Criterion 83.7(e) requires that the petitioner's membership consists of individuals who descend from a historical Indian tribe or from historical Indian tribes which combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity.
Summary of the Proposed Finding
The PF concluded that the petitioner did not meet the requirements of criterion 83.7(e). To satisfy this criterion, the petitioner must (1) identify its current members, and (2) provide evidence that those members descend from a historical Indian tribe. The PF concluded that the petitioner did not identify its current members as required by the regulations, and that although the petitioner claimed descent from the historical "Western Abenaki" Indian tribe, it did not document descent from that historical Indian tribe or any other historical Indian tribe.
The petitioner did not properly identify its members because each of the three membership lists it submitted did not satisfy the requirements of the regulations. 21. According to the 25 CFR 83.7(e)(2) acknowledgment regulations:
The petitioner must provide an official membership list, separately certified by the group's governing body, of all known current members of the group. This list must include each member's full name (including maiden name), date of birth, and current residential address. The petitioner must also provide a copy of each available former list of members based on the group's own defined criteria, as well as a statement describing the circumstances surrounding the preparation of the current list and, insofar as possible, the circumstances surrounding the preparation of former lists.
21. For the PF, the petitioner submitted three membership lists: one dated December 19, 1995, that the Department received on January 17, 1996, one undated list that the Department received on May 16, 2005, and a third one dated August 9, 2005, that the Department received on August 23, 2005. The OFA designated the May 2005 list the "2005a" list, and designated the August 2005 list the "2005b" list. The Department considered each of these three lists for the PF. The petitioner divided its 2005 lists into various categories, most notably an "A1" and an "A2" list, and a "C1" and a "C2" list. The "A" lists listed adults, and the "C" lists listed children. The petitioner defined the "A1" group as members with complete membership files as determined by the SSA. The petitioner stated that only these individuals are eligible to vote in the group's elections. The "A2" individuals are described as "Abenaki," but "cannot vote until they complete their files as requested" (St. Francis-Merrill to AS-IA 8/18/2005). Those children on the "C1" list had completed membership files, those on the "C2" list had incomplete membership files. The 2005a list had additional categories, including an "M2" category (looking for more proof); "3" category (more documentation needed), and an "N" category (not Abenaki). The petitioner does not consider these individuals to be members. The petitioner also stated that the individuals listed in the "0" category of the same membership list are affiliated with Odanak/St. Francis and thus are not fully members of the petitioner's group. This "2005a" membership list, excluding deceased members, contains 4,485 entries. The "2005b" list (August 2005), is the only list certified by the petitioner's governing body. The petitioner did not certify this list in time for the PF, but the FD notes that it is now certified. The "2005b" list contains 1,038 "A1" adult individuals and 133 children "C1" members, for a total of 1,171 members with enrollment files completed to the satisfaction of the SSA. The certified "2005b" list has 1,184 "A2" individuals and 151 "C2" members. The combined total of "A1," "A2," "C1," and "C2" individuals is 2,506 individuals. For more information on these lists, see the Abenaki PF, pp. 88-89, 140-146.
Criterion 83.7(e)(1) requires that the petitioner's membership consist of individuals who descend from a historical Indian tribe or Indian tribes that combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity. The SSA petitioner claimed to descend from the "Western Abenaki Indians" who resided at Missisquoi, near present-day Swanton, Vermont. The PF concluded that while the petitioner provided some genealogical information for its members, it did not demonstrate descent from the Western Abenaki Indians or any other historical Indian tribe.
There is significant documentation attesting to the presence of Western Abenaki Indians in Northern New England before 1800. However, for the PF, the petitioner did not submit genealogical information that linked the group's current membership to individuals belonging to the historical Indian tribe of Western Abenaki Indians in the 18th century. Instead, the petitioner identified 20 "historical 20th century social core families," and asserted that these families "comprised the Abenaki community." 22.
The PF concluded that although the petitioner partially documented the genealogical connection between some of its current members and these "social core families," it did not document the connection between these "social core families" and a historical Indian tribe, either the "Western Abenaki Indians" or any other historical Indian tribe. The petitioner derived much of its historical narrative from academic publications, but these publications did not document a historical Western Abenaki tribal entity that included the petitioner's ancestors (Abenaki PF 2005, 126). Two documents that would likely provide names of individuals from a historical Western Abenaki Indian tribe area register of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, recorded at Fort Saint-Frederic (a French fort on the southwestern shore of Lake Champlain) between 1732 and
22. The PF states: [t]he petitioner identifies 20 'historical 20th century social core families' that the petitioner asserts 'comprised the [Missisquoi] Abenakie community. They are: Barratt, Belrose, Cheney, Colomb, Demar, Ethier/Hakey, Gardner, Hance, Hoague, Lafrance, Medor, Morits, Nepton, Obomsawin, Ouimette, Partlow, Phillips, Richards, St. Francis and St. Lawrence' (SSA 12/11/1995 [Second Addendum], 10). Although not specifically stated in its petition, the petitioner implies, through information supplied in its genealogical database and its petition documents, that the progenitors of these 20 family lines are the Abenaki ancestors of all of its current members" (Abenaki PF 2005, 113).
The PF also found problems with the selection of the 20 "primary" ancestors, that is, the alleged Indian ancestor in each of the 20 "social core families." These problems are significant because the petitioner relies on these 20 "primary" ancestors to link to a historical Indian tribe. As the PF stated, "[a]s far as can be determined, the SSA does not assert Missisquoi Abenaki or Western Abenaki descent through any ancestors other than the 20 'primary' ancestors named in the petition" (Abenaki PF 2005, 137). Of the 20 "primary" ancestors, there is limited documentation suggesting that perhaps 2 (Simon Obomsawin and Jean Charles Nepton) might descend from Abenaki Indians, though not necessarily Western Abenaki Indians from or near Swanton, Vermont. 24. At the time of the PF, only 24 of the group's 1,171 "full members" claimed descent from these two individuals (8 members from Obomsawin and 16 from Nepton). 25. The available
23. The names Joseph Abomsawin and Marian Poorneuf [Portneuf] appear on Robertson's Lease in 1765, as names of the individuals, presumably Abenaki Indians, who leased land at Missisquoi to James Robertson. The petitioner claims an individual named Simon Obomsawin as a "primary" ancestor, and there are individuals with the "Obomsawin" and "Portneuf' surnames on the petitioner's membership lists. However, "there is no evidence in the current record showing that any of the petitioner's current members descend from these individuals [Joseph Abomsawin and Marian Poorneuf]" (Abenaki PF 2005, 128).
24. Simon Obomsawin appeared on several 19th-century lists of St. Francis Indians at Odanak in Quebec, Canada. Most of the Missisquoi Abenaki Indians had left northern Vermont before 1800 and migrated to Odanak consequently, many descendents of the 18th century Missisquoi Abenaki Indians lived at or near Odanak in the 19th century. The PF was not clear in its evaluation of Simon Obomsawin and those members of the petition who claim descent from him. Therefore, the FD includes an appendix, entitled "Clarification of Simon Obomsawin, One of the Petitioner's 20 'Primary' Ancestors," that clarifies the Department accepts him as an Western Abenaki Indian.
Jean Charles Nepton was born in Massachusetts in 1831 and died sometime after 1877, probably in Canada (Abenaki PF 2005, 128, 137). The PF stated that "[t]transcriptions of Canadian documents submitted by the petitioner in a member file indicate that Jean Charles Nepton was Abenaki," though it is not clear if he was a Western Abenaki Indian or an Eastern Abenaki Indian, or if he descended from an Abenaki group from Missisquoi. The Department needed to examine copies of the actual documents, not merely transcriptions, and therefore encouraged the petitioner "to submit further information in the form of original documents to clarify Nepton's ancestry." The PF stated that "until copies of the original records are provided by the petitioner, his Indian ancestry cannot be confirmed" (Abenaki PF 2005, 131 n. 120). The Department did not receive additional evidence during the comment and response periods that confirmed the origins of Jean Charles Nepton.
25. Eight individuals on the group's "2005b" membership list claim descent Simon Obomsawin (Abenaki PF 2005, 131). The FD includes an appendix, entitled "Clarification of Simon Obomsawin, One of the Petitioner's 20 "Primary" Ancestors,' that clarifies the Department's evaluation of Obomsawin and discusses the eight members who descend from him. Sixteen individuals on the group's "2005b" membership list claim descent from Jean Charles Nepton (Abenaki PF 2005, 131). The Department required more documentation to confirm his alleged
The PF also discussed a methodology used by John Scott Moody of Norwich or Sharon, Vermont, etc. to support the petitioner's claim of descent from a historical Indian tribe and concluded that this methodology was unsound. The methodology posited genealogical connections based on similar surnames in geographically proximate locations. The researcher for the petition apparently searched for the family names of the SSA petitioner on 18th and 19th century lists for the St. Francis Indians at Odanak as well as in other local records ofthe greater Swanton area of Vermont. If the researcher found similarities between SSA surnames and the surnames in the greater St. Francis region of Quebec, Canada, he designated the SSA families to be "Abenaki" family lines. This is a flawed methodology for several reasons. First, it speculates about genealogical connections, but it does not document them; therefore, this methodology is not acceptable by current professional standards. Second, it does not adequately explain or document the unusually wide variations of the surnames in the analysis. 26. Third, it assumed that individuals with a surname that is also borne by many Indians or frequently associated with known Indians are also Indians. The available evidence indicates that only 8 of the petitioner's 1,171 full members on the group's current "2005b" membership list descend from the St. Francis Abenakis in Quebec, Canada, the group that John Scott Moody investigated for surnames that appear to be similar to those of SSA members (Abenaki PF 2005, 134-135). 27.
Because of the various difficulties the petitioner had in meeting criterion 83.7(e), the PF encouraged the petitioner to submit additional information so that the Department might better understand its membership, its ancestry, and its potential connection to a historical Indian tribe. The Department encouraged the petitioner to investigate cemetery records from St. Mary's Catholic cemetery in Swanton, Vermont, for evidence of Indian descent and historical community. It also encouraged the SSA to submit original copies of local land records to better document the activities of its claimed ancestors, and to submit copies of birth, marriage, and death records to better substantiate oral histories that allege Indian ancestry (Abenaki PF 2005, 124-126). The PF determined that the available evidence did not establish descent from a historical Indian tribe and that "to pursue Federal acknowledgment, it must provide evidence
25. continued....identity as an Abenaki Indian (see previous footnote). During the comment and response periods, the Department received no additional evidence that the group's current members descended from Jean Charles Nepton, thus, the Department cannot confirm Nepton's alleged "Abenaki" identity.
26. The PF provided examples of the broad but undocumented surname variations employed by the petitioner. The PF states, "[w]hile it is not uncommon for names to have various spellings in the historical records, such as Benedick for Benedict or LaDue for Ladeau, it is very unusual for the same individual to be identified by a completely different surname. The SSA has not shown that these widely different names were indeed 'variations' of the petitioner's ancestors' names. For example, according to the petitioner, the Benedict family of Alburg and the Lake Champlain Islands included the name variations of Bartem, Burnaby, Benway, Pandike, Prado, and Paradee" (Abenaki PF 2005, 134).
27. For more information on the "2005b" and other lists, see footnote 21 on p. 43 of this FD and the Abenaki PF 2005, 88-89, 140-146
In summary, the PF found that the petitioner did not provide a complete and properly certified membership list as required by the criterion 83.7(e). The petitioner did not document the descent of its members from a historical Indian tribe or from historical Indian tribes that combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity. Furthermore, the methodology used to support the undocumented contention that its 20 "social core families" as "Abenaki" families is a speculative methodology that does not meet professional genealogical standards or the requirements of the regulations. The PF concluded, based on the available evidence, that the petitioner did not meet criterion 83.7(e).
The task for the petitioner in the comment period, therefore, was to properly certify its current membership list, clarify its membership history and official membership list, and to provide evidence that its membership consists of individuals who descend from a historical Indian tribe or from historical Indian tribes that combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity.
Summary of the Comments on the Proposed Finding
On November 1, 2005, the Department received a submission from the petitioner that addressed several items that pertain to criterion 87.3(e). One item was a letter, signed by the petitioner's governing body, which properly certified the 2005 membership list that the Department evaluated for the PF. Another letter in the submission certified other material that the Department analyzed for the PF, including copies of 26 membership files and a letter clarifying membership categories. The Department analyzed these now-certified materials for the PF, and the FD notes them as certified. This submission also contained two lists labeled as membership rolls: one labeled as a 1975 list, and the other labeled as a 1983 list. As noted in the FD's "Administrative History Prior to the PF" section, the Department received these documents too late to incorporate into the PF and instead considers them for the FD.
The May 2006 letter from Lester Lampman contains several statements that address criterion 83.7(e). The Lampman letter includes a copy of an undated proposed amendment to the State of Vermont's bill regarding state recognition of the "Abenaki People" that may be considered for this criterion. The document is entitled, "House Proposal of Amendment S. 117: An act relating to state recognition ofthe Abenaki People." John Moody's May 2006 comments identify two documents that he believes will provide names of specific historical Abenaki Indians from whom the petitioner can claim descent. However, he states that these documents are "missing" and consequently could not provide copies of those allegedly critical documents or inform the Department about how it could obtain copies.
In its August 2006 submission, the petitioner submitted a copy of the "Against the Darkness" DVD. 28. The petitioner instructed the Department to evaluate the interview with "Alice Roy" in its analysis for the FD. The interview with "Alice Roy" does not specifically address criterion
28. See footnote 5 on p. 8 of this FD for a fuller description of the "Against the Darkness" DVD video presentation.
Although the petitioner certified its current membership list and provided two earlier membership lists during the comment period, the petitioner did not provide the Department with any of the additional information that the PF requested. Most important, neither the petitioner nor any other party submitted new evidence in response to the questions raised in the PF concerning the group's descent from the historical Indian tribe.
Analysis for the Final Determination
The petitioner's governing body submitted only two documents to be considered for the FD that relate to criterion 83.7(e), a membership list from 1975 and a membership list from 1983. The petitioner labeled one list as the "1975 Tribal Roll-Abenaki Nation of Vermont, St Francis/Sokoki Band." It is unclear if this is a copy of the original document, or a list compiled at a much later date that attempts to reconstruct an earlier 1975 group. Documents from the middle 1970's generally refer to the group either as the "Abenaki tribe" or as the "Abenaki Tribal Council," rather than the "St. Francis/Sokoki Band." The 11-page list contains the names of 308 individuals and their addresses, although it does not contain complete residential addresses for everyone listed. It does not contain any birth dates, so the Department is unable to determine whether these individuals were adults or children at the time of the list's creation. The petitioner included no description of the circumstances surrounding the preparation of this list or any separate analysis of it. There is no governing document from that period explaining the group's membership criteria. Most of the individuals on the list came from the Swanton-Highgate-St. Albans area of Franklin County, Vermont. The Department found that 96 of the 308 individuals listed, about 31 percent, are not part of the group's current FTM genealogical database. The petitioner did not provide any explanation of what happened to these individuals.
This petitioner entitled its second list, "1983 Abenaki Nation of Vermont-St. Francis/Sokoki Band," and submitted it in two sections. The first part is a 36-page list of 922 individuals over the age of 15. It includes their names and addresses, although many of the latter do not contain complete residential addresses. It does not include the birthdates of the listed individuals. The second part is a 38-page list of 748 children under the age 15. It contains the children's names, addresses, ages, and dates of birth, although many ofthe addresses are not complete residential addresses. The combined lists add up to 1,670 individuals, whose residences are mainly in locations throughout Vermont and the surrounding states. The petitioner did not provide any explanation of why the group grew so rapidly from 308 members in 1975 to 1,670 in 1983. It is unclear if this increase was due to the addition of member's children, the addition of new members who had not interacted with the group before, or some other reason. The Department also found that 610 of these 1,670 individuals, about 36 percent, are not part of the group's current FTM genealogical database. The petitioner did not provide any explanation of what happened to these individuals.
Because the petitioner provided no analysis, context, or explanation of these lists, it is difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from them. Neither of these lists attempts to associate the
The May 2006 Lampman letter contends that the "LaPan Family/Brow Family and the Lampman family can tie to the Historical Indian tribes" through "oral history" tapes in possession of the family. However, the letter provided neither copies of the tapes nor transcripts of them. The Lampman letter also asserts, "Full name-Maiden name-documentation for the family were completed in 1986 and were left in files at the tribal office." The Department responded to this letter on June 2, 2006, notifying Lester M. Lampman and the letter's cosignatories of the 90-day extension to the comment period and confirming the receipt of their initial comments on the proposed finding. Despite the additional 90-day extension to the comment period, neither Lampman nor the cosignatories of the letter submitted copies of the "oral history" tapes or transcripts of them, and they did not forward copies of the documentation that allegedly was "left in files at the tribal office." Consequently, although the senders made assertions regarding the PF's conclusions under 83.7(e), they did not send any additional evidence to assist the Department in reevaluating the evidence for the PF, either during the original comment period or the extended comment period.
The May 2006 Lampman submission also contains a copy of an undated proposed amendment to Vermont's "S. 117: An act relating to the state recognition of the Abenaki People." The document states that the general assembly finds:
(1) At least 1,700 Vermonters claim to be direct descendents ofthe several indigenous Native American peoples, now known as Western Abenaki tribes, who originally inhabited all of Vermont and New Hampshire, parts of western Maine, parts of southern Quebec, and parts of upstate New York for hundreds of years, beginning long before the arrival of Europeans. (VT General Assembly 2006, 1)
This statement is not sufficient to establish a genealogical link between the petitioner and a historical Indian tribe as required by 83.7(e). The bill states that 1,700 unnamed Vermonters claim to be direct descendents of "several indigenous Native American peoples," but it does not state that 1,700 Vermonters are direct descendents of a specific Abenaki Indian tribe in northwestern Vermont. Even if the proposed legislation said this, the statement would not demonstrate that the petitioner's membership consists of individuals who descend from a historical Indian tribe. An assertion that is not supported by appropriate documentation, about the ancestry of a group, by a contemporary state legislature or other source, is not a form of evidence that is acceptable to the Secretary to meet the requirements ofthe regulations. More specifically, the acknowledgment regulations in 25 CFR 83.7(e)(1) generally expect "evidence identifying present members or ancestors of present members as being descendents of a historical Indian tribe." The assertion expressed in the Vermont bill does not identify present members or name the ancestors of the "1,700 Vermonters." It only asserts that "at least 1,700" unnamed, unspecified Vermonters "claim" to descend from "several indigenous Native American peoples."
The "Against the Darkness" DVD video in the petitioner's August 2006 submission is a story about seven "Abenaki" Indians who have lived in northern Vermont during the last two
The "Against the Darkness" video is not evidence acceptable to the Secretary because much of the material that the video presents is not attributed in manner that allows verification by the Department. 29. Most problematic is the video's standards for genealogical evidence. For the PF, the petitioner submitted an introduction to the video. In this introduction, the video's producer, Frederick M. Wiseman, discusses the genealogical evidence he used for the video:
The foundation of the video is an American Abenaki pedigree. For clarity of message, the film will use a single documented Missisquoi Abenaki lineage from a well-respected online genealogy database, thereby avoiding exploitation of unpublished and proprietary tribal information. Due to the political implications of the lineage, the production uses aliases and approximate birth-dates to shelter the online genealogical source from cyber tampering. (Wiseman 3/2004, 4)
The video shields the video's "evidence" from independent verification and evaluation, and this statement acknowledges that it shields evidence and attempts to justify that shielding. Furthermore, because it uses "aliases and approximate birth-dates" for its subjects, "Against the Darkness" presents no real genealogy that can be evaluated by the Department. Neither the petitioner nor any other party submitted material to the Department that documents the genealogy ofthe seven characters in the video. The available evidence does not demonstrate that members of the petitioner descend from signatories of Robertson's lease, as the video suggests.
In his May 2006 comments, Moody calls the Department's attention to two document sets that he claims will help the petitioner establish descent from a historical Indian tribe. One document is associated with the "1786 Memorial of Joseph Traversy" to the Continental Congress, which mentions "22 Indians. . . [who] have been deprived of their lands" (Continental Congress 10/24/1786, 2; Moody 5/5/2006, 2). Moody claims that a list of these 22 Indians, along with all other related documents, "disappeared in the 1780's, and [have] never been found." The second set of documents to which Moody has called the Department's attention are associated with the "1784 Vermont Freemen's' Courts at Missisquoi." Documents from these courts, he claims, contain "extensive documentation ofthe Abenaki and Ira Allen conflict at Missisquoi in the 1780's which are rumored to have included two Freemen's' Courts held by Ira Allen's agent Thomas Butterfield." However, Moody states "[t]hese documents have not been found." He then proceeded to "urge all parties to this process to do an exhaustive search for any documents linked to this Vermont court case regarding the Abenaki at Missisquoi." He also expressed his
29. See the discussion of the documents from the Manataka Indian Council and the March 31, 2005, notice, "Office of Federal Acknowledgment, Reports and Guidance Documents, Availability, etc." (70 FR 16515), on p. 20 of this FD, fora further discussion of this issue
There is nothing in the text of the Joseph Traversy memorial to the Continental Congress that confirms such a list of "22 Indians" once existed. However, the text indicates that Congress referred the matter to the War Department (Continental Congress 10/24/1786, 2). Moody did not indicate that he searched the correspondence files ofthe War Department. Likewise, for the "1784 Vermont Freemen's' Courts at Missisquoi," the petitioner would have to find documentation that identified particular individuals as Abenakis from northwestern Vermont, and then provide appropriate documentation that the membership of the current petitioner descends from them. If such a list existed, it would have to identify at least some of these "22 Indians" as Abenakis from northwestern Vermont, and it would then be incumbent upon the petitioner to demonstrate that the membership of the current petitioner descends from them
The 25 CFR 83.5(c) acknowledgment regulations state that the "Department shall not be responsible for the actual research on behalf of the petitioner." It is the petitioner's burden to provide evidence to demonstrate its claims and meet the mandatory criterianot the Department The Department's March 31, 2005, notice, "Office of Federal Acknowledgment; Reports and Guidance Documents; Availability, etc.," states:, to investigate these claims.. There is no direct evidence that the list of "22 Indians" actually exists at present; Moody himself states the list "disappeared in the 1780's and has never been found." The available evidence does not directly state that such a list ever existed in the first place. Similarly, Moody claims that the records of the Freeman's Courts are "rumored" to contain relevant information. It is the responsibility of the petitioner,
One purpose of the comment period on the proposed finding is to give the petitioner and third parties an opportunity to present additional evidence in response to the findings on the petition. Submissions by the petitioner and third parties during the comment period, rather than research by the acknowledgment staff, are the most appropriate and efficient means to supplement the record of the petition (70 FR 16515).
This clarifies that it is the responsibility of the petitioner and third parties to submit additional evidence, and that it is not the burden of the Department to locate these "missing" documents. Neither the petitioner any other party submitted copies of these documents.
Moody's comments regarding the Joseph Traversy memorial and the records of the Freeman's Courts are the only substantive comments on 83.7(e). However, these comments depend upon
30. "Moody based his comments on the Joseph Traversy memorial on the Papers of the Continental Congress, in particular, on a document in roll 196 of the M247 microfilm copy of the papers. In the text of the Joseph Traversy memorial to the Continental Congress that Moody submitted, there is a passage stating that Congress referred the matter to the War Department. Moody did not indicate that he searched the records of the War Department. Following Moody's research in the Papers of the Continental Congress, OFA researchers investigated the letters and reports from Major General Henry Knox, the Secretary of War, between the years of 1786 and 1788, in the following collection: Record Group 360, Papers of the Continental Congress, items 150-151, M247, rolls 164-165. OFA researchers found no mention of the Joseph Traversy memorial and the "22 Indians."
Final Determination's Conclusions on Criterion 83.7(e)
The Department's PF concluded, based on the available evidence, that the petitioner did not satisfy criterion 83.7(e) because it did not properly identify its members, certify its current membership list, and demonstrate its descent from a historical Indian tribe or tribes that combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity. The PF noted, with some ambiguity, that the available evidence demonstrated that 8 of the 1,171 full members on the group's "2005b" membership list, defined by its "A1" adult members and "C1" child members, descend from a historical Indian tribe. Before the issuance of the PF. The two other, older lists the petitioner provided were of limited evidentiary value. There was no explanation describing the context or composition of these lists, and they did not help to establish a link to a historical Indian tribe or tribes. The "Against the Darkness" DVD presents no real genealogy that the Department can evaluate. There is no reason to believe that the two alleged "missing" document sets from the late 18th century would demonstrate that the petitioner's membership descends from a historical Indian tribe. The commenter's speculations about "missing documents" cannot be verified and thus do not provide evidence for the purposes of 83.7(e), and the Department makes its decisions based on available evidence. Furthermore, the petitioner did not submit any other materials, as the PF requested, to demonstrate that any of its members descend from a historical Indian tribe., the petitioner submitted a letter that properly certified its 2005 membership list; however, the petitioner at no time submitted a current membership list that remedied any of the other deficiencies addressed by the PF
The FD includes an appendix entitled "Clarification of Simon Obomsawin, One ofthe Petitioner's 20 'Primary' Ancestors," to clarify the PF's above-mentioned ambiguity. When read together, the PF, the appendix, and the rest of the FD conclude that 8 of the petitioner's 1,171 full members, less than 1 percent, demonstrated descent from a Missisquoi Abenaki Indian ancestor. By 1800, most of the historical Missisquoi Abenaki Indian tribe had migrated to St. Francis, or Odanak, in Quebec, Canada. The available evidence demonstrates that these eight members descend from Simon Obomsawin, who once belonged to the St. Francis, or Odanak, Indian community, and who can be traced to the historical Missisquoi Abenaki Indian tribe through lists of Indians belonging to St. Francis, or Odanak. The available evidence does not demonstrate that these eight members were associated with the SSA petitioner before the 1990's. Furthermore, the available evidence does not demonstrate that the other remaining 1,163 members, or their claimed ancestors, descend from an earlier Missisquoi Abenaki entity in Vermont or any other historical Indian tribe. Therefore, the FD affirms the PF's conclusion that, based on the available evidence, the petitioner did not meet criterion 83.7(e).