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Monday, May 30, 2011

St. Francis/Sokoki Missisquoi Abenaki Application For Vermont State Recognition PAGES 104 to 112, ETC:

Page [104.]
Brian E. Dubie
Lieutenant Governor
State of Vermont
October 25, 2010
Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs
c/o Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
National Life Building, 6th Floor
Montpelier, VT 05620-1201
To whom it may concern:
I am writing in support of the Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation of Newbury, Vermont, the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuck-Abenaki of Brownington, Vermont, The St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Swanton, Vermont, and the Elnu Tribe of the Abenaki of Jamaica, Vermont, and their bid for Vermont state recognition as Indian tribes.
I would like to express my great appreciation for their many contributions over the years to our state's historical and cultural awareness, not to mention our knowledge of our own state's ethnic diversity.
These four Native American Bands were one of the pillars of our recent Lake Champlain Quadricentennial, working with Commissioner Bruce Hyde and many state and private organizations such as the ECHO Center in Burlington, and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Basin Harbor.
Their efforts at revising our curricula to better reflect our true history, and their assistance with the accuracy of Vermont's state interpretive markers and museum installations have been invaluable.
Vermont should include our indigenous peoples as we look to the future, and state recognition will go far in helping these and other original Vermonters to sell their wares not only as "Vermont made," but as "Abenaki made."

I for one wish them well in their quest for recognition before the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and the Vermont legislature. Nothing can diminish the great service they have performed, not only to their own people, but to all of the people of Vermont.
Thank you for your consideration.
Very respectfully,
Brian Dubie
Brian Dubie
Lt. Governor, State of Vermont
MONTPELIER, VT 05633-5401
TELEPHONE: 802.828.2226
FAX: 802.828.3198
Page [105.]
United States Department of the Interior
Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office
11 Lincoln Street
Essex Junction, Vermont 05452
November 09, 2010
In Reply Refer To:
Abenaki Tribal Council
Attn: Chief April St. Francis-Merrill
P.O. Box 276 - Missisquoi
Swanton, VT 05488
Dear April:
I am writing to update you and the Tribal Council on the progress the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners have made on Trombley habitat restoration project located on Monument Road in Swanton, Vermont. You reviewed the project and provided input during a site visit in October of 2009. The project involves providing fish access to a small tributary of the Missisquoi River, removing a small berm, and establishing a forested buffer along the stream. The first phase of the project was completed last month by replacing the undersized culverts with a bridge structure and re-grading the berm. Dave Skinas provided archeological oversight for all of the construction activities.
The Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in concert with teh U.S. Department of Agriculture and the landowner are planning to complete phase two of the project in the Spring of 2011. Approximately 4.8 acres will be planted with 1300 native trees and shrubs. The habitat improvement activities undertaken with this project will greatly enhance the fish and wildlife resources of the surrounding area. The improved stream access is expecially important given the rich aquatic diversity of the lower Missisquoi River. More importantly to you, this project will eliminate agricultural production within the 4.8 acre area that will serve to help protect heritage resources important to the Missisquoi community.
Based on your involvment, insights, and cooperation on this project, I have a much better understanding and appreciation for the homeland of the Abenaki. Thank you for your participation and I look forward to potential collaboration with the Abenaki Nation of the Missisquoi on future restoration projects. Please contact me at the address above or by phone at (802) 872-0629 if you have any questions regarding the project.
Chistopher E. Smith
Christopher E. Smith
Coordinator, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program
cc. Dave Skinas  
Page [106.]
Boston Indian Council
105 South Huntington Avenue
Jamaica Plain, Boston, MASS. 02130
Telephone: 232-0343-44
Chief Homer St. Francis
St. Francis Sokoki Band of Abenaki Indians
P.O. Box 276
Swanton, Vermont 05488
October 12, 1988
Dear Chief St. Francis:
We, the Board of Directors of the Boston Indian Council, do hereby expreess our support to the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of ABenaki Indians in the efforts of the band to attain justice. For nearly 20 years, the Boston Indian Council and the Abenaki people of Vermont have worked closely together to bring employment, social and economic opportunities to our respective communities. For the Abenaki people to not be afforded the proper respect and treatment afforded other Indian peoples of both our region and throughout the United States is wrong especially in light of the other Indian communities of New England, but by the other Abenaki Bands and members of the nation situated in Canada.
The Abenaki people have endured and achieved much. We are confident that because universal justice, the Creator's justice, is on your side, you will arrive at your goals as a people.
Respectfully Submitted by
Joan Scanlon
Joan Scanlon, President
Board of Directors
Knowledge of the Circle
Page [107.]
Room 2000
John F. Kennedy Federal Building
Boston, Massachusetts 02203
On behalf of the New England Task Force, an organization serving the collective will and direction of New England Native communities, I offer our full support to the St. Francis Sokoki Band of Abenaki Indians in their effots to secure justice and prosperity for all members of their nation. We ask that the United States Government and the State of Vermont work with the authorized leadership of the Abenaki people in arriving at a proper resolution of all issues which effect both future and present well-being of the Indian and non-Indian communities of Missisquoi and Vermont.
The issues before all parties are matters of governments and should be responded to accordingly by all parties. We will use all the influence, powers and resources we can generate to insure that the Abenaki people are treated with due respect and fairness by external authorities.
James S. [?]
Page [108.]
WHEREAS, the Vermonters we know as American Indians and Native Americans were the first inhabitants of this state; and
WHEREAS, mountains and valleys, lakes and rivers, trails and roads, schools, towns and businesses across the great state of Vermont bear Native names, serving as lasting reminders of the presence and the significance of Native Americans not just in our geography but also throughout the whole of Vermont's history, and
WHEREAS, Native Americans have played a vital role in the life of our state and their many contributions have enhanced the culture, uniqueness, freedom and greatness of Vermont today; and
WHEREAS, many Vermonts are descendants of the tribes that are indigeneous to our state, including the Missiquoi, Nulhegan, Cowasuk, Sokoki, Mahican, and others; and
WHEREAS, there are tribal communities who are organized in the state of Vermont who maintain the history, culture, lifestyles and unique heritage of the Native American people of the Green Mountain State; and 
WHEREAS, Vermont Native Americans have served with valor and distinction in wartime, and their artistic, entrepreneurial and other skills have truly enriched our heritage.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, James H. Douglas, Governor, do hereby proclaim November 2010 as
NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH in Vermont and encourage all Vermonters to remember the many contributions made by Native Americans in the Green Mountain State and across the nation and to honor the unique heritage of our continents first inhabitants.

Given under my hand and teh Great Seal of the State of Vermont this 10th day of November, A.D. 2010.
James H. Douglas
James H. Douglas

By the Governor:
David H. Coriel
David H. Coriel
Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs
Page [109.]
October 28, 2010
To whom it may concern;
Vermont has always been a leader in the fight for equality and civil rights. I am proud to have led the charge to overcome some of those struggles in our state. Yet, much work is left to be done.
It is disappointing to think that Vermont has failed to recognize its native Vermonters for so many years. Rather than refusing to acknowledge and show appreciation for the rich history of our land and the people living in it, we should embrace it.
Our Native American friends and neighbors should have access to the same rights and privileges as all other Vermonters. No longer should a Vermonter be denied a heritage based college scholarship. And no longer should merchants be barred form marketing their wares as "Abenaki made."
As a stsate we must reaffirm our commitment to respect all people living within our borders. During my time in the Senate, it has been my privilege to support legislation which seeks to do just that. I look forward to working with the Vermont Abenaki population to continue the fight to ensure that all Vermonters are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.
My best,
Peter Shumlin
Peter Shumlin
Page [110.]
United States Census 2010
August 09, 2010
April St. Francis-Merrill
P.O. Box 276
Missisquoi, VT 05488
Dear Partner,
On behalf of the U.S. Census Bureau, I thank you for partnering with us to achieve a complete and accurate census count in 2010. Conducting the decenial census is a massive and vitally important undertaking -- one which the Census Bureau could only accomplish with the help and support of partners like you.  We appreciate the time and resources your organization dedicated in helping to ensure a successful 2010 Census.
Your commitment to motivate the public to complete and return the census form will have a lasting impact. As a census taker, you can take pride in knowing that your organization helped ensure that the communities you serve are accurately represented in Congress and eligible for the funding needed for important programs, services and facilities. The 2010 Census data will help your organization, community and government make strategically and fiscally sound dicisions to spur and sustain economic development and growth, and imporve the quality of life in every neighborhood.
Thank you again for your contributions to the 2010 Census effort. We value your partnership and look forward to continued opportunities to work together in the future.
Kathleen Ludgate
Kathleen N. Ludgate, Regional Director
U.S. Census Bureau, Boston Region
Page [111.]
December 10, 2003
Chief April St. Francis Rushlow Merrill
Missisquoi Sokoki/ Abenaki Nation
P.O. Box 276
Swanton, VT 05488
Dear Chief April St. Francis Rushlow Merrill,
On July 16, 2002, the Boston City Council's Committee on Environment & Historic Preservation held a public hearing on a Resolution called for Deer Island, based on its historic significance, to not be further descrated. At the end of the testimony, the hearing was recessed (rather than closed) to allow for a future reconvening of the hearing process, provided we decide we decide together to continue by re-filing in the new year. To facilitate the process the process of establishing a new 2004 hearing date, I am interested in receiving input form the affected Indian Tribes/ First Nations.
I have been working closely with Muhheconneuk Intertribal Committee on Deer Island (MICDI) Coordinator and Muhheconnew National Confederacy (MNC) Bureau of Political Affairs Acting Director John Sam Sapiel on this matter, who sought my assistance in the passage of a City Council resolution calling for the preservation of Deer Island. I want to thank Coordinator Sapiel for his assistance in providing the background information materials (including video cassette copies of the July 16 hearing) that accompanying this letter. I am sending you this letter asking your Tribal/First Nations government's input in selecting a date for a new hearing next year, I would also be very interested in your opinions or comments on both the July hearing and the issue generally.
I am in strong support of the Tribal/First Nations governments' efforts to see that Deer Island is recognized as an Indian burial ground and historic site. I hope that your Tribal/First Nations government can provde additional testimony at the new hearing and participate in this important process. I look forward to hearing from you.
Very truly yours,
Felix D. Arroyo
617-635-3115 FAX: 617-635-5734 FELXD.ARROYO@CI.BOSTON.MA.US
Page [112.]

The 200-acre Deer Island is the largest of a 30-island cluster spread out over a fifty square mile area of Boston Harbor established as the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area by federal legislation in 1996; and
Artifacts dating back over 10,000 years and 4000-year-old human remains indicate extensive early occupation of the Boston harbor Islands by Native Americans, and
During King Philip's War (1675-1678) about 600 Native Americans were held in an incarceration camp on Deer Island, about two-thirds of whom were believed to have perished as a result of harsh treatment and the provision of insufficient food, shelter, medicine and heating fuel; and
In 1992, indian tribal officials of tribes descendant from the historic Muhheconnew National Confederacy came together to revive that national unity and to form the Muhheconneuk Intertribal Committee on Deer Island to halt construction of an EPA/MWRA sewage treatment complex construction on Deer Island and to educate people of Boston and eastern Massachusetts about the islands "forgotten" history as an internment camp and sacred native American burial grounds; and
Upon the establishment of the national park, teh federal legislation declared that a major planning goal would be "protecting and preserving native American burial grounds connected with the King Philip's War internment period and other periods" and ensuring that plans for the park respected "the history of Native Americans use and involvment"; and
The Muhheconneuk Intertribal Committee on Deer Island continues to strongly oppose the designation of Deer Island as a general use "recreation area" as a designation inconsistent with the respect that ought to be given to the tragic "forgotten history" of the island; and
WHEREAS: Of particular concern tothe Muhheconneuk Intertribal Committee on Deer Island and the local native American community is a use of Deer Island that allows dogs to relieve themselves and to dig on sacred ground; Therefore be it
That the Boston City Council believes that Deer Island, which has been recognized as sacred burial ground by local Indian tribes and as a former "concentration camp" site by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, should not be desecrated.
Filed In City Council: March 26, 2003

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