Secondly, it only took me less than two minutes to find credible academic resources on the internet that defined the term of "band: without having to settle for Wikpedia. "band - a small group of related people, who are primarily organized through family bonds. Foraging typifies the subsistence technology. A respected and older person may be looked to for leadership, but the person has no formalized authority."
Department of Anthropology
Oregon State University
"Definitions of Anthropological Terms"
Band; the level of political integration in which a society consists only of an association of families living together. Bands are loosely allied by marriage, descent, friendship, and common interest. The primary integrating mechanism is kinship ties. There is no economic class differentiation. All adults of the same gender are more or less equal as far as community decision making is concerned. However, some individuals in a band may stand out for their skills and knowledge. These often are the people who have the best memories, are the best hunters, most successful curers, most gifted speakers, etc. Such people become informal leaders. Most often they are given authority by community consensus arrived at through casual discussion without the need for a formal vote. Leaders generally have temporary political power at best, and they do not have any significant authority relative to other adults within their band. Subsequently, bands are essentially acephalous societies. The total number of people within these societies rarely exceeds a few dozen. Bands are found among foraging societies.
Acephalous societies; a society in which political power is diffused to the degree that there are no institutionalized political leadership roles such as chiefs and kings. Bands and tribes are acephalous. Most foragers and simple horticulturalists have highly egalitarian, acephalous societies.
The word "acephalous" is Greek for "without a head."
Source: Dr. Dennis O'Neil
Behavioral Sciences Department
San Marcos, California
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Alabama
Band, a small, loosely organized group of hunter-gatherer families, occupying a specifiable territory and tending toward self-sufficiency.
Source: Harris M (1997) Culture, People, Nature: An Introduction to General Anthropology, seventh edition. New York: Allyn and Bacon.
Governance is legitimate when band members recognize the alpha male/female and grandparents as people in charge. Frank Speck used the band level to reconstruct Penobscot society. Large-scale socio-cutlural integration is not necessary to be legitimate.
Roger "Longtoe" Anthony Sheehan explained the determination in a Canadian court case similar to the Vermont situation amongst the Montagnais and Cree. They were a hunter/gatherer society and were never integrated into large groups but the courts agreed they were a tribe. If Vermont bands were not spread out throughout the state with members in others and they had a reservation, family names would be on the registers, just like in Canada. In Vermont, most Indians received the determination "white" on their birth certificates because they were not assigned to reservations.
1:30 - Public Hearing: Koasek of the Koas Application
Chief Nancy Millette - Doucet thanked everyone, gave a brief introduction, and recognized the process as horrifying but good has come out of it. Luke opened the door to public testimony.
Professor Fred Wiseman read Dave Skinas' report on the Koasek application and confirmed that it met requirements. He also included sources not found in the application. He also discussed the importance of the breakthroughs in academic material within this petition, especially regarding fish-fertilized mounds (sucker fish) backed up by Father Rasles' dictionary.
Nancy Millette Doucet spoke on her current trip to the Bradford Middle School and many of the children that identified a native heritage also used fish in their gardens. Giovanna Peebles spoke about possible collaborations with indigenous people of Vermont and historic preservation in regard to sustainability. They can play a role in climate change. Good gardners might use that type of sustainability. Luke Willard mentioned the native voice will be heard in this regard.
Nancy asked what was the response from the commission. Luke explained that the application is still being reviewed by a work group of commissioners and a decision will be made after the scholar's panel has issued their findings.
Nancy wanted to articulate that the connection with Elnu as explained in the report from Dave Skinas was not necessarily recent in the strict sense but began in the early 1990's with Rose Hartwell and family/friends that worked on village demonstrations.
We would like to thank the U.S. Department of Agriculture for generously providing financial assistance for the development of this website under a Rural Business Enterprise grant. We also thank the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, Inc. and the Women's Small Business Program, our grant partners.
We want to acknowledge in particular the work of Scott Gorman who, in addition to assisting with site design, took on the emmense task of programming this website. Scott is currently an anthropology major at Yale University and a member of Vermont's Abenaki community ("St. Francis/Sokoki" group via the Hakey lineage).
We want to thank Don Stevens who continues to maintain the website. Don is current on the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and a member of this tribe.
A special thanks goes out to MAX-IT who donates space for our website which allows our connectivity to the world wide web.
To access MAX-IT's website, click on http://www.maxit.biz/
Special thanks to Joe Bruchac, Fred Wiseman, John and Donna Moody, Chief April St. Francis-Merrill, Paul Greeno, Jeff Benay and Jesse Larocque for helping assemble ideas and content materials for the site.
Special special thanks to Amy Yavitz who volunteered to help with typing and editing of site contents.
This website was funded through a Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Doesn't David Skinas, employed by the Dept. of Agriculture, sit on the Abenaki Self Help Association, Inc. Board of Directors? What was his "influence" (if any) in gaining these grants for April Merrill's group?
Clearly and obviously, Mr. "Chief" Donald Warren Stevens Jr. WAS (and probably still is) a member of the "St. Francis/Sokoki" group led by April St. Francis-Merrill. He supports April Merrill, advocated for her. I think he also allegedly manipulated and sabotaged the previous appointed VCNAA commission on Native American Affairs when he sat with Jeanne Brink, Timothy de la Bruere, Brad Barrett and Judy Dow ... as did Chairperson's Mark William Mitchell, and Charles Lawrence "Megeso" Delaney Jr. who were all affiliated with the Homer St. Francis "St. Francis-Sokoki" group now led by Homer's daughter April Merrill.
Donald Stevens - Webmaster
Donald is currently the Director of Information Techonology for a Firearms Company and a member of Vermont's Abenak community.
He can be reached for questions or comments at:
This website was funded through a Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Legitimately documented Abenakis do care very much about their "identity." I suspect quite strongly that the Odanak Abenakis, the Wolinak Abenakis (and all surrounding Native Communities such as Old Town, Pleasant Point, Kahnewake, Akwesasne and many other legitimate historical native communities) will find such possible Vermont state recognition of these incorporated and unsubstantiated "Abenaki" groups to be quite insulting and rude, as these groups rewrite Abenaki history.
Is it to be that in Vermont (and in New Hampshire) all one has to do is "incorporate" with the Secretary of State, claim one is a "Tribe", "Band" or group of persons who raise their hands and claim to be Abenakis, and yet do not have to show and provide a shred of clear and convincing genealogical evidence that they are indeed legitimately of Abenaki descent?
My blog, the "Reinvention of the Abenaki" which is online, shows and provides the clear and convincing evidence that these groups are manipulating, lying to and deceiving the state of Vermont (and) New Hampshire trying to grab hold of the purse strings of the state and federal agencies ever more tightly, so that they can be paid to be Abenakis. It's called "identity theft" and "deceit." They want to be paid to spew their concocted re-invented "Abenaki" culture, their concocted "Abenaki" history in their lies, deceitfulness, and deceptions at the expense of the legitimate Abenaki ancestors and descendants. They want to be paid to speak their alleged Abenaki ancestral language. And yet 99.9% percent of these people have no clear and convincing genealogical evidence that their ancestors were Abenakis from and/or of Vermont/ New Hampshire, let alone Native people. I find that odd. Shouldn't the Legislature and the Senate Economic Development Committee be made aware of this reality? Or is it just about the "tourism" and money? The answer is that the state of Vermont, the Legislature, and Senator Illuzzi's committee could care less about learning and becoming aware of the honest truth regarding the Abenaki people. Perhaps the Legislature and the committee are blind, deaf and dumb to readily and without question, open the door to state recognition for these "groups" without so much as requesting and demanding that there be a genealogical foundation to this process of recognition? It comes to mind, that thieves and liars know no shame in what they do or say.
It has burdened my spirit, my heart and my mind for some years now, this "business" of these people, these groups. The Abenaki ancestors are being insulted by what is happening with every one of those people who, with their hands out, begging for those state and federal grants, begging to be specifically and officially "recognized" by the Vermont Legislature. These "groups" and their so-called "chiefs" all think they will come away rich if they gain instant, shake and bake Abenaki recognition from Vermont or New Hampshire.
Do you think for one second that the Native people's of this country will not pay attention to what is happening in Vermont with this mess that has been going and not address this "business," if these groups in Vermont gain recognition without proof? Do you think for one minute that they will not also knock on your legislative door? Perhaps the legitimately documented Abenaki ancestors descendants will rip that "door" from its hinges, to finally address this mockery going on in Vermont and New Hampshire.
I do hope and pray you are listening to what I am sharing with this committee, because if you do not, it may very well cost you all very dearly. I suspect my words herein will very likely fall to the ground, amongst the deaf, ignorant, arrogant and blind.
This process is not about "Lateral Violence" as Mr. Donald Stevens, a Phillips descendant and former VCNAA chairman has stated, in what I am speaking of here, but rather it is about the seeking out the documentary foundation of truth. It will prevail regardless of what happens with these groups of this "business" going on in Montpelier. Again it begins with showing and providing genealogical evidence that connects clearly and convincingly to the ancestral Abenaki people, and it ends there as well. It ought to be a foundation to anyone and any group gaining recognition from Vermont or New Hampshire. It ought to be a process all of these alleged and re-invented groups claiming to be Abenaki goes through, equally-transparently-and honestly. No one ought to gain state recognition instantaneously by the stroke of a pen simply to assuage the generational guilt and because of some contemporary sympathies. Abenaki people were never "hiding in plain sight," nor were Abenakis targeted by the Eugenics' Program of Vermont. Research and truth proves this out.
Now, I have watched as Mark Mitchell came and went, I have watched as Stevens came and went, and now I am seeing that Charles Lawrence Delaney Jr. heads this Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs.
All of these men were and are tied to the group in Swanton. They are biased and circumventing the intent of the VCNAA's purpose, because by having these persons who are from these groups heading the commission it would be like "the fox guarding the hen house." Empowering the commission on Native American Affairs to grant or officially give state recognition to persons or groups as being Abenaki or not Abenaki, etc. would be a huge mistake. Favoritism, bias, manipulation, and deceit would be the game plot of the day. I do want to make it very clear, that Judy Dow, Timothy de la Bruere, Brad Barratt and Jeanne Brink have not been the source of conflict within the commission, but rather it has been each and every chairman who has been unrepresentative of the commission as a whole, and who has attempted to manipulate the commission to be controlled by April Merrill and other groups who demand instant official state recognition.
Douglas Lloyd Buchholz