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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

St. Francis/Sokoki Missisquoi Abenaki Application For Vermont State Recognition PAGES 124 to 130, ETC:

Page [124.]
& 853 (c)(9)(B) Tribes in and outside Vermont that attest to the Native American Indian heritage of the applicant.
The Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi St. Francis/Sokoki Band has long-standing relationships with the federally recognized Narragansett, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Gayhead Wampanoag (Aquinnah), Haudenosaunee, Mohegan, Mohican, Odanak and Cree tribes. Their letters of support are presented below.
Page [125.]
Narragansett Indian Tribal Resolution
No. TC 92-0002
WHEREAS: The Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island is a Federally Recognized and Acknowledged Tribe; and
WHEREAS: The Narragansett Indian Tribal Council is the Governing Body of the Tribe; and
WHEREAS: The Abenaki Tribe currently of Vermont is and old and friendly ally of the Narragansett Indian Tribe: and
WHEREAS: The Sovereign Nation of the Abenaki has requested of us to support their right to self-determination and independence from the State of Vermont and the Vermont usurpation of their Chief Sachems rights and thus aboriginal Tribal rights that are clearly recognized to exist, which allows the Abenaki to function as a separate, self-governing people;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Narragansett Indian Tribal Council that the Narragansett Indian Tribe fully supports the request of our ancient and honored brothers and thereby will assist them toward their rightful determination to self-government and Sovereignty, and further that the Tribe extends full recognition and acknowledgment to the Abenaki Nation as an independent Sovereign
I, the undersigned, as Secretary of the Narragansett Indian Tribe hereby certify that the above resolution was fully adopted by the Narragansett Indian Tribal Council at a Tribal Council meeting at which a quorum was present and vote tallied, held on the 07th day of January 199 [2 or 3].
Shelia A. Christy    George H. Hopkins
Tribal Secretary      Chief Sachem/ First Councilman
Page [126.]
April 4, 2005
Chief April Merrell
100 Grand street
Swanton, Vermont U.S.A. 05488
Chief April,
As we discussed the other day at our office here in Odanak, we are in two different worlds in a continent separated in two by an on lawful [unlawful] boundary. Which has different laws by that I mean for us here in Canada, we have to go, act by the Federal Government who is our law. We never had any say in this but that is the law.
We are fighting very hard by every means to let us 1st Nation decide who we are. We know our people, our members, our ascendance [our ancestors], our descendant [descendants]; so to me it still stands that someone who claims to be Abenaki from Odanak has to prove it. As also I, as Chief, have to respect the demands of our registered members who are not even recognized in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, New York so by that we have to be strick [strict] and hard, we have to prove who we are and who they the members are.
So by this my solution (may be) and I say may be the thing to do is to try to unite with the Abenakis of Vermont by this I say not all the Wannabees that spring out of every bush. Such as you say there is these lone bear; blue feather, rushing water and how many more, the basket makers and others. They are the ones who really hurt you and I and the real members who have suffered all this [these] years and died with out the satisfaction, self pride, the honor of being recognized, A nation in Vermont did exist and still does.
102, rue Sibosis, Odanak (Quebec) J0G 1H0 Tel: 450-568-2810 Fax: 450-568-3553
Page [127.]
Odanak Letter from Chief Gilles O'Bomsawin Letter Dated April 04, 2005 Continued.....
By this I mean a nation of many clans, the bear, the Wolf and so many more that formed the Wabanaki Confederacy, this Union which is so strong if we would unite, be honest and stop seeing this sign $ which has done so much harm. We are nomades, look at history they called our Gipsy and so many names and we are we so separated apart and many still have that in their bones. We loved Mother Earth and see waht she gave us to live with but we had to earn it.
I know time is an issue short times to prove ourselves, how come states in Vermont has our family names, cities, towns and more why do maps say Indian territory reserves, why? Good lord tell me why? So by all of this our burial ground rivers all have a sacred respect all these names has a meaning our ancestors passed there. Here in Odanak we have 132 which was called la Route de Sauvage (the Indian Road). Why? Here in Odanak we have 132 which was called la Route de Suavage (the Indian Road). Why?
These white governors do not believe in History and they wrote it. So I do hope this will help you April for the time being. Kwai! Kwai!
Brotherly yours in friendship peace,
Gilles O'Bomsawin
Gilles O'Bomsawin,
Chief of Odanak Abenakis
102, rue Sibosis, Odanak (Quebec) J0G 1H0 Tel: 450-568-2810 Fax: 450-568-3553

This letter dated April 04, 2005 .... seems to CONTRADICT the retrospective by the Odanak and Council Members decision dated September 29, 2003 (signed by Chief Gilles O'Bomsawin, Clement Sadoques, Michel Hannis, Eddy O'Bomsawin and Denis Gill).
So, here is my interpretation of the late (now deceased) Chief Gillis O'Bomsawin's attempt in this letter to explain, that even though April St. Francis-Merrill was seeking his support, he was attempting to explain through his bilingualism...French/English translative understanding) that Odanak was under the Indian Act of Canada. Quite different than being under the Federal Bureau of Interior here in the United States on many levels, including his understanding of the LIMITED SOVEREIGNTY dynamic, granted to Native Peoples in the United States by either the B.I.A. and or U.S. Congressional Decision(s).
It would seem that on the first page of this 2-page letter, that he was attempting to be "friendly" but at that same time, explain that people who claim to be Abenaki, had not proven themselves to be connected to the Abenakis genealogically, historically or socially prior to their incorporation status and even after that status was given by the State of Vermont, the groups and people "that spring out of every bush" had not validated documentarily-speaking, when he had kindly asked if there was any connection(s) of these various people, to the historical Abenaki People's of N'dakinna.

(Letters from Chief Gilles O'Bomsawin ... are in Douglas Lloyd Buchholz' possesssion ... that are dated October 14, 2003 etc which were addressed to Joseph and his sister Margaret Bruchac, Richard "Rick" Hunt, Richard "Rick" Pouliot, Charles F. True and Rhonda (nee: Besaw) True, Judy Dow, etc.) 

It would appear that he was being simply "friendly" and at the same time politely assuming in his wording, that April St. Francis-Merrill, allegedly was connected to the Abenakis, historically, and genealogically.

Seemingly (correct my person, documentarily that is, if I am wrong in concluding the following), as of November 09, 2005 and late June of 2007, none of these afore-mentioned people have ever substantiated clearly and convincingly documentarily-speaking that they actually in any way, shape or form are connected historically nor genealogically to the Abenaki People prior to their association(s) with "Abenaki" incorporations created post 1976!
"A nation in Vermont did exist and still does" ... Gilles O'Bomsawin by this statement, was recognizing and acknowledging Odanak's known Abenaki people and their descendants within Vermont (ancestrally and contemporarily), and the other states as well (such as to Richard Robert Bernier, whose mother was ancestrally FROM Vermont and who, in her lifetime, came from the Abenaki Community of Odanak, and had decided along with other Abenakis to come back into Vermont, their ancestral homeland, part of N'dakinna.
The late Chief Gillis O'Bomsawin was SAYING something in this letter, and at the same time, he was NOT SAYING anything, other than for himself as an Abenaki Chief of Odanak, his own interpretations and thoughts.
NOTICE: there are not any other signature's to this letter of April 04, 2005. Obviously, this is not a "SUPPORT LETTER" from the historical and contemprorary Abenaki Community of Odanak, officially or otherwise but was merely a reply in regards to a discussion that happened a few days prior to April 04, 2005 seemingly by telephone between Gilles O'Bomsawin and April Merrill herself.

Gillis Joseph O'Bomsawin was born December 18, 1934 in Odanak, in the Province of Quebec, Canada. He married to Collette (nee: Minier) on April 12, 1958 at Notre Dame du Perpétuel-Secours Desbien, St. Jean County, Quebec, Canada.
Of this marriage, they had at least two known children:
Joseph Kent O'Bomsawin born November 08, 1965
Marie Clair Sylvie O'Bomsawin born March 18, 1960
Chief Gilles Joseph O'Bomsawin died on November 26, 2007 in Odanak.
Page [128.]
Faxed Document
09/20/1999 12:05
Winter Center for Indigenous Traditions
[John Moody and Donna nee: Roberts - Moody]
Page 05
Narragansett Indian
Archaeological - Anthropological
Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office
P.O. Box #700
Wyoming, Rhode Island 02989
17 March 1999
The Narragansett Indian Tribe, through its Tribal Historic Preservation Office supports repatriation of the non-federally recognized Abenaki Nation of all human remains, including ancient remains, assorted funerary objects, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony in your possession from the traditionally identified stomping grounds of the Abenaki people.
John B. Brown
John B. Brown
Narragansett Indian Tribe
Historic Preservation Officer
NAGPRA Representative

Page [129.]
June 1999
WHEREAS, The Join Tribal Council of the Passamaquoddy Tribe is the recognized and supreme governing body of the Passamaquoddy Tribe; and
WHEREAS, the Joint Tribal Council of the Passamaquoddy Tribe realizes the importance of cultural identity as the basis for preservation of the history and traditions of the Wabanaki People; and
WHEREAS, the Joint Tribal Council of the Passamaquoddy Tribe has known the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi St. Francis/Sokoki Band and its people since time immemorial as our brothers and sisters around the Great Council Fire of the Wabanaki Confederation:
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, The Joint Tribal Council of the Passamaquoddy Tribe formally recognizes the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi St. Francis/Sokoki Band as a sovereign government and its members being the people indigenous to the lands which today are called the State of Vermont and Northwestern New England.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT; The Joint Council of the Passamaquoddy Tribe fully supports and endorses the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi St. Francis/Sokoki Band's application for Federal Recognition as submitted to the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs.

I hereby affix by signature on behalf of the Tribe authenticating and promulgating the above stated resolution:
Richard M. Doyle
Richard M. Dolye, Governor
Richard J. Stevens
Richard J. Stevens, Governor
I, the undersigned Tribal Clerk of the Passamaquoddy Join Tribal Council, do hereby certify that the Passamaquoddy Joint Tribal Governing Body is composed of the two Tribal Governors, two Lt. Governors, and Twelve (12) Council Members of whom Four (4) from each Rservation, constituting a quorum were present at a meeting held the 9th day of June, 1999 and the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted at such meeting by a vote of; 9 In Favor, 0 Opposed, 2 Abstentioins, and 3 Absent.
ATTEST: Mary J. Lola - Nicolas
                  Mary J. Lola, Joint Tribal Clerk
June 22, 1999
Page [130.]
Siege social: Reservation indienne, Odanak, Québéc
4680 Danube, Wôlinak (Bécancour), Québéc G0X 1B0
Tél: (810) 249-1686 - Fax: (819) 284-1689
Wôlinak, December 14, 1999
Mrs. Donna Roberts
Mr. John Moody
RFD 1, Box 440
Sharon, VT
To whom it may concern,
The Abenaki Nation, through its Tribal Council names "Grand Conseil de la Naion Waban-Aki Inc," supports repatriation to the non federally recognized Abenaki Nation of Vermont of all human remains, including ancient remains, associated funerary objects, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural heritage in your possession from the traditionally identified stomping grounds of the Abenaki people.
Sincerely yours,
Gilles O'Bomsawin
Gilles O'Bomsawin

In the 1990's the SSA participated in the repatriation of certain skeletal materials found in 1973 at a site on Monument Road, an area of Swanton where many of the petitioner's families either live or had lived. The group eventually obtained the remains from the University of Vermont and, in partnership with the State and local historic preservation societies, purchased land to rebury the remains (Thompson 1996.09.27). Although Gilles O'Bomsawin, as president of the "Grand Council of the Waban-Aki Nation," wrote a 1999 letter of support for the repatriation of the remains to the Vermont group, a 2003 letter from the council of Odanak to the State of Vermont's "Division for Historical Preservation" appears to be evidence of a shift in attitude. This letter, submitted by the State, was accompanied by a copy of a 2003 resolution by the governing body of Odanak and Wolinak, which rescinded its recognition of ... "any organizations claiming to be First Nations in the United States or Canada, with the exceptions of our brothers and sisters at Wolinak and Penobscot" (Abenaki of Odanak and Wolinak 2003.09.29, npn). In this same resolution, the group stated the following:
While we recognize that the Band Councils of Odanak and Wolinak [the Abenaki name for the Canadian reservation previously referred to as "Becancour"] issued resolutions in 1976 and 1977 recognizing the St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Abenakis as a group of Abenakis living in the United States, we also recognize that these resolutions were not based on any genealogical or historical evidence linking these "St. Francis/ Sokoki" to our Abenaki and Sokoki ancestors. (Abenaki of Odanak and Wolinak 2003.09.29, npn)

In the letter accompanying the resolution, the same Gilles O'Bomsawin, now Chief of the Band Council of Odanak, also stated as follows:

We understand that your office [the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation] currently deals with an entity known as the "Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi," led by April St. Francis Rushlow. Please be advised that we have no knowledge of this organization's alledged [sic] connections to our ancestors. We knew nothing of them until the 1970's, and they have done nothing to prove their identity to us . . . Accordingly, we request that you no longer deal with this organization and instead begin to deal with us on all matters related to our ancestors and our cultural patrimony. (O'Bomsawin to Wadhams, 2003.09.02, npn)

The SSA [St. Francis/Sokoki Group/Petitioner] appear to have received a copy of this letter, as the minutes of a 2003 meeting state "Chief showed Tribal council a letter Chief Gilles Obomsawin [sic] sent to State. Chief says she will call him tomorrow to find out why he sent this letter" (ATC and ASHAI 2003.10.06, 1).
A subsequent letter from Gilles O'Bomasawin, dated April 4, 2005, makes no reference to the 2003 letter or the council resolution, and appears to be a response to a meeting between him and Ms. St. Francis-Merrill. The letter states as follows (all spelling, grammar, and punctuation sic).

We know our people, our members our descendant; so to me it still stands that someone who claims to be Abenaki from Odanak has to prove it. And also I, as Chief, have to respect the demands of our registered members who are not even reconized in Vermont ... so by that we have to be strict and hard, we have to Trove who we-are and who they the members are.
So by this my solution (may be) and I say may be the thing to do is try to unite with the Abenakis of Vermont by this I say not all the Wannabees that spring out of every bush... They are the ones who realy hurt you and I and the real members who have suffered ... A nation in Vermon did exists and still does.
By this I mean a nation of many clans, the bear, the Wolf, and so many more that formed the Wabanaki Confederacy. . : (OBomsawin 2005.04.04, 1-2).

Although the petitioner maintains that the April 4, 2005, letter should call into question the previous correspondence from Odanak submitted to OFA by the State of Vermont (SSA 2005.04.11, 4), the letter is actually very ambiguous. The letter did not include any mention of rescinding the 2003 council resolution, nor was the letter signed by any members of the 0danak council other than Gilles O'Bomsawin. The petitioner should submit other examples of its relationship with the governing body of Odanak if it wishes to clarify its relationship with the Canadian tribe.


I can review these documents "historically" and conclude that none of these are dated after November 09, 2005 and the issuance of the Office of Federal Acknowledgment's Proposed Findings AGAINST the Missisquoi St. Francis/Sokoki group led by April A. (nee: St. Francis) Merrill. WHY IS THAT?

Everything else pertaining the Archaeologoical/Anthropolgical Agencies (such as the "letters of support" for April St. Francis-Merrill by David Lacy and David Skinas who have both obviously developed long "working relationships" with April Merrill and her Professor Frederick M. Wiseman and John S. Moody/Donna Roberts-Moody) such documents are the ONLY documents that are dated more contemporarily AFTER November 2005-June 2007. AGAIN, WHY IS THAT?

Could it be that the (partial?) answers are in between the pages of the following published books?

"Cross-Cultural Collaboration: Native Peoples and Archaeology in the Northeastern United States" Edited by Jordon E. Kerber and published by the University of Nebraska Press October 01, 2006.

Cross-Cultural Collaboration is an anthology of essays on Native American involvement in archaeology in the northeastern United States and on the changing relationship between archaeologists and tribes in the region. The contributors examine the process and the details of collaborative case studies, ranging from consultation in compliance with federal, state, and local legislation and regulations (including the National Historic Preservation Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) to voluntary cooperation involving education, research, and museum-related projects. They also discuss the ethical, theoretical, and practical importance of collaboration; the benefits and the pitfalls of such efforts; ways the process might be improved; and steps to achieve effective collaboration.

Or how about this one:

"Indigenous archaeologies : a reader on decolonization" by Margaret M. Bruchac  © 2010.

"Relationships with indigenous peoples has become a key issue in the practice of archaeology worldwide: Collaborative projects, or projects directed and conducted by indigenous peoples themselves, have become a standard feature of the archaeological landscape, community concerns are routinely addressed, oral histories incorporated into research. This reader of original and reprinted articles, many by indigenous authors, i︣s designed to display the array of writings on this subject from around the globe, many difficult to access in standard academic settings. Cases range from Australia to Arctic Russia, from Africa to North America. Editorial introductions to each section serve to contextualize these works in the intersection of archaeology and indigenous studies. An ideal course text in both subjects." "Margaret M. Bruchac, of Abenaki descent, is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Coordinator of Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Connecticut."
"Indigenous journeys- Splinterville, Drenthe, Amherst" / By Margaret M. Bruchac .
*There is a PARTIAL SECTION of the above article, via Google Book search ... Pages 66 to 70 (71 and 72 are redacted), 73 to 75.
"Imagining the future of indigenous archaeologies" / Margaret M. Bruchac.
So, through associating themselves to, and with, and also creating "working relationships" (this includes with post-1976 created "Abenaki" incorporations, and their repeatedly CLAIMING to be  thee "Abenaki" or Wabanaki, of Western Abenaki and/or Wabanaki descent), but also their collaboration(s) with the archaeologists (such as Scott Dillon, David Lacy, David Skinas, Giovanna Peebles, and numerous others) they also (some of these "Abenakis") have become allegedly academically adept and "certified." The "Abenaki" incorporation's subsequently lean on the scholarly "assumptions and conclusions" of these "scholars" and "Abenaki" "professionals" such as Marge M. Bruchac and Professor Frederick M. Wiseman, Lisa Brooks-Pouliot, and numerous others such as Mariella Squire, Judy Dow, Bea Nealson, etc etc etc.
If these people cannot clearly and convincingly "attach themselves" to the Abenaki Ancestors through legitimate historical/contemporary Abenaki Community, by way of genealogical records and genuine historical documentation, then they will manipulate the Archaeological/Anthropological/ and Ethnological Fields of Study in order to "attach themselves" to the Abenakis Ancestors, literally! Even though genealogically and historically, such alleged and reinvented connection(s) are unsubstantiated.
Being paid (in one way or another) to re-bury the Abenaki Ancestors, while at the same time CLAIMING to be those Abenaki Ancestor's descendants, with no proof, historically or genealogically-speaking to show and provide those obviously ALLEGED and REINVENTED connection(s) to those "Abenaki" Native human remains funerary and/or  to those sacred spiritual objects is actually the truth.
Does NAGRPA (through the Federal Government ... through to VT or NH State, either politically-speaking or through a Historic Preservation Agency, or perhaps a Native "Museum" etc.) PAYS $$$$MONEY$$$$ to these people, such as John Moody, Donna nee: Roberts and or April St. Francis-Merrill (through D.H.P.? Obviously they claim to be "Abenakis" ... and some of them have set themselves up to be Repatriation Agent's, such as Deborah Bergeron in Swanton, Vermont.
Are these "Abenaki" Incorporation's who claim to be Abenaki Tribes within Vermont/N.H. going through a Federally Recognized Tribe such as the Narragansett Tribe (Rhode Island) or the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe (Wisconsin)to fund their NAGPRA Abenaki re-burials, and or is the State of Vermont funnelling NAGPRA monies through to Giovanna Peebles, David Skinas and/or David Lacey or to their State or Federal Agencies, and then that monies have been trickling down into the hands of these "Abenaki" Non-Profit Organizations?
These NON-COMPETATIVE (under $15,000.00 dollars USD) NAGPRA Grants are issued pretty much automatically on a yearly basis, to re-bury the Abenaki/Indigenous People's that are inadvertantly discovered by erosion, and/or dug up by  construction etc within Vermont/New Hampshire.
Now Luke Andrew Willard is communicating with Sherry Gould of Bradford, N.H. regarding Indian Child Welfare (ICWA)....
AND their so-called
in the process

Isn't NAGPRA and ICWA Federal Funding meant for Federally Recognized Native People's; and NOT for these incorporation's "that spring out of every bush claiming to be Abenaki Tribes"?

Perhaps the United States Congress should take a look at this "loophole" and close it quickly, so that these "Abenaki" wannabiak here in Vermont and New Hampshire stop their stealing of monies meant for legitimate Abenaki and other Native People's who do have the legitimate connection(s) genealogically and historically to Abenaki Communities, and not merely to some self-created "Abenaki" incorporations?

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