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Saturday, April 30, 2011

St. Francis/Sokoki Missisquoi Abenaki Application For Vermont State Recognition PAGES 101 to 103, ETC:

Page [101.]
To: Chief April Rushlow
Date Reviewed: 6/18/01
Emily Wadhama, SHPO
Office Assisted: St. Albans
State: VT
Customer No: vtgl0101
Customer: Abenaki-SHPO
Town: Alburg
County: Grand Isle
USGS Quad: Rouse's Point
Fund: CTA-10
PL-586 No:
FY: 2001
Practise 1: Cultural Identification/Protection
Code: 909
Length: 40
Width: 30
Depth: n/a
Unit: meters
Review Type: subsurface Investigation
Project Description: On June 15, 2001, Scott Dillion and I [David Skinas] set up a 30 by 40 meter grid at one meter intervals to prepare for the ground penetrating radar study (GPR) at the archeological site CT-GI-33. On June 18, 2001, the NRCS geophysical specialist, Jim Dolittle, conducted the GPR study. Scott Dillion of the State Historic Preservation Office, and Dave Hoyt and Jeannie Skalka from the St. Albans NRCS office assisted in the Investigation.
Results: Jim Dolittle had doubts that we would obtain useful radar imagery because of the calcareous soil and abundance of stones within the landform. The radar was dragged over the surface of both burials but no anomalies were detected because there was not enough contrast between the soil matrix and grave fill to be recognized by the GPR. The radar was dragged along one of the 40 meter long transects to determine if cultural features could be detected. Two anomalies were picked up natural stratigraphic intrusions as each location. Because of the calcareious soils, abundance and varying sizes of stones and lack of contrast in the grave fill it was decided that additional GPRinvestigation would not provide reliable detection of additional unmarked burials. The GPR study was terminated.
No artifacts were recovered from either of the two shovel test pits. One ceramic sherd was recovered from the surface of the corn field about 10 meters southeast of burial 1, mid-way between burial 2 which is 20 meters away (Photo 1). One cultural feature was identified on the gravel pit face above slightly to the east of burial 1 that appears to be a hearth (Photo 2). This charcoal laden feature contained several fire cracked rock and small fragments of fish or turtle bone. This feature was not excavated. The remains of a similar feature containing charcoal infused soil was observed above burial 2 but was not investigated (Photo 3).
Although the GPR did not provide reliable data on the location of additional burials at the site, it is highly probable that more unmarked graves exist within the landform. Based on the presence of one ceramic sherd from the Woodland cultural period (3,000-400 years ago), two features that appear to be hearths typically associated with precontact period encampments, and that burial 1 was found in a flexed position, it appears that VT-GI-33 is a precontact Native American habitation and burial site. The presence of burials and intact cultural features below the plowzone suggests tha this site is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Continued gravel extraction in this area has the potential to disturb significant archeological deposits and unmarked graves.
Determination of Effect: Potential Adverse Effect
Recommended Follow-up: Restoration and reburial of the two sets of human remains disturbed by gravel extraction is needed. The remainder of the intact habitation and cemetery site should be preserved immediately.
Sensitivity Rank: 40
Sites identified: One precontact Native American habitation and burial site
National Register Eligibility: eligible
Site Number: VT-GI-33
Signed: David Skinas
Title: Archeologist
Date: 8/17/01
Page [102.]
United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Berlin Field Office
617 Comstock Road, Suite 1
Berlin, Vermont 05602-8498
October 27, 2010
Ron Kilburn
Zoning Administrator
Town of Swanton
P.O. Box 711
Swanton, Vermont 05488
Re: Monument Road Unmarked Burial Protocol: Parent Project.
Dear Mr. Kilburn:
Please find enclosed two copies of the final report for the controlled monitoring of the Parent Project that was conduced according to the Town of Swanton's Monument Road Unmarked Burial Protocol (Zoning Bylaws Section 3.17 Native American Sites District).
One copy is for the Town records and the second copy should be submitted to Jane Lendway of the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation to comply with provision of the State's Unmarked Burial Fund. I will send a copy to Chief April St. Francis-Merrill of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation.
Please call with any questions.
David Skinas
David Skinas
Cc: Chief April St. Francis-Merrill
Page [103.]
Intervale Center Partnership, Abenaki Heritage Garden:
Intervale Center
180 Intervale Road
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 660-0440
November 1, 2010
Chief April St. Francis
St. Francis/Sokoki band of the Abenaki Nation
P.O. Box 276
Swanton, VT 05488
Dear Chief April,
I am happy to outline the very positive working relationship that has developed between the St. Francis/Sokoki band of the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi and the Intervale Center over the last two years. In addition to a cooperative approach to managing archaeological resources in the Intervale, the most visible outcome has been the establishment of The Abenaki Heritage Garden as an integral educational component of he Calkins Farmstead in Burlington's Intervale. It is a "three sisters" garden with traditional corn, beans and squash varities grown much as the Abenaki would have cultivated them 900 years ago here in the Intervale. The garden honors the agricultural heritage of the Abenaki at the Intervale, educates the public about Abenaki history and culture, and grows food for redistribution's in Swanton through the Abenaki Self-Helf Association.
The Abenaki Heritage Garden was established in the Intervale in 2009 by a group of community volunteers working closely with the St. Francis/Sokoki band of the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi and the Intervale Center. A sister garden was also established at the tribal headquarters in Swanton. The Abenaki Heritage Garden is now and Intervale Center project with a community advisory board that is closely advised by members of the St. Francis/Sokoki band of the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi. The garden is part of the Sacred Seeds Network, a project of the Missisquoi Botanical Garden [http://www.wlbcenter.org/sacred_seeds.htm]. The garden is open for self-guided tours during the season and was the site of a major harvest festival with garden, cooking and other cultural education activities organized by the Missisquoi community with our local partners. Guided tours and volunteer opportunities are also available. A video and photo of the garden, associated events and partnerships can be found at:
As we plan for programs in 2011 we continue to rely on the leadership from Missiquoi to provide advice and resources on expansion of the Intervale gardens to include a selection of medicinal plants along with guidance on the development of educational materials. We will also work to support the efforts to expand the Swanton sister garden and link it up with the museum resources that are present at the site. We also appreciate your support to link other garden projects in the state with local communities of Abenaki or other tribes in those regions.
Glenn McRae
Glenn McRae
Executive Director
Illustration 1
The Burlington Free Press
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Page 7D
The Abenaki grew several varieties of corn, including this Roy's Calais Flint from the Abenaki Heritage Garden at the Intervale. It makes excellent cornmeal, flour or hominy. The seed for this Abenaki native corn is maintained by Roy Fair of Calais and preserved by Tom Stearns of High Mowing Seeds.
Illustration 2
The Abenaki Heritage Garden at the Intervale Center contains "three-sisters" plantings of corn, beans and squash. Corn provides a natural pole for the climbing bean vines and the beans fix nitrogen on their roots, improving the overall fertility of the soil. The squash vines provide shade to keep the soil moist and inhibit weeds. Each vegetable can be eaten fresh or dried for winter consumption.
The Burlington Free Press
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Page 7D Continued.....
Harvest and celebration at Intervale helps grow understanding
For the second summer this century, the Intervale in Burlington has been home to a traditional Abenaki "three-sisters" garden - referring to the staples of corn, beans and squash - similar to plots the Abenaki would have cultivated annually in the same fertile flood plain 900 years ago.
Thursday, local schoolchildren, partners in the garden project and the public have been invited to celebrate the harvest and to honor the agricultural heritage and contemporary culture of the Abenaki with tours, cooking demonstrations and other educational activities followed by a community potluck and barn dance.
The garden and the harvest celebration "are a way for us to share a part of our heritage and our culture - not just the past but the future, too," said April St. Francis Merrill of Swanton, chief of the St. Francis/Sokoki band of the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi.
Merrill and her tribal community are key partners in the project, which was created in 2008 by volunteer advisory board members of the Burlington Community Area Gardens (BACG), a program of Burilington Parks and Recreation.
The Abenaki Heritage Garden now is an Intervale Center project with a community of representatives from BACG, the St. Francis/Sokoki band of the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi, Gardner's Supply Co, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Serve and the University of Vermont's Environmental Program - all of which will participate in Thursday's celebration.
This year, the project also received funding from Will and Lynette Raap and New Chapter, a Brattleboro-based organic dietary supplement company, and is now part of the international Sacred Seeds Network, a program of the William L. Brown Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
"We have lots of great team members. We've learned a lot from each other," Merrill said. "It's through programs and events like these we can help people understand more about us."
If You Go
WHAT: Heritage Harvest Festival showcasing the Intervale
WHEN: Thursday.
-The public part of the starts at 3 p.m. with a free, family friendly open house featuring garden tours, clay pot cooking and corn grinding demonstrations, and other opportunities to learn about the area's Abenaki heritage and culture.
-At 6 p.m. there will be a free Slow Food Vermont Community Potluck. Bring a dish to share. Plates, utensils and napkins provided, but bring your own to reduce waste.
-At 7 p.m. there will be a Heritage Harvest Hoedown barn dance ($5) with Malcolm Sanders and friends.
WHERE: Intervale Center, 180 Intervale Road, Burlington.
MORE INFORMATION: 660-0440 or http://www.intervale.org/
Illustration 1
The Abenaki Heritage Garden at the Intervale Center, shown here in the summer, is a partnership of St. Francis/Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi, Burlington Area Community Gardens (a program of Burlington Parks and Recreation), the Intervale Center, the University of Vermont's Environmental Program, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Gardener's Supply.
Illustration 2
The Abenaki Heritage Garden at the Intervale Center, shown here earlier in the summer, contains "three-sisters" plantings of corn, beans and squash.

December 4, 2007
Contact: Kit Perkins, Executive Director
Telephone: 802-660-0440 x103
Intervale Center Announces New Board Mebers
David Skinas and Mary Sullivan Join Intervale Center Board of Directors
Burlington, Vermont - The Intervale Center today announced the election by its Board of Directors of two new board members: David Skinas and Mary Sullivan.
David Skinas is the archeologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Vermont. He has worked for the NRCS since 1994 and serves as the Native American liason for NRCS in Vermont. From 2000 to 2006, Skinas served on the Governor's Advisory Commission on Native American Affairs. During his last two terms on the commission, he was appointed by the Abenaki Tribal counsil to represent them. Skinas is currently a member of the Missisquoi Task Force on Native American Issues, leading burial site protection efforts in Swanton, Highgate, and Alburgh. He holds a BA Degree from the University of New Hampshire and an MS from the University of Maine at Orono.
Mary Sullivan has served for seven years as Director of Communications at the Burlington Electric Department. From 1990 to 2000, she was a member of the Vermont House of Representatives, where she chaired the Natural Resources Committee. Previously she worked for Senator Patrick Leahy in Washington, for the Washington Post, and for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph in Sydney, Australia. Sullivan studied at Trinity College and Boston University School of Public Communication.
"I am very pleased that David Skinas and Mary Sullivan have joined our board," said Kit Perkins, Executive Director of the Intervale Center. "Their knowledge, skills, and committment to the work of the Intervale Center will serve farmers, this land and our community very well."
Other Intervale Center board members are Kalisa Barratt (Chair), Fletcher Allen Health Care; Scott Buckingham, Shelburne Farms; Nicole Carpenter, Vermont Energy Investment Corp/Champlain Valley Localvores; Robert Downey, American Flatbread, Burlington Hearth; Karen Freeman, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board; Thomas Hudspeth, University of Solid Waste District, Melinda Moulton, Main Street Landing Company; Noad Perlut, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, UVM; Jon Ramsay, Vermont Land Trust and dairy farmer; and Meg Smith (Vice Chair), Public Relations Consultant.
(Organization listed for identification purposes only.)
180 Intervale Road
Burlington, VT 05401
Fax: 802 658 8075
The Intervale Center's mission is to develop farm-and land-based enterprises that generate economic and social opportunity while protecting natural resources. Through the Center's twenty years of operation, almost 350 acres of formerly abandoned, historically significant agriculture land in Burlington's Intervale have been reclaimed and put to productive agricultural, recreational, and conservation use.
From the new board chair
An annual report is a good time for reflection. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous dedication, time, and energy of the staff and board past and present in their efforts to support a strong local food economy.
We have had several board transitions over the past year, including the departure of several long-time board members. Melinda Moulton, President of Main Street Landing, was a dedicated board member and previous chair for nine years. Her positive energy and spirit were only eclipsed by her organizational acumen. Tom Moreau, General Manager of CSWD, was a long-standing board member and a constant partner and friend to Intervale Compost Products.
We shall also miss Karen Freeman, another longtime board member who remains active as a volunteer, as well as Jon Ramsey and Nicole Carpenter, who needed to free themselves up from board obligations due to time constraints and personal moves. They have all made significant contributions to the Intervale Center and we are a better organization thanks to their dedication and participation. A hearty thank you from all of us!
I would also like to thank previous board Chair, Kalisa Barratt, who remains on the board after her three-year term as chair. She led the organization during its most successful years in fundraising and held steady leadership and counsel during the most recent time of transition. She put in many, many hours on top of her already demanding position as Chief Compliance Officer at Fletcher Allen Hospital.
David Skinas of the Abenaki Self-Help Association joined the board this year and has been instrumental in coordinating efforts to document and preserve the archaeolgical heritage of the Intervale.
And let me welcome our new incoming board members, Todd Nold, Director of Finance and Administration at Shelburne Farms; Nancy Owens, President of Housing Vermont; and Ed Antezak, Economic Development Specialist at Burlington's CEDO office. It will be very exciting to have you become a part of our organization.
I want to acknowledge one other new person to the Intervale Center, our executive director, Glenn McRae. Glenn has a wealth of experience in nonprofit management and policy development, and brings to bear in his role as leader. He has plunged head first into the work at the Intervale Center, going full-tilt ever since his first day on the job. We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Glenn lead our dynamic organization into a very exciting future.
2008 NEWS
After almost a year of permitting disputes and negotiations that threatened to cripple the organization, the Intervale Center successfully transitioned Intervale Compost Products management and operations to the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD)
The outcome preserved five local jobs in the compost operation, and the partnership between the Intervale Center and CSWD offers a firm foundation for a continued local system to divert organic wastes from landfills.
The agreement with CSWD has enabled the Intervale Center to focus anew on programs that help support viable farms, increase access to fresh local produce, protect water quality through stream bank restoration, and educate young people about agriculture and healthy food.
The Intervale Center will lease the compost operation to CSWD for a period of up to three years, after which CSWD will relocate the facility to a new site in Chittenden County. The Intervale compost site will be rehabilitated and returned to farmland use.
For for [sic] the Intervale Compost Products hours, directions and more information visit the CSWD web site at www.cswd.net
The Missisquoi Abenaki-Intervale Center Alliance
The Intervale Center and April St. Francis Merrill of the St. Francis-Sokoki band of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi formed a partnership in late 2007 to ensure that all ground disturbing activities planned by the Intervale Center would not adversely affect any Native American archaeological deposits, traditional cultural properties, sacred sites, and unmarked Abenaki burials.
The Intervale land contains one of the best collections of ancient Native American archaeological sites known in Vermont. Native peoples lived within the Intervale for at least the last 5,000 years and perhaps longer, first in small seasonal encampments and later in semi-sendentary villages as cultivated foods became a more reliable and significant food source. The Intervale produced a vast amount of animal, plant, and riverine resources that attracted ancient groups to this area to collect seasonally available foods and other needed resources. As agriculture developed, these people were able to harvest corn, beans, squash, and other cultigens with surplus foods stored in deep pits dug into the the floors of their lodges. The earliest evidence of agriculture in the Intervale was documented during an archaeological study of the Donahue site where charred corn kernels were radiocarbon dated to approximately 1450 AD. To this day Abenaki families continue to collect Intervale plants for food and medicinal purposes and fish the river.
The Missisquoi Abenaki will continue to work with the Intervale staff and board to protect these important sites. In the spirit of this partnership the Intervale Center offered a suitable repatriation plot to April to reinter human remains found along Mallets Creek because it could guarantee perpetual protection of these burials through the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board easement. In July of 2008 three sets of human remains were reinterned on Intervale Center property in a remote and protected location.
- Chief April St. Francis Merrill, Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, St. Francis/Sokoki Band
- David Skinas, Abenaki Self Help Association, Intervale Center Board Member
A charred corncob circa 1450 AD
Archaeological Fund
The Vermont Division of Historic Preservation (DHP) maintains a fund to facilitate its archaeological investigations and assist in the identification and conservation of archaeological resources located on Intervale property. For more information, call DHP at (802) 828-3213.
New Hampshire Union Leader
Monday, May 03, 2007
Page B3
Judy Dow sits in her dining room in Essex Junction, Vt. Dow, an Abenaki Indian, has been making baskets for 40 years. She displays them in museums, sells a few, and gives others away. Mostly she uses the baskets to teach Native American history and to pass on a craft she fears is disappearing.
New Hampshire Union Leader
May 07, 2007
Page B3 Continued......
Native American craftsmen are stymied by Vermont law
No label: A legal twist prevents Abenaki artisans from selling wares as Native American made.
The Associated Press
ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. - Judy Dow, an Abenaki Indian, has been making baskets for 40 years.
She displays some in museums, sells others, and gives many away. To her, they're a way of keeping alive a tradition she fears might otherwise disappear
What she says she can't do - because of a quirk in Vermont law - is label them "Native American made."
"I know who I am," she said. "People don't really say to me,  "Is this an Abenaki basket?" "They know I'm Abenaki."
Last year, Vermont lawmakers granted state recognition to the Abenaki, who say they are descendants of what's known as the Western Abenaki tribes.
A goal was to permit the Abenaki to create, sell and display their crafts as Indian-made. A commission was set up to help do just that.
But the state law granting them recognition conflicts with a federal law designed to prevent the sale of fraudulent American Indian art because it doesn't give the commission the authority to recognize tribes, said Mark Mitchell, an Abenaki who chairs the state's Commission on Native American Affairs.
The Vermont law recognizes the Abenaki as a people, not a tribe.
North Carolina and Virignia have commissions that identify tribes that are not federally recognized for the purposes of selling arts and crafts.
But the Vermont Attorney General's office says Vermont's commission doesn't have or need the authority to recognize tribes for the artist's sake.
The federal law "is a truth-in-marketing" type act. If somebody really has Native American ancestry, there's nothing to prevent them from saying that," said Assistant Attorney General Mike McShane.
But the federal Indian Arts and Crafts Board, which is part of the U.S. Department of Interior, identifies an Indian as a member of a tribe. "If you are not an enrolled member  of state or federal tribe and you are not certified as a nonmember Indian artisan by a tribe of this descent, then you are in violation of the act," said Meredith Stanton, executive director of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.
"This think that Vermont has done is completely different than we've seen in the past," she said. "I would hope that the state (Vermont) would bring some clarity to their law."
The state Commission on Native American Affairs has proposed giving itself the power to recognize the various Abenkai bands or tribes in Vermont. But the state has resisted; the governor's legal counsel plans to seek a solution to the dilemma this summer.
For Judy Dow, 53, a commission member who started making baskets when she was 10 and learned the techniques from a number of tribes, the issue is a sore spot. It is to others, too.
"It's a crime to say you're Abenaki and sell your craft," said Jesse Larocque, who makes black ash baskets in West Danville. "To me it's more irritating than anything else. The letter of the law is what they're fighting about rather than the spirit of the law."
The federal law is intended to prevent fraudulent people from exploiting Native Americans and their art, he said.
"What the governor signed into law was supposed to be a good thing," he said. "Then we've got somebody else reinterpreting the law."
For now, artisans can sell their work labeled as made by an artist of Abenaki descent, said Ken Van Wey, program assistant for the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.
That label sounds to Mark Mitchell like "second class."
Page [01.]
Monday, June 9, 2008 10:06 PM
From: "Jdowbasket@aol.com"Jdowbasket@aol.com
Subject: Intervale
Hello everyone,
As you know, I have been working very hard for the last five years to protect the Intervale land, the Winooski River and the descendants of Moccasin Village living at the Mouth of the Winooski River. The destruction that occurs on Intervale land is unbelievable. The true story cannot get out. The "good stewards of the land" have made it almost impossible - Intervale Center's Public Relations program and funds provided by the Chittenden Solid Waste District (public funds) and wealthy board members are too large to compete with. I have given updates of the destruction at many Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs meetings and our website has kept you posted with press releases. The commission has supported me 100%. The Commissioin and many others have been appalled by the destruction, lies and deception the people from the Intervale Center have exhibited.
The battle for lad survival is quite intense right now. The Attorney General's office, Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Historic Preservation, Chittenden Solid Waste District, Intervale Compost Products and many, many lawyers have been regularly meeting to figure out how they can keep the ICP there for two more years without doing any monumental damage to sites. There have been 14 archaeological reports done on the Intervale and human remains have been found there, which were not allowed to be reburied in the Intervale; instead, they were brought to Missisquoi for reburial.
ICP has currently dug five ponds to collect over 1,000,000 gallons of leachate. This leachate is runoff from the tens of thousands of tons of manure and food waste collected each day. These ponds were dug without any permits and one was dug on the archaeological site where the human remains were found. According to Jane Lendway, State Historical Preservation Officer, less than 1% of this land has been studied. All reports state that this is the most highly sensitive land in the state. Yet digging continues daily. In addition, the 13-plus acres of compost  and the five leachate collection ponds are located in a floodplain. FEMA and the State of Vermont clearly state that there is to be no building or digging  of any kind in a floodway. At the leachate: it is high in arsenic, lead, phosphorus and E. Coli bacteria. The latest ICP test results show Coliform at levels of 14,000,000 mpn/100 mis and E. Coli levels at 2,400,000 mph/100 mis. Now just imagine that overflowing during a flood into the Winooski River some 500 feel away and down to Lake Champlain, a mere five miles downstream.
Although I received a letter from Kit Perkins Intervale Center's previous executive director, stating that she "would not allow any digging past the depth of a plow's disturbance," digging to place irrigations pipes underground and building stockade fences and hoop houses with hundreds of three-foot holes is a regular occurance. I monitor

Page [02.]
and photograph grading, excavating and digging on a regular basis, some on known archaeolgical sites and many on sensitive land that has yet to be studied.
The struggle to save our burial sites and prevent environmental destruction is not enough.
We know we have to compete with lateral oppression to save the land. The Intervale Center puts out an annual newsletter called "Explorer." This week, Explorer 2008 came out and inside the cover was a letter from April St. Francis. I have copied her letter here for you to read.
Working together to protect ancient Abenaki heritage sites
The Intervale Center lands contain the best collection of precontact Native American archaeological sites known within Vermont. Native peoples have lived within the Winooski Intervale for at least the last 4,000 years and perhaps longer, first in small seasonal encampments and later in semi-sedentary villages as cultivated foods became a more reliable and significant food source.
The Intervale produced a vast amount of animal, plant and riverine resources that would have attracted ancient native groups to this area to collect seasonally available foods and other needed resources. As agriculture developed these people were able to harvest corn, beans and squash and other cultigens for winter storage in deep pits dug itno the pits of their lodges for easy access. To this day, Abenaki families continue to live in the area surrounding the Intervale and continue to collect seleveted plants for food and medicinal purposes and to fish the river.
The Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi has been aware of and has had many dealings with archaeological site issues in this area since the 1970's before the Intervale Center was created. The Abenakis' intent is to work with the Intervale's staff and board to protect these sites and to live in harmony with our neighbors.
We feel we can work through any issue by sitting at the table with one another and discussing the concerns we all have. Developing a strong and long-lasting collaboration between us will go a long way towards solving any challenges that may arsie inthe future.
Chief April St. Francis Merrill
Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi
St. Francis/Sokoki Band
Did Fred M. Wiseman write this for April Merrill?
April St. Francis Merrill has been trying to allow the Intervale Compost Products to continue operation in its present location. April has denied my heritage in public newspapers. She has met with ICP and CSWD people to state that I am not Abenaki and that this is her homeland. I know April is very knowledgeable but this is not her homeland. She does not know this land, she doesn't know the corn grinding stone, the sacred caves, the plants, the animals, and the fish, where the ancient chestnut and butternut fields are or where Cat's Island or other burial sites are located. I don't think she knows how destructive her actions are. I don't think she cares. She doesn't know the test results show the leachate is high in contaminants and that ICP wants to spread it on the fields adjacent to the river. She doesn't know that the Intervale operation is the biggest story of "greenwashing" Vermont has ever seen. She doesn't know all this because this is not her homeland. I have lived here for 54 years. I'm tired of April's trying to prove who she is by making accusations against everyone else. Heritage doesn't matter - the land is crying for help. The ancestors are crying for help. But April doesn't know this either.
RETROSPECTIVELY-SPEAKING, go back (and read these posted documentary pages) ......
LINK: http://reinventedvermontabenaki.blogspot.com/2010/04/february-28-2008-charles-megeso.html .....
Page [01.]
From: John G. Crock [mailto:john.crock@uvm.edu]
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 2:50 PMTo: Shapiro, Steven; Peebles, Giovanna; sogomo516@aol.com April St. Francis Merrill ; Webb, Suzanne; dave.skinas@vt.usda.gov; jcrock@zoo.uvm.edu David Skinas
Cc: Dillon, Scott
Subject: RE: Ancestors at Medical Examiner's office
Steve et al,
Thank you for the opportunity. I think it would be in everyone's interest to know as much as possible about the individuals befor reburial. We would be interested in collecting basic age/sex/stature info and any obvious pathologies, etc., as we have done in the past for Native burials that have been disturbed. If this information already exists, then no need to repeat it. In our experience, however, the ME's office (old!) would tend not to spend too much time on remains once it was determined that they were archaeological in age (Native or early historic).
April St. Francis Merrill knows the folks I would have look at the remains. Not sure we could accomplish this before the New Year but likely could early in January. Cullen Black will be back for a short period-- he's now on a fellowship at JPAC CIL in Hawaii working on MIA recovery for the military. Alix Martin is here and also will be the teaching assistant in the spring for a human osteology class taught by Deborah Blom, our biological anthropogist in the Department.
Look forward to meeting you at some point. Thanks again for the information.
John G. Crock

At 02:29 PM 12/20/2007, Shapiro, Steven wrote:
G, John G. Crock I'm certain these remains have been "examined" in the past. However, I will make them available as long as April St. Francis Merrill and her people are OK with that.
-----Original Message-----
From: Peebles, Giovanna [mailto:Giovanna.Peebles@state.vt.us]
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2007 2:26 PM
To: sogomo516@aol.com April St. Francis Merrill; Shapiro, Steven; Webb, Suzanne; dave.skinas@vt.usda.gov David Skinas; jcrock@zoo.uvm.edu
Cc: Dillon, Scott
Subject: Ancestors at Medical Examiner's office
April St. Francis Merrill, I just spoke with John Crock (Director of Consulting Archeo Program at UVM) who will be in touch with phys anthro Cullen Black or Alex Martin (from his office) re doing a basic analysis of the ancestors before New Year's. This may not be possible because of christmas, holidays, etc. Thus, if it cannot be accomplished before the new year, John G. Crock will talk with April St. Francis Merrill about an alternative schedule.
Steve and Suzanne, kindly facilitate whichever one of the phys anthros come your way but they must contact you -- Steve & Suzanne: (802) 863-7320 -- ahead of time. Best to all, and many thanks, gio
Page [2.]
Giovanna Peebles
State Archeologist
VT Division for Historic Preservation National Life Building
2nd Floor Montpelier, VT
05620-1201(802) 828-3050
FAX: (802) 828-3206 giovanna.peebles@state.vt.us
For additional information on Vermont archeology: http://www.historicvermont.org/http://www.vtarchaeology.org/
John G. Crock, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology
Director, Consulting Archaeology Program
University of Vermont
Delehanty Hall, Room 111
180 Colchester Ave.
Burlington, VT 05405
ph. 802-656-4310fax 802-656-8033
Tell me, ... whose been perpetuating so-called "lateral violence" against whom, in all this "Abenaki" Recognition business? Well, there's is more to the Intervale Center "saga," regarding Judy (Fortin) Dow vs. April (St. Francis) Merrill, etc......

Yet, it would appear from the "historical" emailcommunication's and Burlington Free Press Newspaper articles (etc), that April St. Francis - Merrill was on a "power trip" concerning the Intervale Center "situation" ... concerning Mrs. Judy Dow. April St. Francis Merrill very likely felt "insecure" and felt that saying, publicly in the media, such that she did and to pose questions as to whether or not Judy Dow was/ or was not of Native descent (especially NOT "Abenaki" ... like April St. Francis Merrill claimed to be). Truth be known, genealogically-speaking, neither "Chief" April Merrill nor "Abenaki" Judy Dow were better than, or less than, each other!
It was Judy Dow that was retrospectively, "causing trouble" for the Intervale Center and the D.H.P. archaeological endeavors (right along with Scott Dillon and David Skinas interests)  in the Intervale Center because it has been known as a Archaelogical "Goldmine" of artifacts and Native American human remains. Therefore, Judy Dow making "noise" politically-speaking, THREATENED the interests of these Archaeologists such such as "Gio" Peebles ultimately,along with David Skinas, and others. The Intervale Center "native geographical area" represents "FUNDING" and "JOB SECURITY" for those involved in the Intervale Center area. This "native geographical area" would also interest Frederick Matthew Wiseman Ph.D. as well as April (St. Francis) Merrill I am sure. It was and still is, all about the Monetary Funding and NAGPRA Grants. It's also about POWER, EGO, and especially CONTROL.
So, when Judy Dow "began causing trouble" for ICP politically etc..... naturally, April Merrill began to perpetuate "lateral violence" against Judy Dow by seeking out and communicating by telephone, with Judy Dow's estranged sister, to undermine and attempt to discredit Judy Dow's claims of having an "Abenaki heritage" [see the above LINK above, and the documents in that particular posting]. To give yet another article regarding the Intervale Center Compost "situation" and the dynamics surrounding that, I will add one more 4-page article:
Waste Not? 
Burlington's compost facility tries to digest environmental and aboriginal charges
By Mike Ives
October 03, 2007
ICP's predicament stems in large part from complaints filed by Judy Dow, a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. Dow, 53, grew up near the Intervale. Over the last year, she's been publicly criticizing the composting operation as an environmental and archeological hazard. She claims ICP is perched atop an Abenaki burial ground, though she refuses to furnish documentation to back up her assertion.
People are making it into something political," Judy Dow claims, but, "It's not that at all. It's a story about abuse to the land."
Underlying the Act 250 conflict is a stickier issue: whether or not the Intervale's composting operation is damaging the burial ground. "As we learn more about the concerns around archeological resources, we're being extremely careful to follow the proper regulatory processes," notes Perkins. But she adds that it's never been clear what is considered legal in the first place. "Some of the regulations that are being applied to regulate this facility are not customized for compost operations," she grouses. "They're [either] solid-waste rules, or they're environmental rules like Act 250."
For Dow, that argument doesn't fly. "The problem is, this is not agriculture, this is a business," she insists. "Because it's a business, they have a totally different set of rules to follow, and they didn't follow the rules . . . If they're not happy with the laws, they just need
to change them," Dow continues. "They keep saying, 'We didn't know, we inadvertently did this, we didn't know.' Well . . . it should be their job to know."
The plot thickens. Though Dow is a member of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, her legitimacy is questioned by the Franklin County-based St. Francis/Sokoki band of Abenaki. According to Fred Wiseman, a tribal historian and Johnson State College professor, most concerns over Abenaki burial grounds are addressed by archeologists from either the University of Vermont or the University of Maine at Farmington. Regarding Dow's archeological concerns, Wiseman reports, "As far as I know, I have not been contacted by either of those [schools]."

April St. Francis Merrill, "chief" of the "Abenaki" "Nation" of [at?] "Missisquoi", "St. Francis"/"Sokoki ""band", offers a harsher critique of Judy Dow. She says that her fellow tribespeople are incensed over the woman's actions. "Judy Dow claims that she represents all the Abenaki people," notes Merrill. "She doesn't represent them, so I don't know where she gets off saying that, just because she's on a commission."
According to the chief, the burial-ground controversy is the latest chapter in a larger narrative. After decades of lobbying, the Abenaki were granted state recognition in May 2005 [sic, that was in May 2006] by Governor Jim Douglas. St. Francis Merrill claims that the victory opened the door to peripheral figures who claim to be Abenaki reps. Dow, an artist and basketmaker who teaches Native American heritage classes, maintains she doesn't consider herself a member of a particular tribe. Furthermore, Dow says she never claimed to speak for all Abenaki, only for the state-appointed commission.

Either way, the two women hold opposing views on the Intervale situation. While Dow condemns ICP, St. Francis Merrill praises it as a model of sustainability. "When the Intervale first started," notes the latter, "we thought it was kind of a good idea — that we recycle, and reuse, and go back to Mother Earth . . . as long as the burial section was protected, that was our major concern. That's always been our concern with any historical site, that they're not desecrated."
The chief is planning to visit the Intervale this week to see the situation for herself.
Equipment Steward Craig Barratt, a 27-year-old Swanton native who has worked at ICP for five years, may be uniquely qualified to assess the compost conflict — although he stresses that his views are his own, not ICPs. On a recent Thursday afternoon, he descends from a bright-purple dump truck to speak with a reporter, sporting rugged overalls, a John Deere hat and a trim beard.
According to Barratt, whose father is a registered St. Francis/Sokoki band Abenaki, recent articles in the Burlington Free Press have inaccurately portrayed ICP staff as "buffoons." He contends that the allegations about solid-waste and water-quality violations are either untrue or misleading. As an example, he points out that one violation was merely an issue of misclassifying liquid waste as solid waste. "We just don't feel like the whole story's getting out," he laments. "It hurts when you see the things that have been written about us."
Speaking to the alleged violations, Barratt concedes that the recent excavation of stormwater-holding ponds may not have been the smartest move. However, he doesn't think current scraping procedures damage archeological remains, noting that machinery goes down 6 inches at most.
Barratt, who makes $17 an hour plus benefits, doesn't consider his gig at ICP just any day job. He talks about compost as if it were his spiritual salvation. "I didn't even know anything about composting before I started working here," he explains. "I just had heavy-equipment experience, and that's how I got the job. But I've come to love this place, and I believe in what we're doing. It's opened my eyes."
Considering his attachment to ICP, it's understandable that Barratt seems annoyed by Dow's behavior. He says she's "gotten under [his] skin" by "snooping" around ICP with her camera. "It's not a factor of 'Where do we start negotiating?'" he says, scratching his head. "Judy Dow's negotiating point is, 'You guys leave!' And it's kind of hard to negotiate with someone when that's their demand."
Frustration aside, Barratt's still hoping to find common ground with Dow. In March, he attended a talk she gave at the center and learned a thing or two about the Intervale site. "We'd love to give the Abenaki a spot to repatriate remains, or plant flowers, or pray," he says.
The composting saga has unearthed an unreported irony: According to a state archeologist, the alleged burial ground that Dow wants to preserve at all costs is significant for another reason: Back in 1979, researchers turned up the first evidence of early corn cultivation in Vermont. The date of those corn harvests stretches back a bit further than either Dow's or Barratt's lifetimes — to 1200 AD.
As sea gulls soar above the nearby compost piles, Barratt pauses to watch a bulldozer dump a load. Judy Dow "told us that this has historically been a great area for the Abenaki," he muses. "If it was their breadbasket, I don't see why it can't continue to be a breadbasket."
Breaking into a smile, he adds, "Compost is an integral part of it. I mean, you have to feed the soil to make plants grow."

REMEBER: David Skinas was retrospectively appointed or placed onto the Intervale Center Board of Director's in 2007.

Was Dr. Skinas put on this Intervale Board, at the demands of/insistence/or manipulation of "Chief" April (St. Francis) Merrill of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band at or of Missisquoi (Swanton, Vt.) whom he has a long "working relationship" with? Hmm, THINK ABOUT THAT. Now, was he (Skinas), by being on this Intervale Center Board of Director's of ICP, in violation of ethics, and or in a conflict of interest, considering?

The former Governor Appointee's (including Judy Dow) felt responsible for burying these Native American human remains from the Lamoille/ Mallett's Creek area. Thus Judy Dow contacted the Medicial Examiner's Office. The Medicial Examiner gave the Native American human remains to April St. Francis Merrill yet the Medicial Examiner did not seemingly have permission to do so. Apparently, the Medical Examiner had concluded that the email correspondence between Giovanna Peebles and April Merrill "was permission enough," in order to give April Merrill permission for the reburial/ repatriation of these 3 sets of Native American human remains in July 2of 008.

It would seem that April Merrill did this in (July of 2008) just to "show that the Intervale area was part of her homeland" in some sort of eogtistical mental "gotcha" headgame with Judy Dow. Perhaps I am wrong, or perhaps I am right?

No one from D.H.P. nor the Medical Examiner's Office apparently consulted at the time with any "Abenakis" from the Intervale area itself. Certainly with the ICP political mess going on with Judy A. (Fortin) Dow, they all considered her, "not Abenaki enough."

Judy Dow had retrospectively telephoned Dr. David Skinas, who informed her that the Native American remains were repatriated into the ground, in the Intervale next to or near a homeless man.

The plot thickens......
That man went by the name of Jose M. Pazos, who was arrested October 23rd 2010 on unrelated charges, was charged with 1st degree murder, kidnapping, burglary and aggravated operation of a motor vehicle w/o the owner's consent on Nov. 9th and that police say he held a grudge over a yr. old child custody dispute, and whom murdered a social worker Kathleen Smith, a Burlington, Vermont resident whom worked as a counselor in a home for people with mental health issues. Smith's body was found Oct. 18th, 2010 in her home by a co-worker after Kathleen Smith did not show up for work).

He would also reportedly terrorize and chase away people who would come near his "encampment" in the woods in Burlington with a knife.

Perhaps Dr. Skinas with his "Abenaki" "Chief" April St. Francis Merrill (along with Giovanna Peebles?) felt that the homeless man could "protect" the repatriation site of the Native American human remains from being disturbed again? Yet, the location of the human remains seemingly were buried where leachate was being pumped, which has lead, arsonic and carcinogen's in it, which in turn, "eats up" and destroys archaeological artifacts and Native American human remains.

It would appear that Dr. David Skinas being on the Intervale Center Board of Directors was in conflict of interest, because he was (and still is) in a working relationship with April Merrill of the St. Francis/ Sokoki "Abenaki" "band" at or of the Missisquoi. So much for respecting Intervale's "Mocassin Village" ancestors.

REMEMBER when I mentioned earlier in this posting just "what makes Mrs. April (St. Francis) Merrill assume that she is ANY better than/or less than, Mrs. Judy (Fortin) Dow?" Hmmm, let's do a little genealogical comparative analysis.....

So, let's take a glimpse INTO a portion of Judy Ann (nee: Fortin) Dow's genealogical background:

Judy (Fortin) Dow was born Feb. 10, 1954 in Burlington, Chittenden County, VT to Robert Fitzman/ Fidiem Fortin andMarguerite Elizabeth (nee: LaCasse) Fortin.

Generation 1:
Marie Kakesik8k8e Mite8ameg8k8e aki. Mitcominqui*
* Marie Mite8ameg8k8e aka. Mitcominqui, was born around 1631-1632, in the "Nations des Ouionontateronon" (Huron word for Weskarini Band of the Algonkin/ Algonquin Tribe), in the area between the Ottawa and the St-Maurice rivers in Québec, Canada. NOT WESTERN ABENAKI.
She married secondly, to Pierre Couc dit LaFleur
Generation 2.
Marie Madeleine Couc dit LaFleur
Maurice Menard dit LaFontaine
Generation 3.
Jean Antoine Menard Fontaine
Marie Huet dit Dulude
Generation 4.
 Marie Charlotte Menard
Husband 1: Jean Baptiste Lefort
Married before September 08 1850
Husband 2: Francois Patenaude
Married on May 20, 1865
Generation 5.
Marie Isabelle Elizabeth Lefort
Denys Aupry
Generation 6.
Marie Angelique Auprix dit Laramee
Antoine Riel
Generation 7.
Marie Riel
Gregoire Rouille
Generation 8.
Octave Rouille
Victorine Lefbvre
Generation 9.
Marie Victorine "Rosalie" "Rose" "Rusty" Rouille
Joseph Etienne Fortin
Generation 10.
Robert Fitzman Fidiem Fortin
Marguerite Elizabeth LaCasse
Generation 11.
Judy Ann Fortin
Stephen Moore Dow

Now, let's take a look at April Ann (nee St. Francis) Rushlow - Merrill's partial genealogical background:

Generation 1.
*Born abt. 1606 in the area of Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada
Generation 2.
Roch Manintoubeouich / Manitouabeouichit **
** Roch Sauvagesse/Manintoubeouich/Manitouabeouich/Manitouabewich/Manitouabe8ich/Manithabehick, Manit8ebae8chit/Manitoueabeouichit/Manithabehick/Manitouaeewich/Manitouabeauich/Manatouabewich/Manitouvouich/Manitouabeouch
Born: 1600 /about 1595/1596/1590 Quebec, Canada
Baptised November 14th, 1636, Quebec Godparents: Francois Derre, De Gand
Married: 1618 Quebec, Canada
Birthplace: Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada
He was a Huron/ and or Algonkin Chief
Generation 3.
Marie "Manitouabewich" Olivier Sylvestre
Martin Prevost
Generation 4.
Jean Baptiste Prevost
Marie Anne Giroux
Generation 5.
Marie Catherine Prevost
Charles Petitclerc
Generation 6.
Françoise Petitclerc
François Alain
Generation 7.
Brigitte Alain
François Hogue
Generation 8.
François Hogue
Marie Anne Cusson
Generation 9.
François Hogue
Marie Plante
Generation 10.
Fabien Flavien Hoague
Adèle Vêtu dit Bélair or Adell Blair
Generation 11.
Clara Hoague
Husband 2: Nazaire St. Francis
Married on 05 Sep 1891 in Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont.
Generation 12.
Nazaire St. Francis
Florence Ethier dit Hakey
Generation 13.
Homer Walter St. Francis
Patricia "Patsy" Rae Partlow
Generation 14.
April Ann St. Francis
Husband 1: John L. Rushlow on 19 Sep 1998 in Berkshire, Franklin County, Vermont
Husband 2: Wiliam Walter Merrill on 04 Sep 2004 in Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont

Again, NOT WESTERN ABENAKI ANCESTRY indicated on the two identified Native Ancesors from the 1600's.

Clarification: of course, I don't profess to know either of these women's total ancestors all the way back to "Adam and Eve" and so, perhaps in their ancestries' they might have a Native Ancestor here and there, moreso than I have mentioned in this particular posting.

But my point is this... that it is many, many generations (11 to 14 generations) from the historically and genealogically identified (documented) DISTANT Native Ancestor's existence, of these 2 women. Upon entering the "native geographical area"  (as Dr. Wiseman Ph.D. says) of the State of Vermont, the particular ancestors of these two women, were NOT identifying as "Abenakis," nor as "Algonquin" (nor as "Indian's) on the State of Vermont Birth-Marriage-Death records, let alone U.S. Census records ... since their ancestor's located into Vermont. So, what legitimately observable Native American Western Abenaki Community do these people come from, lived in, and can speak for? They each SAY they are "Abenaki women," who come from "Abenaki Community." April St. Francis Merrill has stated she speaks for  the "Missisquoi/ St. Francis-Sokoki" "Abenakis." The Attorney General's Office in 2002 and the subsequently the B.I.A.'s O.F.A. concluded otherwise, based on the faulty data she (Aprill Merrill) and Frederick Wiseman Ph.D., John Scott Moody, etc submitted to the O.F.A. 
Mrs. Judy Dow of Essex, Vermont has claimed that she represents and comes from the "Mocassin Village" in the Intervale, Chittenden County, Vermont area. Well, who am I to question any of these two women's claims of being "Abenakis." Let the documents speak for themselves!
It is to my thinking and conclusion that April (St. Francis) Merrill seems to have been arrogant, cocky, conceited and defensive of her preceived "Abenaki-ness" ... when in factuality in the genealogical truth of the matter, she was not an "Abenaki" at all. Even the O.F.A. of the B.I.A.. determined as much in late June of 2007.

So, again I inquire, exactly whom has been perpetuating "lateral violence" against whom ... and whom is actually perpetuating "ethnic historical erasure"?

Seems to my thinking (and the supportive documention, historically and contemporarily) that if anyone has been proven to have been perpetuating documented "lateral violence" and or "ethnic historical and contemporary erasure" and continues to do so, it would be the member's and supporter's of this concocted 2008 "Abenaki Alliance" in Vermont, against others, such as towards Judy Dow, Richard "Skip" Bernier, Brad Barratt and Nancy LeCompte, etc. I would surmise that this oft made useage of this term "lateral violence" accusation, is in the "eye of the beholder." I would say, that those who accuse, are merely "calling the kettle black." Here on this blog, I comment on various dynamic's "as I have seen these reinvented abenaki dynamics or see it"  .... and the document's on this blog (which are more important to review than anything I have had to or will say commentarily) can speak for themselves!

Prepared by the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi, St. Francis-Sokoki Band
USING Dr. PH.D Frederick Matthew Wiseman's "Decolonizing the Abenaki...." material (in part).

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