Date: February 2, 2011 3:03:27 PM EST
Cc: "'Jacques T. Watso'" firstname.lastname@example.org,
Subject: VERMONT SENATE ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE ABENAKI VOICES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
VERMONT SENATE ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE ABENAKI VOICES
February 2, 2011
On January 25, 2011, Sen. Vince Illuzzi invited Richard Bernier, Denise Watso, and Jacques Thériault Watso, representatives of the Abenaki people, to testify before the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs regarding S.10 and S.11. These bills would extend official state recognition to two applicant organizations who claim to be Abenaki, a position which is not supported by the evidence.
On January 31, 2011, the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs informed Mr. Bernier that it had rescinded its invitation - only Vermont residents would be allowed to provide "direct oral testimony."
This attempt to silence the Abenaki people is in direct opposition to Abenaki history and to our aboriginal rights. Some of us have our primary residence in Vermont, and many others live in Quebec, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and elsewhere. However, Vermont has been part of our homeland for thousands of years. We will not abandon our nationhood - something much larger than one state - because legislators are scared to hear from the true indigenous people of the Champlain Valley, the Green Mountains, the Connecticut River and the shores of Lake Memphramagog.
What are they so afraid of? Why must they attempt to silence our voices, and deny us our aboriginal, civil, and human rights? Why can't they look us in the eyes and hear our voices as we speak in defense of the truth of Abenaki history and the need for justice and respect? What are they so afraid of?
For more information, contact:
Richard Bernier, Liaison, Abenaki First Nation
Denise L. Watso, Liaison, Abenaki First Nation
Jacques Thériault Watso, Councillor, Abenaki First Nation
Hanouver, New Hampshire
To whom it may concern:
It has been brought to my attention that your college has documents and/or tapes of our abenaki language. There are people who are fraudulently representing themselves as Abenaki and who wish to extract these records for their own gain. One person in particular, Mr. Paul Pouliot, who claims to be of Abenaki descendance, but cannot prove it.
These records were taken from Odanak many years ago and should not find their way into the wrong hands.
I am sending this letter with my designated representative, Mr. Richard Bernier, who is an Enrolled member of the Odanak reserve. He is also speaker for our Odanak Abenakis' of Vermont.
As a First Nation's People, we wish to preserve our culture for our own children and have artifacts, language records and anything else that your college may have, NOT be allowed to stray into the wrong hands.
Gilles O'Bomsawin, Chief
of the Odanak Band Council
Dated September 29, 2003
Province de: Quebec.
Decide, par les presentes:
"While we recognize that the Band Councils of Odanak and Wolinak 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.
We also recognize that the number of organizations claiming to being Abenaki in the United States and in Canada has increased greatly since that time, again without genealogical and historical evidence presented to this Council.
Therefore, we resolve that the Couseil de Band d'Odanak does not recognize at this time any organizations claiming to be Abenaki First Nations in the United States or Canada, with the exceptions of our brothers and sisters at Wolinak and Penobscot. We, of course, also recognize our fellow Wobanaki First Nation- the Passamaquoddy, Malecite and Mi'kmaq.
We further resolve that organizations claiming to be Abenaki and particularly their leadship, are invited to send their genealogical and historical documentation to the Conseil de Bande d'Odanak, so that we might review the information to assess whether or not there is any truth to their genealogical claims.
Let it be resolved, that Chief Gilles O'Bosawin sent letters to the Conseil de Bande di Wolinak, to the Penobscot nation and to the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-aki, encouraging them to pass similar resolutions."
Chef Gilles O'Bomsawin
Clement Sadaques, Conseiller
Michel Hannis, Conseiller
Eddy O'Bomsawin, Conseiller
Denis Gill, Conseiller.
IF these "Abenaki" incorporation's of Vermont and New Hampshire are indeed "Abenakis" then WHY are these "Abenaki" Corporations so hesitant to show and provide their genealogical connection(s) to the Historical Abenaki People, to the VT Legislature and the Vermont Public?
HIDING their genealogical connection(s) of their ALLEGED and REINVENTED Abenaki Ancestor's because as a majority, these "Abenaki" incorporation's claiming to be Abenaki Tribes and or Abenaki Bands, are nothing of the sort; thus these groups have to hide their genealogies and "sensitive" information, because if these groups did not redact their lies and distortions, the TRUTH would be known to the Vermont Public just what a fraudulent scam is really going on with this "VT Indigenous Alliance of Alleged and Reinvented Abenakis".