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Monday, March 28, 2011

St. Francis/Sokoki Missisquoi Abenaki Application For Vermont State Recognition PAGES 55 and 59, Etc:

Page [55.]
§ 853 (c) (8) The applicant has not been recognized as a tribe in any other state, province, or nation.

The Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi, St. Francis/Sokoki band, has not been recognized ill ally other state, Province or Country.

§ 853 (c) (9) Submission of letters, statements, and documents from: (A) Municipal, state, or federal authorities that document the applicant's history of tribe-related business and activities.

Included in this section are executive orders, proclamations, and samples of correspondence between federal/state agencies and municipal governments that describes the relationship between the Missisquoi Abenaki and these entities.
Page [56.]
The 1976 Governor SaImon Executive Order:

State of Vermont Executive Order of 1976
WHEREAS, Vermont has a unique history of recognizing the requests of minority groups, in that the State of Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery; and
WHEREAS, in 1974, certain native American people living within the State of Vermont as members of the Abenaki Tribe, reconstituted as their governing body the Abenaki Tribal Council; and
WHEREAS, the Abenaki Tribal Council as the governing body of the Abenaki Indian Tribe exercises internal governmental functions; and

WHEREAS, people of the Vermont Abenaki Tribe can trace their lineage in Vermont well into the 19th century; and

WHEREAS, Vermont Abenakis have resided primarily in the northern counties of the State of Vermont; and

WHEREAS, the Canadian Government has recognized the Abenaki people of the Odanek and Becancourt Reservation in the Province of Quebec; and

WHEREAS, the Quebec Abenakis endorse and recognize the tribal status of Vermont Abenakis; and

WHEREAS, there may be as many as 1,700 people living in Vermont claiming to be direct descendents of the original Abenaki Indian Tribe, and research indicates that many of these people are descendents; and

WHEREAS, many of these people suffer from low education attainment, severe poverty, inadequate housing and high unemployment;. and

WHEREAS, Congress has appropriated several millions of dollars of federal funds to provide benefits and services to Native Americans; and
Page [57.]
WHEREAS, without State recognition, Native Americans residing in Vermont cannot qualify for these programs; and

WHEREAS, the definition of Native American is varied, according to federal interpretation, and initial research indicates the existence of Native Americans residing in Vermont;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Thomas P. Salmon, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Vermont do hereby recognize these Native Americans by federal definition as members of the Abenaki Indian Tribe; and
THEREFORE, in furtherance of the above recognition, I hereby establish the Governor's Commission on Indian Affairs.

1. The Governor's Commission on Indian Affairs shall investigate problems common to Indian residents of the State, as well as the special concerns of the Abenaki Tribe, and shall assist the Abenaki Tribal Council in its dealings with agencies of State and Local government.

2. The Commission shall further develop the initial research to provide historical data to define the Native American population in Vermont, and shall prepare a report to the Governor and Legislature. All State Agencies shall cooperate with the Commission in the performance of this function.

3. Each State Agency shall be responsible for evaluating its own services which are received by the Native American population, and shall propose means to provide adequate services. The head of each State Agency providing, or capable of providing, services to Native Americans is hereby directed to determine within three months whether or not federal, state or other funds are available to improve such services. Where it is determined that funds may be available for services and benefits to Native Americans, the-Agency and the Abenaki Tribal Council shall work together to prepare applications for such funds. The Commission's advice on such matters may be sought and the Commission shall be informed of all funding proposals submitted by State Agencies.

4. The Commission shall meet at least four times a year, and shall be comprised of five members, of whom two shall be appointed by the Abenaki Tribal Council, two shall be appointed by the Governor, and the fifth shall be chosen by the previous appointed four members.
Page [58.]
EXECUTIVE ORDER OF 1976  .............. 279

5. The Commission shall address itself to the problems of poverty, lack of education and high unemployment which exists within the Native American and Abenaki population.

6. In addition, the Commission shall prepare a report and recommendation for the Governor and the Legislature on the request by the Abenakis for unrestricted hunting and fishing rights within the State of Vermont; the inclusion of Abenaki Tribal members in the guardianship and management of the Mississquoi National Wildlife Refuge; and the request that legal title to the Monument of St. Francis, located north of Swanton, be transferred to the Abenaki Tribe.

IN WITNESS MY NAME HEREUNTO Subscribed and the Great Seal of the State of Vermont hereunto affixed, at Montpelier, this 24th day of November, A.D., 1976.

Thomas P. Salmon

By the Governor

Joseph Ja--le Jr.
Secertary of Civil and Military Affairs

Page [59.]
The 1983 Governor Snelling Proclamation:

I, Richard A. Snelling, recognize the St. Francis/Sokoki Band as a legitimate representative of individuals of Abenaki descent residing in the State of Vermont; and

I declare my sapport of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band in seeking recognition as the appropriate representafives in any and all federal. petitions designed to determine which groups are entitled to benefits designated by the United States Congress to individuals of Abenaki descent.

While I recognize sovereignty to be an exclusive attribute, and believe that Vermont is sovereign State within the sovereign United States of America, I support recognition of the St. Francis/Sokoki Band as a de facto entity representing those of Abenaki descent entitled to whatever attributes of sovereignty may be vested in them by due process actions of the people of the United States of America and Vermont.

Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State of Vermont, this 17th day of June, 1983.

Richard A. Snelling

By the Governor:

Timothy Daguard (?)
Secrectary of Civil and Military Affairs

St. Francis/Sokoki Missisquoi Abenaki Application For Vermont State Recognition PAGES 53 and 54, Etc:

Page [53.]
Treaty - The 1760 Robertson's Lease
is deserving of some consideration, in connection with the first settlement effected under the English government at Missisquoi. After the surrender of their possessir as in 1760, all the region in the northeastern part of America, which the French had before claimed, came under the control of England. Previously to this, the British Crown had generally granted power to the governors of all the different colonies, to made concessions of territory, to all who should wish to settle within their respective jurisdictions. Such a privilege was conferred on Governor Wentworth, who accordingly in 1763 granted lands on the Missisquoi river, which were regarded as a part of New Hampshire. This early English grant was, probably, at that day -- perhaps it remained long subsequently -- entirely unknown to the Indians. It consequently had, so far as we know, little, perhaps no practical effect on the settlement and tenure of the lands granted, until many years after the time now under consideration in question need receive no further attention for the present.
Though the St. Francis Indians no doubt had, at least by possession, a fair right to the soil, they yet by being the allies of the French in one sense lost their title when the latter were defeated and yielded the whole of their vast claims in this portion of the country to the English. For all this, the Red men continued certainly, to some extent, to hold the lands at Missisquoi, and to assert their right to them long after the dominion of the French in this part of the continent had ceased. In consonance with this, they made an extensive lease of lands in this neighborhood to a wealthy trader, who for some time resided in St. Johns. As this contract stands intimately connected with a prominent period in the history of the place, it may be well that it be here cited entire. The following is an exact transcript of a copy of this instrument. The copy was originally taken for Ira Allen, by James Whitelaw, from the certified copy in the Register's office in Quebec.

Know all men by these presents, that we, Daniel Poorneuf, Francois Abernard, Francois Joseph, Jean Baptiste, Jeanoses, Charlotte, widow of the late chief of the Abenackque nation at Missisque, Mariane Poorneuf, Theresa, daughter of Joseph Michel, Magdaline Abernard, and Joseph Abomsawin, for themselves, their heirs, assigns and administrators, do sell, let, and concede unto Mr. James Robertson, merchant of St. Jean, his heirs, assigns and administrators, for the space of ninety-one years from the twenty eighth day of May, 1765, a certain tract of land lying and being situated as follows, viz; being in the bay of Missisque on a certain point of land, which runs out into the said bay and the river of Missisque, running from the mouth up said river near east, one league and a half, and in depth north and south running from each side of the river sixty arpents, bounded on the bank of the aforesaid bay &c., and at the end of the said league and a half to lands belonging to old Abernard; and on the north side of said river to lands belonging and reserving to old Whitehead; retaining and reserving to the proprietors hereafter mentioned, to wit: on the north side of said river five farms belonging to Pierre Peckenowax, Francois Nichowizet, Annus Jean, Baptiste Momtock, Joseph Compient, and on the south side of said river seven farms belonging to Towgishcat, Cecile, Annome Quisse, Jemonganz, Willsomquax, Jean Baptiste the Whitehead, and old Etienne, for them and their heirs,
Page [54.]
said farms contain two arpents in front nearly, and sixty in depth.
Now the condition of this lease is, that if the aforesaid James Robertson, himself, his heirs, and assigns or administrators, do pay, and accomplish unto the aforesaid Daniel Poorneuf, Francois Abernard, Francois Joseph, Jean Baptiste, Jeanoses, Charlotte, the widow of the late chief of said nation of the Abenackques at Missisque, and Mariane Poorneuf, Theresa, daughter of Joseph Michel, Magdaline Abernard, and Joseph Abomsawin, their heirs, assigns and administrators, a yearly rent of fourteen Spanish dollars, two bushels of Indian corn, and one gallon of rum, and to plow as much land for each of the above persons as shall be sufficient for them to plant their Indian corn every year, not exceeding more than will serve to plant one quarter of a bushel of corn for each family, to them and their heirs and assigns; for which and every said article well and truly accomplished the said James Robertson is to have and to hold for the aforesaid space of time, for himself, his heirs, assigns and administrators, the aforesaid tract of land as mentioned aforesaid, to build thereon and establish the same for his use, and to concede to inhabitants, make plantations, cut timber of what sort or kind he shall think proper for his use or the use of his heirs, assigns and administrators, and for the true performance of all and every [article of] the said covenant and agreement either of the said parties bindeth himself unto the other firmly by these presents.
In witness whereof we have interchangeably set our hands and seals hereunto this 13th day of June, in the 5th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, George the Third, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland &c., and in the year of our Lord, 1765.
THERESA, daughter of Michel, (L.S.)
Witnesses present.---
Edward Simonds,
Peter Stanley,
Richard McCarty.

Sept. 20, 1765, Richard McCarty personally appeared before Thomas Brashay, J.P. and made oath on the holy evangelists that this instrument was signed as above indicated, and duly delivered to James Robertson.
George Powell, Secretary and Register, certified "The foregoing to be a true copy as recorded in the English Register, letter A, folio 179, in the Register's office of enrollments for the Provence of Quebec."
Such is the document, and it contains several points deserving of attention. In the first place, it appears that certain of the St. Francis Indians at Missisquoi, June 13, 1765, thus, after the treaty between France and England, and probably in view of their early title to the soil, made a lease of a considerable tract of land lying on both sides of the Missisquoi river in "James Robertson, merchant at St. Jean."
Mr. Robertson was undoubtedly of English extraction, as his name indicates. I is said that he originally resided in Quebec, and afterward established himself as a merchant at St. Johns, where he was extensively engaged in trade at the time he obtained this lease. He was thus living under the English government, and the instrument was properly authenticated and record in the office of registry. The lease which was duly executed was to run 91 years form the 25th day of May, 1765.
Again, the boundaries of the land conveyed require a moment's notice. The land in question is described as beginning at the mouth, and extending up the channel of the Missisquoi river nearly east one league and a half, and as being in depth north and south, from each side of the river, 60 arpents. Whether the reckoning in this measurement were according to the French or the English league is doubtful. That the standard of England was followed, though it be not certain, may seem to be probable, since the territory was no longer under the dominion of France. Were we to take the French standard, and reckon the league as 2.42 English miles, we should have less than 4 English miles as the extent of this land from the mouth of the river east; but adopting the English league we have about 4 1/2 miles. The arpent mentioned in this deed is evidently French, and should be estimated....

The following information is taken from with this blog:

The PF concluded that the petitioner did not identify its current members as required by the regulations, and that although the petitioner claimed descent from the historical "Western Abenaki" Indian tribe, it did not document descent from that historical Indian tribe or any other historical Indian tribe.

The PF concluded that while the petitioner provided some genealogical information for its members, it did not demonstrate descent from the Western Abenaki Indians or any other historical Indian tribe.

There is significant documentation attesting to the presence of Western Abenaki Indians in Northern New England before 1800. However, for the PF, the petitioner did not submit genealogical information that linked the group's current membership to individuals belonging to the historical Indian tribe of Western Abenaki Indians in the 18th century.

However, the PF concluded that the petitioner did not demonstrate descent from the Abenakis named on the register at Fort Saint-Frederic or on Robertson's Lease. 23. With the exception of the Simon Obomsawin, none of the petitioner's claimed ancestors are named on the available 18th or 19th century lists that identified individuals as Abenaki Indians (Abenaki PF 2005, 114-119). The PF also noted that the petitioner's claimed ancestors are not identified as Indians on any of the decennial U.S. Federal censuses between 1790 and 1930 (Abenaki PF 2005, 120). Consequently, based on the available documentation, the PF concluded that the petitioner did not demonstrate descent, either of its members or its 20 "social core families," from any individuals belonging to a historical Abenaki Indian tribe, with the exception of Simon Obomsawin (Abenaki PF 2005, 128, 132).

23. The names Joseph Abomsawin and Marian Poorneuf [Portneuf] appear on Robertson's Lease in 1765, as names of the individuals, presumably Abenaki Indians, who leased land at Missisquoi to James Robertson. The petitioner claims an individual named Simon Obomsawin as a "primary" ancestor, and there are individuals with the "Obomsawin" and "Portneuf' surnames on the petitioner's membership lists. However, "there is no evidence in the current record showing that any of the petitioner's current members descend from these individuals [Joseph Abomsawin and Marian Poorneuf]" (Abenaki PF 2005, 128).

St. Francis/Sokoki Band of Abenakis of Vermont (Petitioner #68)

...documentation does not identify the other 18 "primary" ancestors either as Indians or as belonging to a particular Indian tribe.

The PF also discussed a methodology used by John Scott Moody of Norwich or Sharon, Vermont, etc. to support the petitioner's claim of descent from a historical Indian tribe and concluded that this methodology was unsound. The methodology posited genealogical connections based on similar surnames in geographically proximate locations. The researcher for the petition apparently searched for the family names of the SSA petitioner on 18th and 19th century lists for the St. Francis Indians at Odanak as well as in other local records ofthe greater Swanton area of Vermont. If the researcher found similarities between SSA surnames and the surnames in the greater St. Francis region of Quebec, Canada, he designated the SSA families to be "Abenaki" family lines. This is a flawed methodology for several reasons. First, it speculates about genealogical connections, but it does not document them; therefore, this methodology is not acceptable by current professional standards. Second, it does not adequately explain or document the unusually wide variations of the surnames in the analysis. 26. Third, it assumed that individuals with a surname that is also borne by many Indians or frequently associated with known Indians are also Indians. The available evidence indicates that only 8 of the petitioner's 1,171 full members on the group's current "2005b" membership list descend from the St. Francis Abenakis in Quebec, Canada, the group that John Scott Moody investigated for surnames that appear to be similar to those of SSA members (Abenaki PF 2005, 134-135). 27.

Because of the various difficulties the petitioner had in meeting criterion 83.7(e), the PF encouraged the petitioner to submit additional information so that the Department might better understand its membership, its ancestry, and its potential connection to a historical Indian tribe.

The PF determined that the available evidence did not establish descent from a historical Indian tribe and that "to pursue Federal acknowledgment, it must provide evidence.

In summary, the PF found that the petitioner did not provide a complete and properly certified membership list as required by the criterion 83.7(e). The petitioner did not document the descent of its members from a historical Indian tribe or from historical Indian tribes that combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity. Furthermore, the methodology used to support the undocumented contention that its 20 "social core families" as "Abenaki" families is a speculative methodology that does not meet professional genealogical standards.

Although the petitioner certified its current membership list and provided two earlier membership lists during the comment period, the petitioner did not provide the Department with any of the additional information that the PF requested. Most important, neither the petitioner nor any other party submitted new evidence in response to the questions raised in the PF concerning the group's descent from the historical Indian tribe.

The Department's PF concluded, based on the available evidence, that the petitioner did not satisfy criterion 83.7(e) because it did not properly identify its members, certify its current membership list, and demonstrate its descent from a historical Indian tribe or tribes that combined and functioned as a single autonomous political entity. The PF noted, with some ambiguity, that the available evidence demonstrated that 8 of the 1,171 full members on the group's "2005b" membership list, defined by its "A1" adult members and "C1" child members, descend from a historical Indian tribe. Before the issuance of the PF. The two other, older lists the petitioner provided were of limited evidentiary value. There was no explanation describing the context or composition of these lists, and they did not help to establish a link to a historical Indian tribe or tribes. The "Against the Darkness" DVD presents no real genealogy that the Department can evaluate.

The available evidence does not demonstrate that these eight members were associated with the SSA petitioner before the 1990's. Furthermore, the available evidence does not demonstrate that the other remaining 1,163 members, or their claimed ancestors, descend from an earlier Missisquoi Abenaki entity in Vermont or any other historical Indian tribe.

LINK: http://reinventedvermontabenaki.blogspot.com/2010/12/state-of-vts-response-to-petition-for_23.html

To determine whether the current members are descendants of the historic Missisquoi tribe, we compared the names on these historic lists of known Abenaki Indians with the names of the ancestors shown on these charts. Not a single name matched. 78.

The first document examined was Robertson's lease, dated 1765 (Day 1981b: 68). This is the only known list of Abenaki Indians in Missisquoi. None of the twenty Abenakis listed in that lease appears in the 1995 Family Descendancy Charts of the petitioner.

However, Addendum C was apparently never provided to the Branch of Acknowledgment and Research (U. S. Bureau of Indian Affairs 10/23/2001). When genealogies were finally provided to the BIA, in the form of the Family Descendancy Charts in 1995, no indication of any connection to Robertson's Lease was indicated in any of the family charts. In fact, four families that were listed in the Petition Addendum as having....

78. This analysis, and those that follow, was based on the names that were disclosed in the charts in response to the Attorney General's Office request under the Freedom of Information Act. Obviously, names of living individuals were redacted from the 1995 Family Descendancy Charts. This had no effect on the analyses, since we made the comparison based on ancestors of living members, not the current members themselves.

.....genealogies linked "directly back to Robertson's lease" are not even included in the revised genealogies of present-day petitioner: LeDoux (Peckenowax), Mitchell, Crapo, and St. John (Compare Petition Addendum:327, n. 1472 and Family Descendancy Charts). Apparently, the contention that the present-day families can be traced to Robertson's Lease has been dropped. , perhaps because there was no real evidence to support it.

The second document examined was the 1805 grant of land in Durham, Quebec, to the Abenakis who had lost their lands at Missisquoi (Canada, Indian Affairs 1805, 79. Day 1981b:60-61; Charland 1964:175-76). If the Missisquoi Abenakis left Vermont at the time of the American Revolution and sought refuge in Canada among their kinsmen at Odanak./St. Francis, then their names should appear in this grant. However, none of the grantees shows up in the Family Descendancy charts of petitioner.

A check of all the names on the 1875 census again came up empty: none of them appears in the petitioner's charts as ancestors of the present day group. The inescapable conclusion from these comparisons is that the current day petitioner is not descended from the historic Missisquoi tribe of Abenaki, or from the Abenaki at Odanak/St. Francis.

There is simply no evidence that the families of the petitioner descended from the people who they claim were Abenaki Indians living in northwestern Vermont at the beginning of the nineteenth century (Davis Affidavit, Attachment AA-5).

AFTER 38 to 40+ years of "VT ABENAKI" CORPORATE EXISTENCE, and the official Petitioning for Federal Acknowledgment through the Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch "Office of Federal Acknowledgment" (CONTRARY to the LACK OF VALID DOCUMENTARY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE), this "Professor" Frederick Matthew Wiseman, PH.D., NOW, ALL OF A SUDDEN (since June 22, 2007) alleges to have found the DOCUMENTARY PROOF, that legitimizes his "Chief" April A. (St. Francis) Rushlow-Merrill's "Historical Abenaki Tribal-ness" and her "followers"/"members"?

Accordingly, the REVISIONIST SCHOLAR, Dr. Fred M. Wiseman himself (and through the help of Vincent Illuzzi and Hinda Milller) manipulated Criteria in Act 107 (S.222) that he himself sought, so as to go around the Findings and Conclusions of the O.F.A. and the VT State Attorney General's Office Response to aforesaid Petition For Federal Acknowledgment by the "St. Francis/Sokoki" "Abenaki" that Dr. Wiseman, himself, is a member of! Unbiased? Transparent? Fair? Scholarly independent?

I don't think so.

What this PH.D. Professor Wiseman, of Johnson State College in Vermont, has attempted to do is merely manipulate the documents to suit their "Vermont Indigenous Alliance" (founded in 2008) agenda and endeavors, fraudulently.

IF this "PROFESSOR" (along with his "Chief" ... and John Moody, etc.)could not substantiate the statements and claims made in the Petition in November 09, 2005, and up to June 22, 2007, what assumptions are being made now by the naive Vermont Politician(s)... that there is anything NOW that substantiates these ALLEGED and REINVENTED "Abenakis" claims?




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