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Sunday, March 29, 2015

The REAL Story of Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. - Part 5

July 11, 1981

Joseph Gérard Antoine Rancourt died enroute to the Meriden-Wallingford Hospital.
OBITUARY:
MERIDEN – Gerard A. Rancourt, 70, of 300 Baldwin Ave., Meriden, died suddenly Saturday en route to the Meriden – Wallingford Hospital. He was the husband of Eleanor (nee: Southland) Rancourt.
He was born on July 30, 1910 in Ste. Méthode de Adstock, Frotenac County, Quebec, Canada, a son of the late Joseph and Zorilla (Ancelin) (nee: Grondin) Rancourt. He lived in Meriden most of his life. He was an inspector for the Hyatt Bearing Division of New Departure, retiring in 1969 after 42 years of service. He was a parishioner of St. Laurent’s Church.
In addition to his wife, he leaves two sons, Gerard Ranourt, Jr. of Philadelphia, Pa., and Keith Rancourt of Meriden; two daughters, Marcia Masnato of Wallingford and Lois Shelton of Dunedin, Florida; one brother, Felon Rancourt of Meriden; three sisters, Laura Letourneau of Meriden, Blanche Bastille of New Bedford, Mass., and Isabelle Dufresne of Manchaster; and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral will be held at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday from Lamphier – Keeling Funeral Home, 122 W Main St., with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 at St. Laurent Church. Burial will be at St. Laurent Cemetery.


July 14, 1981 
Great Lakes National Retreat set at Albion
The fourth annual Great Lakes National Retreat, sponsored by Spiritual Frontiers Fellowship, will be held Albion College, on July 26, 31, 1981. The full coast of the retreat covers room, board and program, including recreation. Noted personalities from widely divergent disciplines will be present workshops, lectures, and rap sessions. ...
Gerald Rancourt Tsonakwa, who is an Abenaki Indian from Canada, will lecture on "Native American Spiritual Heritage" and conduct his similar workshop daily.


August 20, 1981 
Greensboro Daily News 
By Tsonakwa Gerald Rancourt
"I tell the stories word for word, the way they were told to me," said Tsonakwa, 38, who was born on an Abenaki reservation in Quebec. [Lie No. 1] "Every year as a boy when we hunted my father and uncle told stories at the hunting lodge because we had no electricity.
"I learned 230 stories," he said.
Only 1,100 Abenaki of the 2,500 remaining tribe members still speak the language.
The Abenak fought the British during the American Revolution, and sided with the French during the struggles for Canada. When the British prevailed, the treaties that had been honored by the French were destroyed, and most tribe members  were shunted off to reservations.
Most still live on the Quebec reservation, although 900 refugees moved south to live with another branch of the family, the Delaware.
Tsonakwa, who has lobbied for Indian rights in Ottawa and Washington, said the "Canadian government still won't recognize us as human beings. In 1977 Canadian Prime Minister (Pierre) Trudeau said we could go into the bush and live in animal skins. We replied there is no bush, no animals. They have left nothing behind."
The last Abenaki uprising was in 1867, Tsonakwa said, "and my family have been activists ever since."
Tsonakwa is Abenaki for "Wild Man Waiting at the North," and the name given only to those who prove to be great teachers. Teacher is only one of the things Tsonakwa has been.
He left the reservation at 16 and started a 22-year odyssey that has taken him to copper mines, lumber camps, the University of Hartford [CT], where he earned a degree in chemistry, and finally into modern Indian struggles. He is Director of the United American Indians, a former artist-in-residence at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and helped found Discovery Place, a living museum in Charlotte.

September 08, 1984
Keith Anthony Rancourt married to Valerie E. (nee: Halpin) in Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut.

November 29, 1984 – December 1984
Yah-Ta-Hay Gallery. 305 Captain’s Walk, New London, CT: Wood and Stone carvings and tribal masks by Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa, an Abenaki Indian, will be exhibited.


 -1986



Preface:
Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa Yolai’kia Wapita’ska and are artists, husband and wife, Abenaki Indians, and contemporary Americans …”

Introduction:
[Gerard Anthony Rancourt aka Tsonakwa]
“When I went home to Sainte Méthode de Adstock, Frontenac County, Québec, Canada .. my village in Quebec, after twenty-three years, I found almost all my people gone, and those who were left were very old. I took some of the soil from where my house used to be and I ate it.”

“All the time I have been away from my home I have thought of my family. When I was sixteen years old and my parents saw me off down the dusty road from Sainte Méthode, I thought I would be back soon. I often wondered what it would have been like if I had stayed home, what more I might have learned from my father and mother. For years my father urged me to come home and carve, and after his death, I began to carve again. Now when I make my masks and sculptures, my father and mother are with me.”

“I think of the times we gathered together in the sugar bush, and often for the wood of the masks I would use boards that I have taken from the old maple sugar house, our favorite gathering place.

“And from Pacolet, South Carolina, I gather the flints in North Carolina” “I gather pieces of soapstone from a quarry …”

“I cannot remember a time when there wasn’t someone in our house either hunting or carving. It just was a natural thing for me to do.”

When I left my dear Quebec I came into a world I had only begun to understand in boarding schools in Canada. For a long time I had difficulty in dealing with different languages, different ways, different attitudes about life. I became trapped In the cities, accustomed to them in some ways, and in others I never blended in.

[Marilyn Bernadet (nee: Sciolé) a.k.a. Yolai’kia Wapita’ska]
“… Among my people, antler and buffalo horn were used almost exclusively by women healers, many of whom have “deer” as part of their given names.”
Yolai’kia Wapita’ska

White Deer Woman


Gérard A. "Tsonakwa" Rancourt 
 Marilyn Bernadet (nee: Sciolé) a.k.a. Yolai’kia Wapita’ska


When I went home to Sainte Methode, my village in Quebec, after twenty-three years, I found almost all my people gone, and those that were left were very old. [Gerard's Rancourt a.k.a. Tsonakwa's real village was in Meriden, Connecticut, USA. ... where 99.9% percent of his family moved to by 1930!]. I took some of the soil from where my house used to be and I ate it. I wanted it to be inside of me. [Again, his house, or that of his parents was nearly 11 hours south of Ste. Methode, by way of a vehicle driven south approximately 609 miles!] ...
All the time I have been away from my home I have thought of my family. When I was sixteen [ca. 1961] years old and my parents saw me off down the dusty road from Sainte Methode, I thought I would be back soon. 

Excuse me? But, there's a little problem with this little wrinkle in reality... 

September 1960 – June 1961
Gerald Anthony Rancourt, Jr. attended his Sophomore Year (10th Grade) at Francis T. Maloney High School, in Meriden, New Haven County, Connecticut.

September 1961 – June 1962
Gerald Anthony Rancourt, Jr. attended his Junior Year (11th Grade) at Francis T. Maloney High School, in Meriden, New Haven County, Connecticut. He was in the Maloney High School Chorus as well as the Physics Club.

The remainder of this write-up by "Tsonakwa" is pure fantasy and concocted story-telling, in my opinion. Re-inventing himself into an Indian-ist persona, that is bogus, unreal to the truthful reality of his days growing up in Meriden, CT; not in some sugar bush where they gathered together.



-1986


Reflections: Indian Stories by Tsonakwa
“Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa is an Abenaki Indian, one of the “People of the Dawn.” Born in central Quebec in 1943, he is known widely in the United States and Canada as a dedicated teacher, storyteller, political and spiritual leader, accomplished wood and stone carver, mask-maker, and bead-worker. Like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Tsonakwa is richly steeped in the cultures and traditions of Native American tribes across North America, through years of travel, study, and family influence.
These traditions are an important part of his creativity, and he draws from them and from deep within himself, in his art and storytelling. His stories make real for us the worlds of spirits and animals, and the intimate connectedness of all living things.”

-1987


Echoes of the Night – Soundtrack from the Flandrau Planetarium Presentation

-1990



Night Riders & Sky Beings – Indian Stories by Tsonakwa

“Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa is an Abenaki Indian, one of the “People of the Dawn.” Born in central Quebec in 1943, he is known widely in the United States and Canada as a dedicated teacher, storyteller, political and spiritual leader, accomplished wood and stone carver, mask-maker, and bead-worker. Like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Tsonakwa is richly steeped in the cultures and traditions of Native American tribes across North America, through years of travel, study, and family influence.
These traditions are an important part of his creativity, and he draws from them and from deep within himself, in his art and storytelling. His stories make real for us the worlds of spirits and animals, and the intimate connectedness of all living things.”

-1992


Welcome the Caribou Man – Tsonakwa and Yolaikia

Acknowledgements:
Gerard Tsonakwa Tsemitzewa, father of Tsonakwa
Edna Sciolé, mother of Yolaikia

Preface:
“”Today, after nearly a century of cultural disruption, that concept is finding renewed expression in the works of Abenaki artists Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa and his wife Yolaikia Wapitaska.”



Tsonakwa and Yolaikia:

“Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa and Yolaikia Wapitaska, husband and wife, are from the Quebec/Northeastern United States area.”
                                                                                                                                                      
“Old Grandma lived in the small house near the maple house … She was very old and unable to do everything herself, so two of the grandchildren were made helpers. Young Gerard cut wood for the fire and carried water. Laura helped clean and accompanied Grandma on her walks.”

“During a hunt for raccoons in October, 1916, great-uncle Albert [Joseph Albert François Rancourt … who was born Dec. 13, 1899 in Sainte Méthode; married to Eva (nee: Latulippe); he died in Manchester, NH] shot an owl by mistake. That morning my father [Joseph Gérard Antoine Rancourt] and Aunt Laura went to check on Grandma. …”

-1993



-1994


Shamanism, Magic and The Busy Spider
By Tsonakwa and Yolaikia



The Light of Dawn From the Land of Dawn
Tsonakwa and Yolaikia


Acknowledgments
Guardians of the Doors of the Grand Wabanakis:
Chief Yves Bernard: Wolinak
Chief Gilles O'Bomsawin: Odanak
Chief Homer St. Francis [Sr.]: Missisquoi 
Tribal Judge Mike Delaney: Missisquoi 

Keepers of the Fire of the Grand Wabanakis:
Jeff Benay [Jewish]
Cheryl Bluto - Delvental [a.k.a. "Nanatasis"]
Dee Bright Star [a.k.a. Diana Lou Dudley, claims to be "Abenaki"]
Jeanne [nee: DeForge] Brink [Odanak Abenaki desc.]
Jesse Bruchac [claims to be "Abenaki"]
Dale Carson [Abenaki]
Chrestien Charlebois [Portuguese & distant Huron desc.]
Gordon Day [Scholar]
Cheryl Heath [Odanak]
James Keating [Odanak]
Marta "Mali" Keating [Odanak]
William LaPrairie [claimed to be an Odanak Abenaki desc.]
Day Lone-Wolf
Linda Macris
Andrée Dennis Newton
Sophie Nolett [Odanak]
Denny Obomosawin [Odanak]
Audrey Porche
Yolaikia Wapitaska [Itallian]
Katatin Mali Westhaver [claims to be Missisquoi]
Frederick Matthew Wiseman [claims to be Missisquoi]

Vermont Council on the Arts
Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
Volunteers of Johnson State College
Young Friends of the Abenaki

Once more with feeling:
Jeanne Brink and Audrey Porsche without whom this would not have been. They can do anything.
Lora Langworthy, who came along in the nick of time to arrange, edit, and polish.
Yolaikia Wapitaska, keeper of my soul, source of encourgement, partner in all affairs, and my loving 3rd wife.

1994 by Gerard Tsonakwa
All rights reserved
ISBN applied for.

Editor: Lora Langworthy
Publisher: L. L. Publishing
2937 West Avendida Destino
Tucson, Arizona 85746


Show Schedule:

The Light of Dawn from the Land of Dawn: A Combined Exhibition

First Showing: 
May 19, 1994 - September 1994
Vermont State Historic Site
Chimney Point
Vergennes, Vermont

Tour Premiere:
February 17, 1995 - May 1995 Possible earlier opening
Rochester Museum and Science Center
Rochester, New York

June 1995 - September 1996
Institute for American Indian Studies
Washington, Connecticut

October 1995 - March 1996 Tentative Date
San Diego Museum of Man
San Diego, California

Also reviewing the show for possible scheduling:
Museum of Civilization
Hull, P., Quebec, Canada


Artists' Biographies
The following are brief biographies of the artists whose works comprise the combined exhibition "The Light of Dawn from the Land of Dawn."
These artists have overwhelming and generously responded to the call for a definitive statement of Abenaki culture to the world at large. Every work in this uninjured show will prove to be a very important piece of the Abenaki cultural fabric which has long suffered suppression. This historic first all-Abenaki exhibition is destined for a two-year, coast-to-coast museum tour. During this time and into the future, these great and sharing artists will serve as the ultimate ambassadors of goodwill from the Land of Dawn.

Look now, what you have done is the light of a flame.
At this fireside, already you are a story for generations yet to be born.

We desire and encourage contact with the artists in this show. These hard-working artists will greatly appreciate inquires and response to their work. While a formal art board is evolving, address correspondence in care of the Show Coordinator:

Mrs. Jeanne Brink
130 Tremont Street
Barre, Vermont 0564

Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa, Abenaki, St. Method, Quebec. Gerard grew up in Quebec, Connecticut, and Vermont. He learned carving under the instruction of his father and other family members. His mother taught beadwork and appliqué. After a long detour through political movements and other pursuits, he returned to artwork full time upon the death of his father in 1981. Since then, he has accomplished more than sixty feature shows in museums and galleries in partnership with his wife Yolaikia. Across the United States, Canada, and Europe, he has combined Abenaki stories and language with artwork to introduce diverse peoples to Abenaki culture and awareness. He carves wooden masks and some sculptures with a full range of traditional to contemporary styles and themes.

Yolaikia Wapitaska, Abenaki, St. Method-Thetford Mines, Quebec. Yolaikia grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As an "Urban Indian," she had a difficult time maintaining her Abenaki heritage until she discovered her skill in carving. A self-taught, spontaneous artist, she carves very complex groupings of figures in antler, amber, and fossil ivory. Finished with settings of gemstones, many of her works are strung to be worn as "wearable art." Her assemblages illustrate stories and concepts from the rich Abenaki mythic lore. Yolaikia has accomplished more than sixty feature shows of her work along with her husband Gerard Tsonakwa.


Gérard A. "Tsonakwa" Rancourt was not born in Central Quebec, or anywhere north of the Connecticut State boarder, according to his own Birth Certificate afore-posted on this blog, as he has repeatedly implied.
So why distort the geographical place of his own birth and upbringing by his Meriden, CT resident parents? Why forge an Indian-ist/ "Abenaki" identity claiming that he grew up in Quebec, Canada? His own father, [Jerald Rancourt (Joseph Gérard Antoine (a.k.a. "Tsemitzewa" ... according to his son "Tsonakwa")] Rancourt , according the man's own obituary, states the he lived most of his life in Meriden, CT (as did his wife), having moved from St. Methode, Qc. to Meriden, CT, in ca. 1923-1926; but marrying on December 05, 1936 to Eleanor Elizabeth (nee: Southland) in [allegedly] Brewster, Putnam County, New York.

As for Gérard A. "Tsonakwa" Rancourt's 3rd wife herein named "Yoliakia Wapitaska" being "Abenaki" that's also proven to be false, and yet another lie, perpetuated by the pair of them and anyone who believed them. She could not have maintained an "Abenaki" heritage, unless she'd appropriated such culture for herself, through her husband Gérard A. "Tsonakwa" Rancourt himself!
And even he has been perpetuating falsehood's as to his place of birth and familial realities. Suffice it to say, that if he lied about where he was born, and was raised, etc, including her, then everything they have ever said, is highly suspect, and probably fraudulent, and not based on any real truth.  


Cheryl (nee: Bluto) Delvental, Abenaki, is originally from northwestern Vermont, growing up and living on Lake Champlain. Currently, she lives with her husband Dwight Delevental, two dogs, two cats, fish, and a ferret in southwestern Vermont on a small mountain overlooking the Mettowee River valley. Her artwork includes beading, birchbark baskets, jewelry, and various traditional items. Cheryl also teaches about Abenaki history and culture, conducts research, and dances in the Abenaki Adult Dance Group.

Cheryl (nee: Bluto) legally changed her name to "Nanatasis" (hummingbird in the Western Abenaki language in Chittenden County, Vermont; her genealogical connection to a single Native HURON ancestral is not Abenaki at all.

1. Chief Atsena Du Plat 8endat Attign8stan and Annengthon HURON
2. “Catherine” 8enta Plat (Pillard) HURON
3. Jean Charron dit Ducharme
4. Marie Therese Ducharme
5. Antoine Charron di Ducharme Jr.
6. Madeleine Cabana (nee: Charron) Chagnon
7. Jean Baptiste Chagnon dit Larose
8. Angelique (nee: Chagnon) Verge
9. Marie Rachel (nee: Verge) Bluto
10. Julius Willis Bluto
11. Richard Willlis Bluto
12. Cheryl Jean (nee: Bluto) Delvantel aka “Nanatasis”

1. Chief Atsena Du Plat 8endat Attign8stan and Annengthon HURON
2. “Catherine” 8enta Plat (Pillard) HURON
3. Jean Charron dit Ducharme
4. Marie Catherine (Charron dit Ducharme) Chagnon dit Larose
5. Pierre Chagnon dit Larose
6. Joseph Chagnon dit Larose
7. Angelique (nee: Chagnon) Verge
8. Marie Rachel (nee: Verge) Bluto
9. Julius Willis Bluto
10. Richard Willlis Bluto
11. Cheryl Jean (nee: Bluto) Delvantel aka “Nanatasis”

The late "Nanatasis" a.k.a. Chery J. Bluto was no more Abenaki than Gérard A. "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. and his 3rd wife were, to my thinking. She descends twice from a Huron woman, if the genetic DNA results are accurate.

Dee Bright Star is a member of the Abenaki Tribal Council of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi in Swanton, Vermont, and is a member of the Abenaki Research Project. Coming from a family of artists, mainly self-taught, Dee paints in oils, pastels, acrylics, and pen and ink. She makes jewelry using beads, bone, porcupine quills, and other traditional materials. In 1992, Dee served an apprenticeship in Canada with an Algonquin elder in the construction of birch-bark containers.

Again, another self-identifying "Abenaki" who changed her name from Deanna Lou (nee: Dudley) after being born in Sept. 1942, either legally in a name change and or upon divorce from Bernard George Lambert, or Arthur David Martin.

Jeanne Brink is a member of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, the Abenaki Research Project, is the Abenaki Cultural Center Coordinator and the Abenaki Adult Dance Group Coordinator. She is a project director of the material culture and art exhibit "Spirit of the Abenaki" and "Dawnland." She conducts workshops and programs on Western Abenaki history, culture, language, dance, basket-making, and oral tradition in Vermont and New Hampshire and has presented papers on Western Abenaki culture, oral tradition, women's roles, and teacher workshops in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Jeanne is an ash splint and sweetgrass basket-maker, carrying on a tradition from her grandmother and great-grandfather. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Vermont Historical Society and on the Advisory Board of the University of Vermont Fleming Museum. She is co-author of Alnôbaôdwa: A Western Abenaki Language Guide and has completed the computerization of Dr. Gordon Day's Abenaki/Englsih-English/Abenaki Dictionary. Jeanne is the mother of three, the grandmother of five, and resides in Barre, Vermont, with her husband.

Jeanne Brink did not learn Abenaki oriented basketry from her grandmother or parents; rather she got a grant, went up to Odanak, and learned the techniques of some Abenaki basketry from Sophie Nolett, as documented in "From Before My Grandmother: Artists From the Vermont Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, by the Vermont Folklife Center as evidenced on Pages 12, 13, 14, 15. As well as several other Vermont publications regarding Jeanne Brink and her Obomsawin ancestors that came from Odanak, Quebec, Canada. 

Jesse Bruchac has studied and taught outdoor survival skills and understandings for the last five years all over the country. He is also a musician, a member of the Awasos Sigan Drum Group at Odanak, Quebec, Canada, and is a student of the Abenaki language. His home town is Saratoga Springs, New York.

Again, when has retrospectively or contemporaneously either Joseph Bruchac (Jessie's father) or sister Margaret "Marge" (nee: Bruchac) Kennick (Jessie's aunt) EVER legitimately genealogically, or historically proven ANY connection(s) of their ancestors to the Abenakis? 

Belonging to a drum group temporarily simply meant he associated with Odanak; not that his Great-Grandfather Louis Bowman, was ever proven to be an Obomsawin, let alone an Abenaki man.

Dale Carson is an Abenaki artist/writer living in Madison, Connecticut. She is the author of a cookbook, "Native New England Cooking" and has written the Native Cooking column for Eagle Wing Press since 1982. Her crafts and artwork are sold in more than 200 stores and museum shops throughout New England and others across the country. Whenever possible, she speaks to school groups in a field trip situation, hoping to dispel stereotypical information of the past. In this way, she hopes to carry on the traditions of environmental awareness, nutrition in natural foods, and the crafts of a culture immersed in art of its own making.

Chrestien Charlebois is an 18-year-old member of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi.
Chrestien is a senior at Newport High School in Newport, New Hampshire. Chris' goal is to share his love and respect for his culture and people through art. With this goal in mind, he will be entering the University of New Hampshire in the fall of 1994. While there, Chris will major in Art History. Chris' long-range plans are to attain a doctorate degree in Native American Art History, which he would like to teach, and to continue his painting.

Yet again, WHERE is the Abenaki ancestry within their ancestry?

1. Chief Atsena Du Plat 8endat Attign8stan and Annengthon HURON
2. “Catherine” 8enta Plat (Pillard) HURON
3. François Charron dit Ducharme
4. Marie Charlotte Charon dit Ducharme
5. Jean Baptiste Frechet
6. Marie Louise Branconnier
7. Sara LaDurantaye
8. Wilfred David (or Foster) Robert
9. Lillian Dorothy Roberts
10. Donna Louise (nee: Carvalho) “Roberts” 1m. Robert Charlebois  2m. John Scott Moody
11. Chrestien Michel Charlebois

Perhaps the Huron up in Quebec, ought to pretend they are "Abenakis" of Vermont, etc too?

Dorus Churchill, an Abenaki artist born and residing in Swanton, Vermont, is an active member at tribal headquarters, serving as director of the Abenaki Youth/Dance Troupe and Women's Support Group. In the past she has served on the Abenaki Self - Help Association Board of Directors and on Tribal Council. A self-taught artist, Dorcus conducts bead work classes and presentations throughout New England. Many of her illustrations have been used in publications.

Dorcas Sally (nee: Maskell) Churchill whom married to Terrance James Hakey (1969), Robert Charles Bullard (1980), John Humphrey Randall Churchill (1985), and finally Pierre Paul Pellissier in 1995, may claim to be "Abenaki" but that's not what was proven to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or Office of Federal Acknowledgment in 1983, 1986, nor in 2005, or even in 2007.


1. Roch Manintoubeouich / Manitouabeouich & Outchibabhanoukoneau HURON
2. Marie Olivier Sylvestre
3. Jean Baptiste Prévost
3. Marie Catherine Prévost
4. Charles Petitclerc
5. Françoise Petitclerc
6. 5. Brigitte Alain
6. François Hogue Sr.
7. François Hogue Jr.
8. Fabien Flavien William Hoague
9. Napolean Hoague
10. Ruth Hoague
11. Leon Earl Maskell

12. Dorcas Sally Maskell - Pellissier


Cheryl Heath, an Abenaki descendant of the Obomsawin family from Odanak, Quebec, Canada, has been making baskets for a year. Her great, great grandmother and great-grandmother were basket-makers at Odanak. Cheryl's baskets are made to be not only pleasing to the eye but functional in design. In addition to making baskets, Cheryl is a member of the Abenaki Adult Dance Group. She lives in Jay, in northeastern Vermont.

James Keating is a 31-year-old Abenaki sculptor of the Missisquoi Nation, currently residing in Manchester, New Hampshire. He has been sculpting all of his life and is well rounded in the craft and art of casting and creating sculpture from miniature to larger than life-size objects. Making rubber or investment molds out of original clay or waxes, then casting them in plaster resin or metal, he has produced many moving pieces. James' work has been acclaimed and shown in all parts of North America, and he has worked on pieces that were bought from as far away as Guam.

Marta "Mali" Keating is an acknowledged elder of her tribe, the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, Vermont, and the St. Francis - Sokoki Abenaki Reservation at Odanak, Quebec, Canada. [The Ste. Francis Community of Abenakis a.k.a Odanak was NEVER called the "St. Francis-Sokoki Reservation"] A resident of Raymond, New Hampshire, she is a proud 63-year-old mother of four and grandmother of six. She made her living as a commercial artist and in pre-press printing preparation. Marta rarely finds the precious time to express her art form through sculpture due to her extensive involvement in her Native community.

William LaPrairie of Stoney Creek, New York, is a 53-year-old, self-taught artist. He has been carving since boyhood. He is Abenaki via Saabeal Benedict of Indian Lake, New York. Bill carves a variety of replicas, including masks and water drums. Masks are his favorite, and most are made smaller so they will not be worn. Although these masks are not for ceremony, no mask is made without an appropriate offering to honor the materials used.

Day Lone-Wolf, Abenaki and Dakota Metis, is a self-taught silver-and-goldsmith living in Orange, Massachusetts. He is an award-winning artist whose work is all handmade, including the cutting of his own stones. He works traditionally, obtaining inspiration from the stones themselves and is guided by the stone to form the piece around the stone.

Andreé (nee: Dennis) Newton is a resident of Old Forge, New York, in the central Adirondacks. She is the fourth-generation Abenaki to carry on wood carving of totems and totem poles in her family. She calls her carving "Bemohsa Art," meaning to carry on. This seemed most appropriate, since she grew up surrounded by the wood carving craftsmanship of her father Maurice P. Dennis [Desc. of Odanak Abenakis]. Carving takes her outside of herself: it keeps her in touch with her ancestry.
Andreé's inspiration comes from her father's teachings, traditional stories, and events in her life today. When she is in a quiet place, working on a totem piece, Andreé is reminded not to take the earth for granted, for this is where she believes creativity begins.


Gérard A. "Tsonakwa" Rancourt 
 Marilyn Bernadet (nee: Sciolé) a.k.a. Yolai’kia Wapita’ska



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