of Canada are not always clear. Kahnawake often spoke for the "confederacy", but it would seem normal for the Mohawk to look out for their interests first. Any claims they made, could be claims for the entity. Lake Champlain was a frontier between Mohawk and Abenaki hunting territories since the 17th century and both nations could stake legitimate claims. The Abenaki would, however, have a stronger claim to the eastern shore. This comes up again on page 52 and the petition on page 313 was clearly signed by 20 chiefs of the Seven Nations which included the Abenaki.
I do not see that the reference to the problems of the Abenaki at St. Regis (p. 41) is an indication that Missisquoi was considered their territory. The Abenaki at St. Regis had no chiefs recognized by the British, but this does not mean that they had no chiefs (p. 42). The Abenaki did not get along well with the Iroquois at St. Regis and most found their way back to St. Francois.
The Abenaki population in Vermont at the beginning of the Revolution is impossible to determine (pp. 43-44). The "evidence" presented is largely hypothetical and I would hesitate attributing more than 500 Abenaki to the area at this time. It is impossible to determine whether they considered themselves part of the St. Francois Abenaki or an independent group.
The question of Native baptisms is a difficult one. Natives were nominally Catholic, but it is unsure how complete their conversions were especially in periods of turmoil when priests were not available. Often, Natives brought several children, some adolescents, to be baptized at the same time (the Tadoussac register contains many examples of this type). The ritual would not seem, therefore to be of prime importance to them. Were the Abenaki equally nonchalant about such matters? The period during the war and after the Conquest was a difficult one for the Quebec Church: it was not legally recognized and lacked priests. Natives were not a priority

for the hierarchy and I do not believe that there was a Catholic community in the future United States that was accessible. Abenakis can be found in several parish registers. The register for Pointe Olivier (St. Mathias de Chambly) mentions two Missisquoi Abenaki baptisms in June 1755 and April 1759. The Chambly register has two Missisquoi baptisms : Rene Portneuf in April 1760 and Marie-Madeleine in 1763. But it also contains two baptisms of St. Francois Abenaki in December 1756 and June 1764. (The published registers stop in 1765 so I cannot know if there were any at a later date.) The two other parishes in the vicinity with registers before 1765 were St. Philippe and St. Constant but they have no Native baptisms. Only one other parish was opened before 1799, Blairfindie, that might contain Abenaki acts. All the other parishes closer to the U.S. Canada border were opened in the period 18231843. What can be deduced from this scant data? Abenakis were not having many children baptized outside the mission communities. Chambly was a stopping point for Abenakis moving north from Missisquoi to St. Francois and for residents of St. Francois going south to hunt.

I do not share the interpretation of the citation on page 54. I believe that the citation says that Madame Campeau wore a green ribbon on her hat when she expected a visit from the white person who occupied the land she claimed to settle her case. The words "possessor of her assumed heritage" indicates that she awaited the person occupied an inheritance that she assumed was hers.
I believe that the question of where the Indians were from is important (page 55). The final citation clearly refers to Mohawks who also had claim to the Lake Champlain area. Traveling and hunting expeditions were part of both Abenaki and Mohawk lifestyles and this does not seem to demonstrate much except that Natives were still hunting in the area.
The Bouchette citation on page 69 says little about the Abenaki at Odanak. Bouchette, as other European-Americans, had a great disdain for Native practice and was looking for signs of agricultural improvement on the British model. I believe that the Abenaki were continuing to exploit hunting territories along the upper St. Francis and into Vermont and New Hampshire, but these were Odanak Abenakis. Their relations with Abenakis living on a continual basis south of the 45th parallel are not clear.
The genealogical data, based largely on oral histories, is difficult to demonstrate, but I believe that most of it going back 200 years or so is probably quite accurate. Beyond two centuries, there is a lot of conjecture. Family names were not well fixed and since most Natives continued to speak their own languages into the 19th century, not very reliable. First or Christian names were not varied at the time and offer little precise information on family trees.
A major question that is not really resolved in the document is the relationship between the Missisquoi Abenaki and the residents of St. Francois. To my mind, the Missisquoi were a branch of the larger community at St. Francois throughout the
French regime and there was certainly considerable movement back and forth between these communities. Did the Missisquoi band ever have a distinct identity and political organization? During the French period, the Abenaki themselves would not even have considered this a valid question. It was only after the American Revolution divided hunting territories to the south and to the north under two distinct Euro-American authorities that this problem might have been raised. Given the uncertainty as to where the boundary was during the early years and the paucity of white settlement, especially in the mountainous areas used for hunting, the bands exploiting the region probably did not think it necessary to deal with this question. Only in the nineteenth century, as white settlement progressively took away their hunting lands would a new form of accommodation be required. Genealogies indicating their settlement in white communities and work as day laborers would answer this, but I cannot give a definite opinion with the material at hand.
Attachment C
Addendum to Review of Abenaki Historical Narrative
by John Alexander Dickinson
Professor, University of Montreal
Quebec, Canada
The question of the relationship between St Francis and Missisquoi continues to bother me. I do have a plausible hypothesis but cannot back it up with clear documentation and I am not sure it is really helpful. There are perhaps some clear references in the official correspondence of Beauharnois or Hocquart but I do not have the time to read several hundred manuscript pages.
When the Abenaki established a village at Missisquoi, it was in the context of French government efforts to limit the effect of the disastrous Treaty of Utrecht (1713) in which France relinquished vast territories (notably "Acadia") and recognized British sovereignty over the Iroquois. The French were also trying to develop a naval shipbuilding program and the best oak stands were in the Lake Champlain Richelieu River region as the construction of a sawmill at Missisquoi attests. Hocquart was also actively granting seigneuries in this area from 1733 on. Although he stated in a letter to the minister that the Lake Champlain region was more advantageous than the upper St Lawrence because of its climate (Munro, Seigniorial Tenure, pp. 180, 183), 1 believe that strategic considerations were more important. Also native peoples were often seen as the line of first defence to protect agricultural establishments. This was the rational behind the concession of the Lac des Deux-Montagnes to the Sulpicians in 1717 so that they could relocate the Iroquois then living on Montreal Island.
From these considerations, I infer that French authorities encouraged the St Francis Abenaki to consolidate the hunting camp at Missisquoi and make it a true village hoping thereby to better protect French settlers. With expansion up the Richelieu, a complete displacement of St Francis south might have been considered by the authorities. Some Abenaki were favorable and did move to Missisquoi, but the majority remained in St Francis they were after all independent allies and not subservient subjects. Ties between the Abenaki at St Francis and Missisquoi remained strong and they almost certainly considered themselves part of a united Abenaki nation with much movement back and forth for hunting, social interaction and trade. Since Missisquoi was uncomfortably close to British military forces after 1750, St Francis was the logical refuge and indeed I remarked in my article on population that numbers in the mission communities increased in times of conflict and then went down again with peace as refugees returned to their lands. After the fall of New France, the military threat disappeared for a decade but the Revolution and white penetration into the area for settlement threatened to disrupt the old relation. Hunting territories in the uplands could be maintained and sustain a
population. It is unlikely, however, that a complete break with the parent community would have occurred since family ties, the need to find mates, and religious convictions would draw the Vermont Abenaki north. Only in the nineteenth century as the Abenaki were forced to abandon a traditional hunting lifestyle and find employment in Vermont communities would they become truly distinct from the St Francis Abenaki.
To summarize: Abenaki movement to Missisquoi clearly fit in with French imperial policy but only in as much as Missisquoi was still a subdivision of the St Francis Abenaki. Until the American Revolution, nothing disrupted the unity between two villages sharing common family ties and political goals. "Authority" was centred in St Francis as the parent community. The creation of a border between the two communities obliged the Abenaki living to the south to become more independent but without breaking the social links to the parent community for many years.

NOW COMES J. Kay Davis and duly swears upon oath as follows:
1. I, J. Kay Davis, am a genealogist and consultant specializing in issues relating to tribal acknowledgment.
2. I am currently the historian of the Bois Forte Band of Minnesota Chippewa. I am a member of that tribe.
3. From 1993 to 1996 I held the position of Assistant Genealogical Researcher at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Branch of Acknowledgment and Research, in Washington, D.C.
4. I obtained my B.A. in Native American Studies from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, in 1995. I served as a workshop presenter in genealogy at the Idaho Historical Society in 1993 and 1994. I was the project designer for an exhibit about Native American New England Immigration to Idaho at the Idaho Historical Society in 1992.
5. I have served as a consultant to the Vermont Attorney General's Office on genealogical issues relating to the criteria for federal tribal acknowledgment. Throughout the period of consultation, I provided guidance to the Attorney General's Office on sources of genealogical, census, and community data.
6. I reviewed the following documents provided to me by the Vermont Attorney General's Office: (a) Petition for Federal Recognition as an American Indian Tribe submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the Abenaki Nation of Vermont dated October 1982, (b) Addendum to the Petition for Federal Recognition as an American Indian Tribe submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the Abenaki Nation, January 10, 1986, along with Appendices (c) Second Addendum to the Petition for Federal Recognition as a Native-American Tribe, Genealogy of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, submitted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, December 11, 1995, including the

Family Descendancy Charts. The copies of the documents I reviewed had been redacted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs to remove names of living people. However, I was able to review unredacted copies of the redacted pages of the 1982 petition, as the original petition is on file in a publicly accessible library in Vermont.
7. Upon request of the Attorney General's Office, I also prepared a report containing my comments on certain aspects of the Abenaki petition based on my examination of genealogical records. That report is attached hereto as Attachment A.
8. The report is based on my knowledge of Proposed Findings and Final Determinations issued by the Bureau or Indian Affairs in federal acknowledgment cases, my experience in conducting genealogical research related to Indians, my review of the petition documents, and my review of genealogical and historical material collected by me or under my direction. The types of genealogical and historical material I examined included, but were not limited to, vital records, church records from the U.S. and Canada, cemetery records, federal census records, military records, historical lists of Abenakis in Canada, records ofthe Carlisle Indian school, and Gordon Day's "Identity ofthe St. Francis Indians."

The foregoing statements are based on my personal knowledge and are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Signed_____this day of __________, 2002
J. Kay Davis
COUNTY OF_____________ , SS.
Subscribed and swore to before me,
this_____ day of October, 2002.
Notary Public

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