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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

St. Francis/Sokoki Missisquoi Abenaki Application For Vermont State Recognition PAGES 60 to 70, Etc:

Page [60.]
In the 1980s the Missisquoi Abenaki exerted their autonomy and aboriginal rights to fish without a license in the State of Vermont by conducting a series of fish-in demonstrations to draw attention to their situation and force the state to recognize their presence and continued existence in their ancestral homeland. The state filed charges against Chief Homer St. Francis and other Missisquoi citizens and brought them to district court with Judge Wolchik presiding. Below are excerpts of the court's Findings of Fact which upheld Missisquoi's inherent right as a Native American tribe to fish without a license.


            V.                                          15-1-87Fcr


           V.                                       771-6-87Fcr
JOHN CHURCHILL                      1045-8-87Fcr


STATE OF VERMONT  DOCKET NO. (Fishing Without License)



Defendants' in their cases consolidated for hearing on Motions to Dismiss, ask for dismissal because of superceding, ancient, tribal rights and/or for lack of jurisdiction. The bulk of these defendants are charged with either fishing without a licence or failing to show a license upon the request of a game warden. These Defendants seek dismissal on the ground that there has been no extinguishment of their alleged aboriginal right as members of the Missisquoi Abenaki tribe to fish in their aboriginal homeland. These same defendants join with the remaining defendants, who are charged with various crimes claiming that the site of each charge is in "Indian Country" and, therefor, is not subject to state criminal jurisdiction.*
For the reasons set out below this court dismisses the charges against all but six (ftnt. 1) of the so-called "fish-in" defendants because it recognizes their claims to extinguished aboriginal fishing rights. The court does not find that any of the charges occurred in Indian Country and does not dismiss any on that ground.
* Due to technical difficulties the court will designate footnotes in the text by "ftnt" or "Ftnt." depending on placement.
Ftnt. 1. There is insufficient evidence to find that Sylvia Wells, Tammy Lee Conger, Richard Rowe, Mark Rushlow, Raleigh Elliot or Joy Mashtare are members of the Missisquoi Abenaki tribe with Missisquoi Abenaki Ancestry.


The application of the "ultimate legal issue" standard discussed in Riess v. A.O. Smith Corporation, No. 87-012 (Vt. Nov 10, 1988) was left open at the close of the evidence for study by the court. The court concludes that where the Riess objection was made the expert witness was not testifying about the ultimate legal issue before the court. Even if the testimony was on such issue there is sufficient supporting testimony, tested by cross-examination,, to support the findings made by the court without dependence on such testimony.
The court admitted Defendant's Exhibit U, an unsigned proclamation. The court now concludes that the document is irrelevant and excludes it.
The court initially excluded as irrelevant the State's Exhibit# 22 submitted in connection to the deposition of Dr. C. Calloway, An with the  Act Regulating Fisheries, March 8th, 1787. 1787 Vt. Laws at 253. After further review the court concludes that the Act has some relevance and now admits the exhibit.

In the conclusions of law references to findings of fact are desginated "FF."

The undersigned Judge: wishes to thank Susan Gilfillan, Esq., without whose scholarship, patience, energy and flexibility this decision would still be in its preliminary stages.
Page [61.]

The facts found below are a distillate of six days of trial testimony of lay witnesses, police officers and experts in anthropology and ethnology (ftnt. 2) and the deposition testimony admitted by stipulation of two experts in ethnology. All expert testimony is that of the defense; the State called only police officers. A large number and variety of exhibits, including maps and ancient documents, added valuable information. Neither here nor in the conclusions of law do we try to resolve the unresolvable questions, e.g. whether the Republic of Vermont ever was an independent nation. Those we leave for other tribunals at other times.
All found facts are anchored in particular testimony or exhibits. For the convenience of the close reader we provide source notes for virtually all of them, which translate as follows: T II at 12 means Volume II of the trial transcript at page 12; D at 11 beans the Gordon Day deposition at page 11; C I at 6 means Volume I of the Colin Calloway deposition,
Ftnt. 2. Ethnology is a branch of anthropology concerned with the different branches of the human race. D at 11 at page 6.
Page [62.]
A. Missisquoi Abenakis A continuing native American presence since time immemorial.
1. Over the last several decades researchers have recovered and literally unearthed documents and artifacts that have changed how even serious students of ethnology look at Vermont's native American population. For the longest time the most widely held opinion was that Indians never lived in Vermont, but new information has changed that notion. C III at 37, T 1132-133.
2. Historically, the Missisquoi Abenakis (Missisquois) are a group of Western Abenakis. D at 23.
3. The Missisquoi are one of several Western Abenaki tribes. The others include the St. Francis at Odanak, Quebec and the Penacooks of New Hampshire.
4. Western Abenakis inhabited primarily Vermont, New Hampshire, southern Quebec and western Maine. T I at 108.
5. The Eastern Abenaki, who inhabit a large part of Maine, differ primarily for the Western Abenaki linguistically. T I at 122.
6. Archaeologists have traced an essentially unbroken chain of evidence documenting Missisquoi presence in northwestern Vermont, back to 9300 B.C. They have found and examined extensive village sites, habitation and campsites and cemeteries. T I at 123-124.
7. Archaeological evidence exists that demonstrates the Missisquoi were farming in this homeland in the river flood plains at least as far back as 1123 A.D. T I at 163-164.
8. Up until first European contact no other tribe ever used, inhabited or otherwise occupied the Missisquoi homeland; the Missisquois had exclusive control and dominion over the area. T I at 124, T IV at
Page [63.]
30-31, D at 124-126 and C III at 53.
9. Other evidence, some of which is explored in more detail below, bolsters the archeological record. Place names have a Missisquoi source. The river that flows through the region is the Missisquoi. It flows into the Missisquoi Bay. "Missisquoi" is derived from the Western Abenaki "Mazipkoikis", meaning "place where there is flint." Oral traditions, stories carefully handed down from generation to generation place Missisquoi origins in northwestern Vermont. When given an opportunity the Missisquoi have consistently insisted upon their continued presence essentially forever. T I at 149.
10. In nonliterate societies oral traditions allow exploration of all levels of society. Written histories tend to focus merely on the concerns of the literate upper levels. Experience with oral histories demonstrates that they are just as reliable as written histories. T I. at 127 and 130. Accuracy of reporting can be maintained over extraordinary periods of time. T I at 128.
11. The Western Abenaki, including the Missisquoi, have a very definite, carefully maintained, carefully transmitted oral tradition, which is a useful source of information concerning the location of their ancestral homelands. D at 47-49.
12. By way of example, the Western Abenaki set their stories of creation and transformation in the Champlain Valley of Northwestern Vermont. In the creation and shaping of the earth the last element completed was Lake Champlain. Odziozo, the principal transformer, turned himself into stone so that he could watch for all eternity his finest creation, Lake Champlain. T I at 150 and D at 61.
13. These traditional stories of the early beginnings imply a
Page [64.]
long standing presence of Western Abenaki culture in northwestern Vermont. T I at 152.
14. In 1609 Samuel Champlain, when exploring the lake named after him, became aware of the presence of the Missisquoi, people residing in northwestern Vermont, whose ancestors had lived in that part of what is now known as the United States and whose tribe or comnunity recognized them as Indians. T I at 148.
15. In 1615 French missionaries observed established Missisquoi settlements settlements, including a village on the lower falls of the Missisquoi River, a group in St. Albans and a separate group on the Lamoille River. T I at 149 and T III at 112.
16. From the time of Champlain's explorations to the formal transfer of power to the British after the French defeat in the French and Indian wars (1609-1763) despite French presence and influence the Missisquoi remained in place as a distinct native American community. C III at 58.
17. Because the French depended upon the native Americans as, allies their policy was to pursue and maintain harmonious relations with them. C III at 56.
18. In 1635 Western Abenakis first appeared in history as a "distinct ethnic group," making contact with Europeans at Penacook or Concord, New Hampshire and Northfield, Massachusetts. D at 44.
19. The first specific historical references to Abenakis as a "distinct ethnic group" located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain were made in 1680. D at 44.
20. Among the exhibits are a series of maps which demonstrate, in part, a continued Missisquoi presence on the eastern shore of Lake
Page [65.]
Champlain. The Court accepts these and the others mentioned from time to time below as legitimate and relevant. Among these are Defendants' Exhibit C, a map published in 1694. This map is the first printed view of the Lake Champlain watershed with many of the same place names we have today, e.g. Missisquoi (the village), Winooski and Otter Creek. T III at 179.
21. In 1723 written reference to Missisquoi as a geographical location appears because of the attacks of "Grey Lock, a Missisquoi war leader, who directed his efforts for the most part against the frontiers of Massachusetts. D at 45, 59, and 110; C III at 65.
22. Grey Lock's belligerence during the period 1700-1740 established Missisquoi in the minds of the English as a bastion of Abenaki resistance and brought the pace of British settlement to a screeching halt. C III at 66-67, T III at 189-190.
23. In 1730 a plague hit the Missisquoi area, which the inhabitants temporarily abandoned in favor of Odanak, Quebec. They returned by 1732. D at 139.
24. In the short period that followed quite a few Western Abenaki came from Odanak and settled in Missisquoi, which was a substantial village in 1738. D at 140.
25. During the 1730's-1740's the Missisquoi were coming to Fort Frederick, a French mission base across the lake in New York, to visit, be baptized or engage in other religious activity. Their names show up on the fort's baptismal records. C I at 53-54.
26. Defendants' Exhibit G is a map of New England and New France, published in 1749, showing Mississiasi (Missisquoi) at Missisquoi Bay.
27. In 1759 with the French and Indian war raging around it the
Page [66.]
Missisquoi community remained intact. T III at 213.
28. Defendants' Exhibit L. an English military map, shows the location of the Missisquoi village in 1762. T III at 226.
29. In 1765 a Canadian merchant, James Robertson, negotiated a ninety-one year lease of land with the heads of nineteen Missisquoi families. The property was located on the lower Missisquoi River and encompassed most of what we now know as the village of Swanton and all land down to the mouth of the Missisquoi river. T III at 221 and D at 138.
30. The alleged fishing violations of thirty-one of the defendants occurred within the boundaries of the lease. T III at 221.
31. Missisquoi culture did not countenance individual ownership of real property; the Missisquoi held their homeland collectively. As a result, the heads of family bands, which could comprise as much as fifty individuals each, signed on behalf of their bands.. T III at 220, C III at 87 and 89-90.
32. The lease by being a lease and not a sale, theoretically guaranteeing a reversion, demonstrates an effort by the Missisquoi to grapple with European settlement in a way that ensures long term sovereignty over the entire area. T III at 217.
33. Some of the Missisquoi who signed the lease used French baptismal names. When dealing with Europeans this practice was very common simply because it was easier. D at 172.
34. By it terms the lease demonstrates that the Missisquoi were planting and harvesting crops during the 1760's.
35. Grand Avenue and South River Streets, where some of the crimes alleged in the informations underlying the pending motions to dismiss
Page [67.]
allegedly occurred, are in the village of Swanton within the land encompassed by Robertson's lease. T IV at 153.
36. When the Treaty of Paris in 1763 ended the French and Indian war the Missisquoi suddenly found that they were included under the authority of the governor of New York, rather than of Canada, with whom they had been allied and Upon whom they depended for trade and supplies. D at 92-93.
37. La Motte, one of the Lake Champlain Islands that is a part of present day Grand Isle County, the governor of Quebec, Governor Murray, and the governor of New York, Governor Moore, met primarily to establish the forty-fifth parallel as the boundary between the two English territories. C II at 37, C III at 95, D at 92-93. Also present at the meeting was Daniel Claus, a deputy of the English Indian Affairs Office. C II at 37. The Missisquoi and the Caughnawaugas, a Catholic Mohawk tribe that was part of the Iroquois nation, sent representatives to the Isle La Motte meeting. C III at 97-98.
38. At the meeting, the Missisquoi complained of settlers on their land. C II at 56. The Caughnawauga claimed the Missisquoi territory on the basis that they were the descendants of ancient Mohawks who frequented the area. C I, Ex. F. XII Papers of Sir William Johnson 172 (M. Hamilton ed. 1957) "An Indian Conference"; C III at 95-96. Apparently in protest to the Caughnawaugas' claims to the territory, the Missisquoi claimed that they had controlled the Missisquoi territory "for time unknown to anyone here present" and no one else had laid claim to it with the exception of the French who requested to erect a sawmill. Hamilton, supra; C III at 100. The
Page [68.]
Caughnawaugas' then released their unsubstantiated claim to the territory, retaining only hunting and fishing rights. C II at 37-38, C II at 95-6, T III at. 77 at D at 96. There is some evidence that Daniel Clause considered the Caughnawaugas' cession to operate as a cession of Native American possessory rights in the Missisquoi territory. C. II 38, 111; C IV at 184.
39. The British did not have the overwhelming archaeological evidence available to us today to know that the Caughnawauga claim was unsupportable. There is no reason to believe they had any evidence to support the Caughnawauga position, either. In any case, the British took a most convenient position, that the Caughnawauga concession was something in their power to make. C II at 37-38, C II at 96.
40. Defendant's Exhibit M consists of two maps published in 1776, each noting the position of the Missisquoi village. T III at 228..
41. In the period 1775-1785 the Missisquoi lost control of choice farmland along the Missisquoi River as English and Dutch settlers moved in. D. at 87.
42. A letter from Clement Gosselin to Ira Allen substantiates the presence of Missisquoi in the Missisquoi homeland in 1786. They were claiming land and threatening to use force against the settlers. C II at 101-102.
43. In 1783 the Missisquoi engaged in a traditional non-confrontational response; they went "underground." More specifically their response to the influx of Europeans was withdrawal from central areas into other areas in the Missisquoi homeland, where they would be out of sight. There is no evidence that they ever abandoned their homeland, though some did move to Odanak. When
Page [69.]
underground they never had total invisibility. C I at 77, D at 140 and 186 and C I at 78.
44. These withdrawals were generally designed for various reasons of safety, including, e.g., protection against plague outbreaks, the Revolutionary War and threats from Iroquois and Algonquin tribes.. T I at 181-182, C at 78 and D at 174.
45. Following the Revolutionary War the majority of the Missisquoi stayed in the homeland.
46. After being dispossessed of lands the Missisquoi repeatedly asserted their claims to the land. D at 91.
47. British maps, oral traditions and public records confirm the continued existence of the Missisquoi community in the 1790's, though the tribe lost possession of same lands it formerly held. C III at 139-140, C I at 80.
48. In 1790 the Dutch settlers were getting along pretty well with the Missisquoi. Face to face confrontations with yankees over their presence and control of land are of record. C I at 75-76.
49. Defendant's Exhibit N is a map published in 1791, showing an Indian "castle." This term is misleading. It means a village, perhaps one where there was a palisaded area to which the inhabitants could withdraw in case of attack. T III at 234-235, C III at 134-135, C IV at 43.
50. This village is also noted on the maps as Grey Lock's castle. Construction of whatever palisaded structure that may have existed occurred late in the seventeenth century, C IV at 43, T III. at 30.
51. Although they remained united by 1791 the Missisquoi were dispossessed of the choicest part of their homelands and were in
Page [70.]
several neighborhoods around "a particular though ill-defined territory." D at 89-90, T 1203-204.
52. Defendant's Exhibit N is a map published in 1794, which continues to show the Missisquoi in place. T III at 236-238.
53. Defendant's Exhibit P is a map which shows the Missisquoi village still intact. That situation came to a final halt in 1798. From then on the Missisquoi no longer occupied their main village. T IV at 25, 33.
54. At the dawn of the ninteenth century the slow process of converting the Missisquoi into a group of family bands was complete, but the "ethoncentric historical juggernaut" that pressed for a conclusion that the Missisquoi had abandoned their homeland was fueled by fantasy C II at 189, T III at 149.
55. We know now that Western Abenaki presence in Vermont was significant at the time of European contact, that it remained significant, and that even though there is migration, movement and upheaval in their homeland there is a continuing and persistent Missisquoi presence to time present. C III at 38, T I at 156-157, T III at 203, and D at 129.
56. The Missisquoi never voluntarily abandoned any portion of their homeland. T IV at 32.

B. Fishing: Basic Native American subsistence
57. The Missisquoi homeland since time immemorial has been an "extremely good place to live." The main village was "one of the richest natural sites in the northeast." "That's why [the

Monday, March 28, 2011

St. Francis/Sokoki Missisquoi Abenaki Application For Vermont State Recognition PAGES 55 and 59, Etc:

Page [55.]
§ 853 (c) (8) The applicant has not been recognized as a tribe in any other state, province, or nation.

The Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi, St. Francis/Sokoki band, has not been recognized ill ally other state, Province or Country.

§ 853 (c) (9) Submission of letters, statements, and documents from: (A) Municipal, state, or federal authorities that document the applicant's history of tribe-related business and activities.

Included in this section are executive orders, proclamations, and samples of correspondence between federal/state agencies and municipal governments that describes the relationship between the Missisquoi Abenaki and these entities.
Page [56.]
The 1976 Governor SaImon Executive Order:

State of Vermont Executive Order of 1976
WHEREAS, Vermont has a unique history of recognizing the requests of minority groups, in that the State of Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery; and
WHEREAS, in 1974, certain native American people living within the State of Vermont as members of the Abenaki Tribe, reconstituted as their governing body the Abenaki Tribal Council; and
WHEREAS, the Abenaki Tribal Council as the governing body of the Abenaki Indian Tribe exercises internal governmental functions; and

WHEREAS, people of the Vermont Abenaki Tribe can trace their lineage in Vermont well into the 19th century; and

WHEREAS, Vermont Abenakis have resided primarily in the northern counties of the State of Vermont; and

WHEREAS, the Canadian Government has recognized the Abenaki people of the Odanek and Becancourt Reservation in the Province of Quebec; and

WHEREAS, the Quebec Abenakis endorse and recognize the tribal status of Vermont Abenakis; and

WHEREAS, there may be as many as 1,700 people living in Vermont claiming to be direct descendents of the original Abenaki Indian Tribe, and research indicates that many of these people are descendents; and

WHEREAS, many of these people suffer from low education attainment, severe poverty, inadequate housing and high unemployment;. and

WHEREAS, Congress has appropriated several millions of dollars of federal funds to provide benefits and services to Native Americans; and
Page [57.]
WHEREAS, without State recognition, Native Americans residing in Vermont cannot qualify for these programs; and

WHEREAS, the definition of Native American is varied, according to federal interpretation, and initial research indicates the existence of Native Americans residing in Vermont;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Thomas P. Salmon, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Vermont do hereby recognize these Native Americans by federal definition as members of the Abenaki Indian Tribe; and
THEREFORE, in furtherance of the above recognition, I hereby establish the Governor's Commission on Indian Affairs.

1. The Governor's Commission on Indian Affairs shall investigate problems common to Indian residents of the State, as well as the special concerns of the Abenaki Tribe, and shall assist the Abenaki Tribal Council in its dealings with agencies of State and Local government.

2. The Commission shall further develop the initial research to provide historical data to define the Native American population in Vermont, and shall prepare a report to the Governor and Legislature. All State Agencies shall cooperate with the Commission in the performance of this function.

3. Each State Agency shall be responsible for evaluating its own services which are received by the Native American population, and shall propose means to provide adequate services. The head of each State Agency providing, or capable of providing, services to Native Americans is hereby directed to determine within three months whether or not federal, state or other funds are available to improve such services. Where it is determined that funds may be available for services and benefits to Native Americans, the-Agency and the Abenaki Tribal Council shall work together to prepare applications for such funds. The Commission's advice on such matters may be sought and the Commission shall be informed of all funding proposals submitted by State Agencies.

4. The Commission shall meet at least four times a year, and shall be comprised of five members, of whom two shall be appointed by the Abenaki Tribal Council, two shall be appointed by the Governor, and the fifth shall be chosen by the previous appointed four members.
Page [58.]
EXECUTIVE ORDER OF 1976  .............. 279

5. The Commission shall address itself to the problems of poverty, lack of education and high unemployment which exists within the Native American and Abenaki population.

6. In addition, the Commission shall prepare a report and recommendation for the Governor and the Legislature on the request by the Abenakis for unrestricted hunting and fishing rights within the State of Vermont; the inclusion of Abenaki Tribal members in the guardianship and management of the Mississquoi National Wildlife Refuge; and the request that legal title to the Monument of St. Francis, located north of Swanton, be transferred to the Abenaki Tribe.

IN WITNESS MY NAME HEREUNTO Subscribed and the Great Seal of the State of Vermont hereunto affixed, at Montpelier, this 24th day of November, A.D., 1976.

Thomas P. Salmon

By the Governor

Joseph Ja--le Jr.
Secertary of Civil and Military Affairs

Page [59.]
The 1983 Governor Snelling Proclamation:

I, Richard A. Snelling, recognize the St. Francis/Sokoki Band as a legitimate representative of individuals of Abenaki descent residing in the State of Vermont; and

I declare my sapport of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band in seeking recognition as the appropriate representafives in any and all federal. petitions designed to determine which groups are entitled to benefits designated by the United States Congress to individuals of Abenaki descent.

While I recognize sovereignty to be an exclusive attribute, and believe that Vermont is sovereign State within the sovereign United States of America, I support recognition of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band as a de facto entity representing those of Abenaki descent entitled to whatever attributes of sovereignty may be vested in them by due process actions of the people of the United States of America and Vermont.

Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Vermont, this 17th day of June, 1983.

Richard A. Snelling

By the Governor:

Timothy Daguard (?)
Secrectary of Civil and Military Affairs

St. Francis/Sokoki Missisquoi Abenaki Application For Vermont State Recognition PAGES 53 and 54, Etc:

Page [53.]
Treaty - The 1760 Robertson's Lease
is deserving of some consideration, in connection with the first settlement effected under the English government at Missisquoi. After the surrender of their possessir as in 1760, all the region in the northeastern part of America, which the French had before claimed, came under the control of England. Previously to this, the British Crown had generally granted power to the governors of all the different colonies, to made concessions of territory, to all who should wish to settle within their respective jurisdictions. Such a privilege was conferred on Governor Wentworth, who accordingly in 1763 granted lands on the Missisquoi river, which were regarded as a part of New Hampshire. This early English grant was, probably, at that day -- perhaps it remained long subsequently -- entirely unknown to the Indians. It consequently had, so far as we know, little, perhaps no practical effect on the settlement and tenure of the lands granted, until many years after the time now under consideration in question need receive no further attention for the present.
Though the St. Francis Indians no doubt had, at least by possession, a fair right to the soil, they yet by being the allies of the French in one sense lost their title when the latter were defeated and yielded the whole of their vast claims in this portion of the country to the English. For all this, the Red men continued certainly, to some extent, to hold the lands at Missisquoi, and to assert their right to them long after the dominion of the French in this part of the continent had ceased. In consonance with this, they made an extensive lease of lands in this neighborhood to a wealthy trader, who for some time resided in St. Johns. As this contract stands intimately connected with a prominent period in the history of the place, it may be well that it be here cited entire. The following is an exact transcript of a copy of this instrument. The copy was originally taken for Ira Allen, by James Whitelaw, from the certified copy in the Register's office in Quebec.

Know all men by these presents, that we, Daniel Poorneuf, Francois Abernard, Francois Joseph, Jean Baptiste, Jeanoses, Charlotte, widow of the late chief of the Abenackque nation at Missisque, Mariane Poorneuf, Theresa, daughter of Joseph Michel, Magdaline Abernard, and Joseph Abomsawin, for themselves, their heirs, assigns and administrators, do sell, let, and concede unto Mr. James Robertson, merchant of St. Jean, his heirs, assigns and administrators, for the space of ninety-one years from the twenty eighth day of May, 1765, a certain tract of land lying and being situated as follows, viz; being in the bay of Missisque on a certain point of land, which runs out into the said bay and the river of Missisque, running from the mouth up said river near east, one league and a half, and in depth north and south running from each side of the river sixty arpents, bounded on the bank of the aforesaid bay &c., and at the end of the said league and a half to lands belonging to old Abernard; and on the north side of said river to lands belonging and reserving to old Whitehead; retaining and reserving to the proprietors hereafter mentioned, to wit: on the north side of said river five farms belonging to Pierre Peckenowax, Francois Nichowizet, Annus Jean, Baptiste Momtock, Joseph Compient, and on the south side of said river seven farms belonging to Towgishcat, Cecile, Annome Quisse, Jemonganz, Willsomquax, Jean Baptiste the Whitehead, and old Etienne, for them and their heirs,
Page [54.]
said farms contain two arpents in front nearly, and sixty in depth.
Now the condition of this lease is, that if the aforesaid James Robertson, himself, his heirs, and assigns or administrators, do pay, and accomplish unto the aforesaid Daniel Poorneuf, Francois Abernard, Francois Joseph, Jean Baptiste, Jeanoses, Charlotte, the widow of the late chief of said nation of the Abenackques at Missisque, and Mariane Poorneuf, Theresa, daughter of Joseph Michel, Magdaline Abernard, and Joseph Abomsawin, their heirs, assigns and administrators, a yearly rent of fourteen Spanish dollars, two bushels of Indian corn, and one gallon of rum, and to plow as much land for each of the above persons as shall be sufficient for them to plant their Indian corn every year, not exceeding more than will serve to plant one quarter of a bushel of corn for each family, to them and their heirs and assigns; for which and every said article well and truly accomplished the said James Robertson is to have and to hold for the aforesaid space of time, for himself, his heirs, assigns and administrators, the aforesaid tract of land as mentioned aforesaid, to build thereon and establish the same for his use, and to concede to inhabitants, make plantations, cut timber of what sort or kind he shall think proper for his use or the use of his heirs, assigns and administrators, and for the true performance of all and every [article of] the said covenant and agreement either of the said parties bindeth himself unto the other firmly by these presents.
In witness whereof we have interchangeably set our hands and seals hereunto this 13th day of June, in the 5th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, George the Third, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland &c., and in the year of our Lord, 1765.
THERESA, daughter of Michel, (L.S.)
Witnesses present.---
Edward Simonds,
Peter Stanley,
Richard McCarty.

Sept. 20, 1765, Richard McCarty personally appeared before Thomas Brashay, J.P. and made oath on the holy evangelists that this instrument was signed as above indicated, and duly delivered to James Robertson.
George Powell, Secretary and Register, certified "The foregoing to be a true copy as recorded in the English Register, letter A, folio 179, in the Register's office of enrollments for the Provence of Quebec."
Such is the document, and it contains several points deserving of attention. In the first place, it appears that certain of the St. Francis Indians at Missisquoi, June 13, 1765, thus, after the treaty between France and England, and probably in view of their early title to the soil, made a lease of a considerable tract of land lying on both sides of the Missisquoi river in "James Robertson, merchant at St. Jean."
Mr. Robertson was undoubtedly of English extraction, as his name indicates. I is said that he originally resided in Quebec, and afterward established himself as a merchant at St. Johns, where he was extensively engaged in trade at the time he obtained this lease. He was thus living under the English government, and the instrument was properly authenticated and record in the office of registry. The lease which was duly executed was to run 91 years form the 25th day of May, 1765.
Again, the boundaries of the land conveyed require a moment's notice. The land in question is described as beginning at the mouth, and extending up the channel of the Missisquoi river nearly east one league and a half, and as being in depth north and south, from each side of the river, 60 arpents. Whether the reckoning in this measurement were according to the French or the English league is doubtful. That the standard of England was followed, though it be not certain, may seem to be probable, since the territory was no longer under the dominion of France. Were we to take the French standard, and reckon the league as 2.42 English miles, we should have less than 4 English miles as the extent of this land from the mouth of the river east; but adopting the English league we have about 4 1/2 miles. The arpent mentioned in this deed is evidently French, and should be estimated....

The following information is taken from with this blog:

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 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.

However, the PF concluded that the petitioner did not demonstrate descent from the Abenakis named on the register at Fort Saint-Frederic or on Robertson's Lease. 23. With the exception of the Simon Obomsawin, none of the petitioner's claimed ancestors are named on the available 18th or 19th century lists that identified individuals as Abenaki Indians (Abenaki PF 2005, 114-119). The PF also noted that the petitioner's claimed ancestors are not identified as Indians on any of the decennial U.S. Federal censuses between 1790 and 1930 (Abenaki PF 2005, 120). Consequently, based on the available documentation, the PF concluded that the petitioner did not demonstrate descent, either of its members or its 20 "social core families," from any individuals belonging to a historical Abenaki Indian tribe, with the exception of Simon Obomsawin (Abenaki PF 2005, 128, 132).

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).

St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Abenakis of Vermont (Petitioner #68)

...documentation does not identify the other 18 "primary" ancestors either as Indians or as belonging to a particular Indian tribe.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

LINK: http://reinventedvermontabenaki.blogspot.com/2010/12/state-of-vts-response-to-petition-for_23.html

To determine whether the current members are descendants of the historic Missisquoi tribe, we compared the names on these historic lists of known Abenaki Indians with the names of the ancestors shown on these charts. Not a single name matched. 78.

The first document examined was Robertson's lease, dated 1765 (Day 1981b: 68). This is the only known list of Abenaki Indians in Missisquoi. None of the twenty Abenakis listed in that lease appears in the 1995 Family Descendancy Charts of the petitioner.

However, Addendum C was apparently never provided to the Branch of Acknowledgment and Research (U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs 10/23/2001). When genealogies were finally provided to the BIA, in the form of the Family Descendancy Charts in 1995, no indication of any connection to Robertson's Lease was indicated in any of the family charts. In fact, four families that were listed in the Petition Addendum as having....

78. This analysis, and those that follow, was based on the names that were disclosed in the charts in response to the Attorney General's Office request under the Freedom of Information Act. Obviously, names of living individuals were redacted from the 1995 Family Descendancy Charts. This had no effect on the analyses, since we made the comparison based on ancestors of living members, not the current members themselves.

.....genealogies linked "directly back to Robertson's lease" are not even included in the revised genealogies of present-day petitioner: LeDoux (Peckenowax), Mitchell, Crapo, and St. John (Compare Petition Addendum:327, n. 1472 and Family Descendancy Charts). Apparently, the contention that the present-day families can be traced to Robertson's Lease has been dropped. , perhaps because there was no real evidence to support it.

The second document examined was the 1805 grant of land in Durham, Quebec, to the Abenakis who had lost their lands at Missisquoi (Canada, Indian Affairs 1805, 79. Day 1981b:60-61; Charland 1964:175-76). If the Missisquoi Abenakis left Vermont at the time of the American Revolution and sought refuge in Canada among their kinsmen at Odanak./St. Francis, then their names should appear in this grant. However, none of the grantees shows up in the Family Descendancy charts of petitioner.

A check of all the names on the 1875 census again came up empty: none of them appears in the petitioner's charts as ancestors of the present day group. The inescapable conclusion from these comparisons is that the current day petitioner is not descended from the historic Missisquoi tribe of Abenaki, or from the Abenaki at Odanak/St. Francis.

There is simply no evidence that the families of the petitioner descended from the people who they claim were Abenaki Indians living in northwestern Vermont at the beginning of the nineteenth century (Davis Affidavit, Attachment AA-5).

AFTER 38 to 40+ years of "VT ABENAKI" CORPORATE EXISTENCE, and the official Petitioning for Federal Acknowledgment through the Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch "Office of Federal Acknowledgment" (CONTRARY to the LACK OF VALID DOCUMENTARY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE), this "Professor" Frederick Matthew Wiseman, PH.D., NOW, ALL OF A SUDDEN (since June 22, 2007) alleges to have found the DOCUMENTARY PROOF, that legitimizes his "Chief" April A. (St. Francis) Rushlow-Merrill's "Historical Abenaki Tribal-ness" and her "followers"/"members"?

Accordingly, the REVISIONIST SCHOLAR, Dr. Fred M. Wiseman himself (and through the help of Vincent Illuzzi and Hinda Milller) manipulated Criteria in Act 107 (S.222) that he himself sought, so as to go around the Findings and Conclusions of the O.F.A. and the VT State Attorney General's Office Response to aforesaid Petition For Federal Acknowledgment by the "St. Francis/Sokoki" "Abenaki" that Dr. Wiseman, himself, is a member of! Unbiased? Transparent? Fair? Scholarly independent?

I don't think so.

What this PH.D. Professor Wiseman, of Johnson State College in Vermont, has attempted to do is merely manipulate the documents to suit their "Vermont Indigenous Alliance" (founded in 2008) agenda and endeavors, fraudulently.

IF this "PROFESSOR" (along with his "Chief" ... and John Moody, etc.)could not substantiate the statements and claims made in the Petition in November 09, 2005, and up to June 22, 2007, what assumptions are being made now by the naive Vermont Politician(s)... that there is anything NOW that substantiates these ALLEGED and REINVENTED "Abenakis" claims?




Saturday, March 26, 2011

St. Francis/Sokoki Missisquoi Abenaki Application For Vermont State Recognition PAGES 40 through 52, Etc:

Page [40.]
Vermont's Burial Law:

Vermont's burial laws were written to regulate historic-modern cemeteries that are fenced in with headstones marking each grave. This law does not adequately deal with the exposure of unmarked burials which more often than not tend to be Abenaki in origin. To address the inadequacy of this law the Missisquoi Chief April St. Francis Merrill, in collaboration with concerned Vermont legislators, spearheaded an effort to improve the burial law to better protect Abenaki graves. This improved burial law H.281, presented below, is designed to provide for appropriate treatment of Native American remains by the Missisquoi repatriation coordinator whenever an ancestor's grave has been unearthed from their original place of interment, and more importantly would provide for the respectful reinterment of those remains in a protected location as soon as feasible.

No. 151. An act relating to the removal of bodily remains.

(H.281) It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 18 V.S.A. § 5212b is amended to read: § 5212b. UNMARKED BURIAL SITES SPECIAL FUND: REPORTING OF

(a) The unmarked burial sites special fund is established in the state treasury for the purpose of protecting, preserving, moving or reinterring human remains discovered in unmarked burial sites.

(b) The fund shall be comprised of any monies appropriated to the fund by the general assembly or received from any other source, private or public. Interest earned on the fund, and any balance remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year, shall be retained in the fund. This fund shall be maintained by the state treasurer, and shall be managed in accordance with subchapter 5 of chapter 7 of Title 32.

(c) The commissioner of economic, housing and community affairs development may authorize disbursements from the fund for use in any municipality in which human remains are discovered in unmarked burial sites in accordance with a process approved by the commissioner. The commissioner shall may approve any process developed through consensus or agreement of the interested parties, including the municipality, the governor's advisory commission on Native American affairs a Native American group
historically based in Vermont with a connection to the remains, and private property owners of private property on which there are known or likely to be unmarked burial sites, and any other appropriate interested parties, provided the commissioner determines that the process is likely to be effective, and includes all the following:
(1) Methods for determining the presence of unmarked burial sites, including archaeological surveys and assessments and other nonintrusive techniques.
Page [41.]
(2) Methods for handling development and excavation on property on which it is known that there is or is likely to be one or more unmarked burial sites.

(3) Options for owners of property on which human remains in unmarked burial sites are discovered or determined to be located.
(4) Procedures for protecting, preserving or moving unmarked burial sites and human remains, subject, where applicable, to the permit requirement and penalties of this chapter.

(5) Procedures for resolving disputes.

(d) If unmarked burial sites and human remains are removed, consistent with the process set forth in this section and any permit required by this chapter, there shall be no criminal liability under 13 V.S.A. § 3761.
(e) The funds shall be used for the following purposes relating to unmarked burial sites:

(1) To monitor excavations.

(2) To protect, preserve, move, or reintern unmarked burial sites and human remains.

(3) To perform archaeological assessments and archaeological site or field investigations, including radar scanning and any other nonintrusive technology or technique designed to determine the presence of human remains.

(4) To provide mediation and other appropriate dispute resolution services.

(5) To acquire property or development rights, provided the commissioner of economic, housing and community affairs development determines that disbursements for this purpose will not unduly burden the fund, and further provided the commissioner shall expend funds for this purpose only with the concurrence of the secretary of commerce and community development and after consultation with the legislative bodies of any affected municipality or municipalities.

(6) Any other appropriate purpose determined by the commissioner to be consistent with the purposes of this fund.
(f) The commissioner may adopt rules to carry out the intent and purpose of this section.
When an unmarked burial site is first discovered, the discovery shall be reported immediately to a law enforcement agency. If, after completion of an investigation pursuant to section 5205 of this title, a law enforcement agency determines that the burial site does not constitute evidence of a crime, the law enforcement agency shall immediately notify the state archeologist who may authorize appropriate action regarding the unmarked burial site. Sec. 2. UNMARKED BURIAL SITE TREATMENT PLAN COMMITTEE
(a) The unmarked burial site treatment plan committee is created to develop procedures for addressing issues relating to known or discovered unmarked burial sites of human remains, including developing treatment plans to be used when an unmarked burial site is discovered on private property. The committee shall be composed of the following nine members:
(1) The commissioner of economic housing and community / development or the commissioner's designee.
(2) The state archeologist or designee.

(3) A representative from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.
(4) A representative from a Native American group based in Vermont who has experience in handling unmarked burial sites appointed by the commissioner of economic, housing and
Page [42.]
community development.

(5) A federal archeologist from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

(6) The U.S. Forest Service, Green Mountain National Forest archeologist.
(7) The director of the University of Vermont consulting archeology program.

(8) A representative from the Vermont Bankers Association Inc.

(9) A representative from the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Vermont.

(b) The committee shall:

(1) Develop procedures for responding to reports of a discovery of an unmarked burial site. For the purposes of this section "an unmarked burial site" means the location of any interment of human remains, evidence of human remains, including the presence of red ochre, associated funerary objects, or a documented concentration of burial sites, but does not include a cemetery. mausoleum, or columbarium or any other site that is clearly marked as a site containing human remains.

(2) Develop various treatment plans for addressing issues that attend the discovery of an unmarked burial site on private property. A treatment plan is an outline of the process for providing appropriate and respectful treatment of the burial site while considering the rights of the landowner. Each treatment plan shall include the following as appropriate:

(A) Methods for determining the presence of an unmarked burial including  archeological site, including and assessments and other nonintrusive techniques.

(B) Methods for handling development and excavation on property on which there is a known burial site or there is likely to be one.

(C) Options for owners of property on which human remains are discovered or known to be located.
(D) Procedures for protecting, preserving. or moving the burial site and the human remains.
(E) Time frames for implementation of the treatment plan.

(F) Procedures for resolving disputes among stakeholders.
(3) The committee shall issue a written report outlining the procedures and treatment plans to the house committee on general, housing and military affairs and the senate committee on economic development, housing and general affairs on or before January 15, 2011. Sec. 3. 18 V.S.A. § 5212 is amended to read: § 5212. PERMIT TO REMOVE DEAD BODIES
(a) A person desirous of disinterring or removing the body of a human being from one cemetery to another cemetery or to another part of the same cemetery or from a tomb or receiving vault elsewhere shall apply to the town clerk of the town where such municipality in which the dead body is interred or entombed for a removal permit.
(b) An applicant for a removal permit shall publish notice of his or her intent to remove the remains. This notice shall be published for two successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the town municipality in which the body is interred or entombed. The notice shall include a statement that the spouse, child, parent or, sibling, or descendant of the deceased, or that the cemetery commissioner or other municipal authority responsible for cemeteries in the municipality may object to the proposed removal by filing a complaint in the probate court of the district in which the body is
Page [43.]
located as provided in section 52.12a of this title.

(c) The town municipal clerk shall issue a removal permit 45 days after the date on which notice was last published pursuant to subsection (b) of this section or, if an object is made pursuant to section 5212a, upon order of the Court.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section, a removal permit shall be issued upon application:

(1) when removal is necessary because of temporary entombment; or

(2) to a federal, state, county, or municipal official acting pursuant to official duties; or
(3) if the applicant has written permission to remove the remains from all persons entitled to object under section 5212a of this title.

(e) This section does not apply to:

(1) Unmarked burial sites that are subject to the provisions of subchapter I of this chapter.
(2) The removal of "historic remains," which has the same meaning as in subdivision 5217(a)(1) of this title. Sec. 4. 18 V.S.A. § 5217 is added to read: § 5217. REMOVAL OF MARKED HISTORIC REMAINS

(a) As used in this section:

(1) "Historic remains" means remains of a human being who has been deceased for 100 years or more, and the remains are marked and located in a publicly known or marked burial ground or cemetery.

(2) "Public, good" means actions that will benefit the municipality and the property where the remains are located.

(3) "Remains" means cremated human remains that are in a container or the bodily remains of a human being.

(4) "Removal" means to transport human remains from one location to another premises.

(b) A person may apply for a removal permit to disinter or remove historic remains by filing an filing application with the clerk for the municipality in Which the historic remains are located. The application shall include all the following:

(1) Identification of the specific location and marking of the remains.

(2) Identification of the specific location in which the remains will be reburied.

(3) The reasons for removal of the remains, including, a statement of the public good that will result from the removal.

(c) An applicant for a removal permit shall send notice by first-class mail to all the following:

(1) The cemetery commissioner or other municipal authority responsible for cemeteries in the municipality in which the historic remains are located.

(2) All historical societies located within the municipality in which the historic remains are located.
Page [44.]
(3) Any descendant known to the applicant. The applicant shall contact the Vermont Historical Society, the Vermont Old Cemetery Association, the Vermont Cemetery Association, and any veterans' organization operating within the county in which the historic remains are located in order to ascertain the whereabouts of any known descendants.

(4) The state archeologist.

(d) A cemetery commisioner or municipal authority responsible for cemeteries, a historical society, a descendant or the state archeologist may file an objection to the proposed removal of historic remains with the probate court in the district in which the historic remains are located and with the clerks of the municipality in which the historic remains are located within 30 days after the date the notice was mailed.

(e) If no objection is received within 30 days after the date the notice was last published as required by subsection (c) of this section, the municipal clerk shall issue a removal permit.

(f) If the probate court receives an objection within the 30-day period, the court shall notify the clerk for the municipality in which the historic remains are located and schedule a hearing on whether to allow removal as described in the application.

(g) The probate court. after hearing, shall order the municipal clerk to grant or deny a permit for removal of the historic remains. The court shall consider the impact of the removal on the public good.

(h) The permit shall require that all remains, markers, and relevant funeral-related materials associated with the burial site be removed, and the permit may require that the removal be conducted or supervised by a qualified professional archeologist in compliance with standard archeological process. All costs associated with the removal shall be paid by the applicant.

§ 853 (c) (6) The applicant is g oranized in part: (A) To preserve, document, organize promote its Native American Indian culture and history, and this purpose is reflected in its bylaws.

The Missisquoi Constitution is provided above in § 853 (c) (4) that establishes how the tribe is governed.

In May of 1983 the Tribal Council created a non-profit called Wobanaki Inc. Wobanaki Inc. was set up to 1.) improve the educational, health, social and economic status of Native Americans living in or having their historical heritage or some other significant part thereof in the State of Vermont; 2.) to maintain and disseminate information regarding traditional Native American culture and social values, including language, arts and crafts and other aspects of Native American life; 3.) to preserve, conserve and protect natural areas which are of important ecological or historical significance and to interface with other organizations which share those purposes; 4.) to receive gifts of money, securities and real property and to otherwise acquire and hold, lease, rent, sell and mortgage real and personal property for the purpose and objectives of the corporation. Several activities were and are conducted through this corporation that includes the purchase of Brunswick Springs, a scared healing and burial ground in Brunswick, Vermont
Page [45.]

and burial grounds on Monument Road in Highgate, Vermont. Our annual Abenaki Heritage Celebration is held to educate Vermonter's and others about our rich culture and heritage. There are also language camps and lessons, where youth groups and our children learn dancing, singing, arts and crafts, the traditional ways of our people and how to respect mother earth. Wobanaki Inc. has done many more cultural initiatives over the years that are too cumbersome to list here.

§ 853 (c) (6) (B) To address the social, economic, political or cultural needs of the members with ongoing educational programs and activities.

In 1976, the Abenaki Tribal Council established the Abenaki Self-Help Association Incorporated (ASHAI), whose aim was to improve the socio-economic and educational conditions of community members. The ASHAI (a 501(c)3 non-profit organization) became the "social service" arm of the community, while the Tribal Council pursued a political agenda which could lead to formal State and Federal Recognition with appropriate rights, privileges, and dignities.

The Abenaki Self-Help Association, Inc. was predicated on a profound respect for children and elders. The philosophical underpinnings of this organization were based on values of sharing, respect, dignity, and honesty. Operating on a lean budget (approximately $35,000.00) obtained through a Federal Community Service (CSA) grant, the ASHAI quickly networked with Champlain Valley Work and Training Programs located in St. Albans. This statewide agency was the recipient of federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Administration (CETA) dollars. Since many Abenaki community members met necessary income guidelines, training slots were developed in areas of work experience and on-the-job training. Initial ASHAI efforts focused on youth enrichment activities, food and nutrition, outreach, and job development. The work force consisted of community members recently graduating from high school, drop-outs, and some individuals with limited work experience. They all shared a vision of community empowerment through the willingness to take risks and put in long hours.
By the late 1970's, it became apparent that a formal community needs assessment would contribute to planning efforts. The resulting profile was staggering. 31.7% of Missisquoi households were classified as low income, according to Health and Human Services (HHS) guidelines. Another 37.3% were classified income. Still another 10.8% could grouped accurately due to lack of specificity about actual income. This group occupied a range between low and very low.

Income in Missisquoi households came from a variety of sources. Working families whose income came solely from employment comprised about 31 % of the population. Sixty-nine percent received at least some sort of public support. Nearly 40% of the Missisquoi families had no income from employment. Educational figures revealed that only 34% of the heads of 1ouseholds had either a high school or General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Nearly 16% left school between the ninth and twelfth grades, while 50% left school before completing the ninth grade. Health and housing conditions were disproportionately alarming. In 1980, many Missisquoi families lived in homes with no indoor plumbing. Short-term goals were apparent. The development of suitable housing was critical as were issues of education and income development.

Page [46.]
In the early 1980's the Abenaki Self-Help Association became the state's first private non-profit group organization to develop a "Section Eight" low income housing project. In collaboration with the Vermont State Housing Authority and Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) initiatives, "Abenaki Acres" was created. Utilizing local contractors who hired Abenaki construction crews, the community developed a twelve-unit housing project in Swanton. Tapping into other rehabilitation funds, the ASHAI created additional affordable housing as well.

With housing starts underway, the community concomitantly expanded job creation and development efforts. Having obtained federal Department of Labor (DOL) funds, the ASHAI added vocational training components to its community services. Through aggressive outreach efforts, the ASHAI established contacts with companies such as IBM. The ASHAI was lauded as one of the best DOL sites in New England.

In combined meetings between the ASHAI's Board of Directors and the Abenaki Tribal Council, a decision with lasting impact was reached. Tribal leadership decided to explore educational opportunities for its members. Given the dismal profile and experience of adults who had attended public schools, the ASHAI first embarked on Adult Basic Education (ABE) opportunities. Through the Federal Department of Education Indian Education Office, the ASHAI submitted a grant which would focus on the experiences of community members. Concentrating on basic literacy, GED preparation, and life-coping skills, the grant was funded and dozens of Abenakis began experiencing.. education in a positive way. Once students obtained their GED, they became volunteer tutors and mentors. This notion of giving something back to the community became a hallmark of ASHAI initiatives.

In 1981, tribal leadership turned its efforts toward reaching children in school before they dropped out. An application for this funding (Title IV, Part A of the Indian Education Act) required submission by a local educational agency (LEA). Abenaki leadership affirmed a commitment to effect change from within the system. The Tribal Council approached the Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union (FNWSU) with the idea of providing educational and cultural support services to children attending area public schools. The Superintendent of School Board was willing; a grant was submitted and approved by the Department of Education.

In the FNWSU, an active Missisquoi Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) was formed to oversee all educational programming. Parent participation and self-determination were deemed critical to program efficacy. Project goals included: 1) to increase student academic achievement; 2) to reduce the drop-out rate; 3) to increase parent involvement; 4) to promote curriculum initiatives; 5) to provide post-secondary opportunities; and 6) to instill a respect of cultural diversity for all area students.

An Indian Education Office was established on Grand Avenue in Swanton. Although the grant was to be administered by the Superintendent's Office, the PAC and other tribal leaders felt an office space was needed where parents would feel comfortable. The establishment of a separate Indian Education Office also sent an important message to the larger Swanton community. The Indian Education Office created visible evidence of the Missisquoi community's commitment to equal educational opportunity.

Page [47.]
By 1982, the ASHAI and the Indian Education Program were collaborating on dozens of initiatives. Federal Commissioner of Administration for Native Affairs (ANA) David Lester lauded the ASHAI as one of the 12 outstanding Native social service agencies in the country. Community gardens were planted whose harvest fed the elderly and a Friday evening Disney film series was a weekly event for all area children. Over 200 children filled space donated by the local Episcopal Church; volunteers provided free popcorn and soda; and area merchants donated resources as Swanton residents realized the Missisquoi community was coordinating events that would benefit everyone.

In 1984, the ASHAI initiated its own preschool and kindergarten. Swanton has no public kindergarten at the time, and few Missisquoi families could afford private pre-school or kindergarten settings. Several local officials questioned whether- low income residents would avail themselves of publicly provided early education opportunities. The ASHAI, with support of the Indian Education Program, submitted a pilot program to the Federal Department of Education. The program was a combination home and school-based model, with pre-school meeting three times a week and daily kindergarten sessions. A used van was donated and transportation was provided to the local Armory where classroom space was rented. Developmentally appropriate educational activities, a high level of parent involvement, and unique cultural awareness activities made the project a successful experience for Missisquoi families. In meeting with local officials at the end of the school year, Missisquoi community leaders could boast of a 97% daily attendance rate. The following year, Swanton began providing public kindergarten sessions for all children.

It should be noted that the ASHAI was experiencing tremendous growth during the Reagan administration, a time when many community action programs (CAPS) were being drastically out. The Abenaki strategy was to diversity funding resources, position itself for a federal push on economic development initiatives, and develop the capacity of building community members who would offer hundreds of volunteer hours.

As the Missisquoi community began to attract much media coverage, there were detractors who questioned Native veracity. To tribal leaders, this was extremely disturbing. Determined that Abenaki children, in particular, would have feelings of pride and self-worth, the community embarked on several cultural initiatives. Finding One's Way, the story of a local Abenaki boy, was introduced into the school systems. An accompanying teacher's manual soon followed. Now in its fourteenth printing, thousands of copies of this text have been disseminated throughout New England. The story of Louis, taunted by classmates about his "so-called" Indian heritage, is actually an amalgam of the experience of several Abenaki community members who agreed to partake in the development of this curriculum. Through meeting with his elders and learning about his heritage, Louis learns to be proud of who he is.

An Abenaki Youth Dance Troupe was started in the late 1980's. Young children began learning about the rich heritage through hands-on arts and crafts activities. As the same time, tribal leaders encouraged the nurturance of performing arts. With financial support from the Vermont Council on the Arts and the Indian Education Office, community organizers involved children,

Page [48.]
parents, and elders in costume design and creation, weekly practices, and performances of the Abenaki Youth Dance Troupe. They performed throughout Vermont at various cultural events,

Few Missisquoi Elders remained fluent in their Native language. Actually in truthfulness, there were NO "Missisquoi Elders" that remained fluent in the Abenaki language at all! Fearful that the language would be lost, the community invited a tribal elder Cecile Wawanolet from Odanak (Canada) to hold language classes in Swanton on a bi-weekly basis. Through the dedication, commitment, and perseverance of key community members, conversational Abenaki has now been taught at the local high school. At a meeting of the Governor's Advisory Commission on Native American Affairs in June, 1996, a high school Abenaki recipient Brent McEwen Reader of a prestigious award gave his acceptance speech entirely in his Native Abenaki tongue. For the dozens of community members attending, this was a special moment. Also, the publication of Alnodaodwa: A Western Abenaki Language Guide (Brink and Day, 1987), and accompanying audio cassette has allowed for interested Vermonters and others to learn more about the Abenaki language.

The bead working, basket making, and storytelling classes that have been held throughout the last 30 years speak to a community that continually strives to celebrate the possibilities offered by cultural diversity. Toward that aim, it was then the hope of Missisquoi leadership that both a cultural center and a museum be established. A modest museum, housing "material culture" artifacts has been realized next to Tribal headquarters (which also includes the ASHAI). In what had been an empty school building that was in great disrepair gave rise to the "Multigenerational Complex." Renovated in 2000, the building is home to the Missisquoi Health Center, a senior center for Elders, Title VII Indian Education Director's Office, and an Abenaki after-school program entitled the "Circle of Courage" where dozens of Abenaki and non-Abenaki students come together to learn about authentic Missisquoi culture in the areas of dance, instrumental music (drumming and flute), and the embroidery of regalia to be worn when the youngsters perform at venues such as the Flynn Theatre and the Echo Center. Concomitantly, there are sixteen affordable housing units for the elderly whereby activities are planned for the children and elders thus promoting a mutuality of respect.

This year has seen over fifty students from both Swanton and Highgate avail themselves of services. Furthermore, ten Missisquoi Valley Union High School (MVU) students volunteer at the cultural center so that they may "give back" to the younger children the lessons learned when they were participants in the program. The Circle of Courage after School Program has been lauded by the State of Vermont as an outstanding example of programming that celebrates cultural diversity for all local children so that socio-economic and racial differences can be seen as a strength in a democracy.

Contemporary Missisquoi community citizens rightfully take pride in our many accomplishments. Thirty years ago, the Abenaki drop-out rate at MVU was 70% with 50% leaving school before ninth grade. Today, the drop-out rate is 3%. In 1982, fewer than 5% of graduating Abenaki went on to any post-secondary education. Last year saw approximately 40% of Abenaki graduates go on to college.

Still, we have much more to accomplish and we continually evaluate the efficacy of our efforts so that we can strategically plan for the future. Despite years of oppression and hostile insults, the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi (St. Francis/Sokoki Band) ensures that those in need may

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access the continuum of services in place for commumity members as well as to all Native peoples and Vermonters, wherever possible. Ours is a tradition of sharing wisdom and communal efforts. Working together, we will build a better life for our children.

§ 853 (c) (7) The applicant can document traditions, customs, oral stories, and a histories that signify the applicant's Native American heritage and connection in to their historical homeland.

The St. Francis/Sokoki Band, Abenaki Nation retains a significant fund of traditional knowledge and customs that can be tied to a native heritage through ethnography or folkloric studies. There are large numbers of traditions that have been previously published in Haviland and Power's The Original Vermonters and F. Wiseman's Voice of the Dawn, both University Press of New England, and Against the Darkness, a DVD from Title VII Indian Education (Swanton, VT). Below is a sample of newer data that has become available since 2006 to specifically address criterion § 853. (b) (3) "Documented traditions, customs, and legends that signify Native American heritage."

One of the most interesting regional traditions that has been uncovered recently is that on Missisquoi Bay (Highgate, VT), Abenaki ice fishermen warm their fish-eye bait under their tongues. This practice is considered "gross" by their Anglo and Franco-VT neighbors. Every ice fisherman has strong personal feelings, positive or negative of this practice—and these feelings are repeatedly correlated with other familial traces of Native ancestry/tradition.


Vera "Longtoe" Sheehan recounts a family story from [REDACTED] grandmother (d. 2003) of the use of "Indian clothes" at Missisquoi during this time period by "an old Indian woman," Ms. Sheehan's 3rd great grandmother  (d. 1932). [REDACTED] Ms. Sheehan said "I asked my grandmother how did she know she (the 3rd great grandmother) was Indian?" [REDACTED] Ms. Sheehan's grandmother described her as having "long braided hair and wearing Indian clothes... She wore old coins in her ears, many beads and a skirt with lots of ribbons. No white women would dress like that." Apparently these articles of clothing were locally made, because [REDACTED] Ms. Sheehan's grandmother went on to talk about "the beautiful ribbon and beads that the old women would sew, as they all sat around."


Dr. Wiseman Ph.D. LOVES to REPEAT himself and use his "scholarly" data, over and over again, throughout this SAME Application. See Page 23 of this same Application Review to observe that the Vera Longtoe Sheehan bit HAS ALREADY BEEN USED within this APLLICATION REVIEW previously in several different places.

In addition, Swanton's elders remember the local Indians with a measure of fondness. Ms. Polly Parre of Swanton, VT still has ash splint materials made for her by the Lapans in the 1950's, a family known to be Indian. In addition, Ms. Lucille Bell said in the January 7, 1996 Burlington Free Press, "I remember we had an Indian family here (Swanton, VT), and the woman made baskets and used to come around door to door to sell them. We didn't make a big thing of it and neither did they."

Probably the most important and definitive Indigenous customs involve land use. The great ethnologist, Frank Speck studied and published oil Indigenous Maine land tenure in his 1940 book Penobscot Man. In it, he described a family-based resource zone partitioning and use pattern that Haviland and Power, used in The Original Vermonters to describe prehistoric VT land use, but without any local confirmation. However, interviews with Missisquoi citizens and the authors'
 Frederick M. Wiseman own memories have confirmed the presence of this land tenure System in the Missisquol River Basin and Missisquoi Bay (Lake Champlain). Each core Missisquoi family
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band maintains its own distinguishing subsistence grounds along the Missisquoi River Valley; and has protocols for admitting others into these subsistence grounds. Author Fred Wiseman's family's traditional fishing territory was "the reef" a linear, north trending ledge and boulder ridge on the bottom of Missisquoi Bay. It was that family's responsibility to mark the north end of the reef for other fishermen with a red-painted wooden buoy or a plastic gallon milk-jug. This "buoying the reef" tradition was maintained every May until Wiseman's father's death. Dr. Wiseman's father asked permission of Mr. Hakey, to fish an "above the dam" section of the Missisquoi River, which was not Wiseman's family fishing territory, ritually giving Mr. Hakey a fishing lure, as a sign of respect. Family bands hunted and collected in partitioned floodplain and upland zones of the Missisquoi Valley. These subsistence zones were long-term, spatially consistent and bounded within themselves, yet cut across existing property and town lines, and even the more fluid hunting and fishing areas of Missisquoi's Franco VT and Anglo VT neighbors. These use areas often had seasonally occupied "cottages" or deer camps signing the of the area -- from the "Grandma Lampman" territory (marked with an historical plaque) at Maquam on the shores of Lake Champlain at least as far upriver as the St. Francis' well-known and attended Berkshire camp. In addition to hunting and fishing, local Native people collected herbs used in traditional medicinal curing from these well-delineated resource use areas. The River Rats (for discussion of their Indigenous ethnicity see Wiseman 2001, Voice of the Dawn: 120-132) collected local plants such skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) in restricted areas of the marshes of the Missisquoi River delta.

[REDACTED] Vera "Longtoe" Sheehan recounted a family story from [REDACTED] Sheehan's grandmother said "The older folks did the talking... in those days you were quiet, unless spoken to. The older folks would talk to me, but I couldn't understand them...Because they didn't speak English." What did they speak," [REDACTED] Ms. Sheehan asked her grandmother. "The old language," she answered.

Can Dr. Frederick Matthew Wiseman Ph.D. spell the word "redundancy"? His repetative and unnecessary "scholarly nonsense" merely shows and provides anyone the merits of Fred M. Wiseman, as to what sort of "scholar" he really is, as a "Abenaki" scholar.
Who exactly, is he trying to convince with his scholarly nonsense and distortions? It certainly doesn't convince me, as to the merit(s) or foundation(s) of his "scholarly" agrument(s).
I guess that is because I have actually read the B.I.A.'s O.F.A. Proposed Findings material, the Final Decision of the same; and the William H. Sorrell & Eve Jacobs-Carnahan's Response to the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation NONSENSE already.

It is actually quite interesting that this "Abenaki" Scholar Fred M. Wiseman Ph.D. would present this sort of "stuff" (which is again, is really nothing at all) to the State of Vermont Legislative Committee's, and the politicians that are obviously being lazy, naive, and ignorant in these "Abenaki" matters, in their simply BE_LIE_VING these "scholarly conclusions". The very FACTUALLY REALITY that Frederick M. Wiseman Ph.D. could use the SAME crappy artifactual "alleged and re-invented Abenaki" materials that he used in the B.I.A. petition, again, in the current Petition for VT State Recognition, stating that it somehow validates or legitimizes his "VT Indigenous Alliance" (which was founded in 2008)....
The Dr./Professor/Ph.D.'s  "scholarly" arguments are "wishy-washy" dubious and questionable from the beginning to the end of it. It's damned near criminal and absurd if really one seriously looks at what has been going on.

What has the Dr./ Professor Wiseman Ph.D. or any of these Corporate "Abenaki" groups actually substantiated in this Application thus far? Other than that they are deceitful, dishonest, and non-transparent person's who claim to warm their Fisheye Bait under their tongues to keep them warm during Ice Fishing in the colder months?

Oral History
The Missisquoi Abenaki have a rich oral history. Much of this history has been documented on audio cassette tapes of the elders telling their stories that are housed at Tribal Headquarters. The three photos below show most of these oral history audio cassettes.

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Photos 3, 4 and 5. Shows a sample of Missisquoi oral histories recorded on audio cassettes.
[REDACTED] recounted a family history about an [REDACTED] who collected and sold wild plants, she was a medicine woman and a midwife. She helped several community members deliver their children. She knew the old ways and past some of that knowledge on to her children and other family members. They knew where to go to collect medicinal plants and the uses of them. [REDACTED] remembers fondly as she would go to [REDACTED] home as a child. Here are some photos of [REDACTED] provided by [REDACTED] that were taken at [REDACTED] 81st Birthday Party in 1983.
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(Two Photographs)
Photograph 1
[REDACTED] & Her Children
Photograph 2
[REDACTED] & Relatives

Other fishing/hunting anecdotes there are citizens within the tribe that can catch walleye by using just their hands, rubbing the fishes belly and throwing them up on shore; Many citizens still hunt, fish, trap and collect plants and medicinal herbs daily. Wild plant/medicinal plant collection techniques are still common today some are used for medicine and some are for consumption. Several people within our community have certain recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. Chief April remembers as a child growing up eating wild animals that not everyone in the community would eat. Her friends would not eat at her house unless they knew for sure there was no wild game for dinner. The Chief's family did a lot of hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering of wild plants, berries and nuts. These activities were done as a family everyone learned how to live off the land. This is what has been hand down from generation to generation and continues to be taught to today's generations as well.

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