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.
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).
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?