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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



There's more ... to this story ...

The REAL Story of Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. - Part 4

July 26, 1979
Gérard Antoine (a.k.a. "Tsonakwa") Rancourt

November 30, 1979
Gérard Antoine (a.k.a. "Tsonakwa") Rancourt

February 19, 1980
Gérard Antoine (a.k.a. "Tsonakwa") Rancourt


“My people … believe that all creatures – the two=legged – are the creations of the same Great Father. And we have the same Mother as well, for the Earth is our Mother. And if we have the same father and mother, then we are brothers and sisters. We are all a part of the sacred web of life.”
-          Gerard Rancourt

February 19, 1980
Gerard Anthony Rancourt aka Tsonakwa, showing children a small Gardner snake.


March 14, 1980
Awareness Days
Greensboro Daily News
Native American Gerry Tsonakwa Rancourt, a Canadian Abenaki, will be visiting artist and story-teller on Thursday and Friday

A Canadian Abenaki? 

But wait a minute, wasn't he born in Meriden, CT as the documents show and support? Politicians lie, and so do FAKE "Abenakis"
(just like FAKE Cherokee's lie)


March 19 1980 
The Hi-Po Newspaper, Page 08
By Linda Cain - Staff Writer
Students shown native lifestyle
The High Point College community is learning about the lifestyle of the North American Indian through a group of days designated as Native Awareness Days. The days March 10-22, 1980 emphasize the art, dance, and music of a people whose culture is closely tied to the earth.
The Days were organized by Chip Aldridge as part of an Independent Study for Dr. Hawk.
Through the Native American Awareness Days, Aldridge "hopes to be able to enlighten people who have a limited knowledge of Native American ways, help them to know that Native America is a living culture, and give a broader understanding of their depth of art and understanding of dance."
Highlights of the week include an art exhibit by the graphic artist Allen R. Waters of Stoneville, North Carolina in the lobby of the Campus Center, a talk by Aldridge on Modern Native Social Dancing from a cultural perspective and a visit from Gerry Tsonakwa Rancourt.
Aldridge became interested in Indian and Indian Culture through the "Order of the Arrow" an Honor Organization in the Boy Scouts.
The organizer said he met Rancourt at an Order of the Arrow sectional conclave, where Rancourt was serving as a judge for dancing competition. Since then he has had contact with Rancourt at several pow-wows and seminars on Indian culture.
Gérard Antoine (a.k.a. "Tsonakwa") Rancourt, a Canadian Abenaki, is currently artist in residence and Programs Coordinator for the Charlotte Natural Museum. He has formally held positions with Metrolina Native American Association and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has also been associated with American Indians for development and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
During his visit to High Point College he will lecture on the religion and sociology classes and give a display of his art work.
He will give a fire-side story telling on March 20, 1980 at 8:00 p.m. in the Old Student Center. The following day interested students are invited to have lunch in the Faculty dining room with him.
The week will conclude with a Tipi Demonstration of the Plains-style Cheyenne dwelling between Roberts Hall ad Womans Dorm and a Pow-Wow





June 08, 1980
The Intelligencer Newspaper – Page C-1
By William J. Bartman – Intelligencer Staff Writer
‘Trail of tears’
American Indian history is written with a string of broken promises
Where today are the Pequot? Where are the Naragansett, the Mohican, the Pokanoket, and many other once powerful tribes of our people? They have vanished before the avarce and the oppression of the White Man, as snow before a summer sun
 – Tecumseh, Shawnee leader of the Indian
Confederacy, 1810
By the time the dull, callous winter relaxed its grasp on the United States of 1830, the great Cherokee nation had weathered more than 100 years of the white man’s wars, diseases and whiskey.
But on May 28 of that year, the Great White Father in Washington established a “permanent” Indian frontier, west of the Mississippi.  Removal of the several thousand Cherokee from their encampments in the east was to have been gradual. When the winter winds returned in 1838, however, they were rounded up into prison camps and sent westward on a merciless forced migration that took them from the land of the rising sun to a place where the sun set amid endless prairies and waning buffalo. One of every four Cherokees died from cold, hunger or disease along the way.
Forevermore, history would sadly remember this tragic trek as the ‘trail of tears.’
The Cherokee nation is no more. Some Cherokees, however, still remain. Many live on reservations, where suicide and alcoholism have become a part of the way of life. Others have escaped the reservations.
One such Cherokee is Oneida Parr, who was brought to West Virginia by her grandfather 10 years ago [ca. 1970] and later settled in Warminster, PA where she lives with her white husband, Joseph, and their daughter, Sacheen Heather, 5 years old. Oneida Parr is perhaps typical of the urban Native American, trying to recall a dying heritage while attempting to accept an unnatural world of mortar and iron.
In the Delaware Valley there may be as many as 6,000 American Indians, spread out between three states without any sense of community. And not all came here because a relative sent for them.
While the nation prepared for World War II, the Great Father in Washington again decided that some southern Indians must relocate. A reservation in North Carolina was determined to be unfit for human habitation. Rather than improve the reservation, the government dispersed the Indians throughout the country, promising them things they say they never really received. Many came to the Philadelphia area, where they found jobs in war-related industries.
Most remained here – Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey – raised families and adopted a new home.
“They’re there,” Oneida Parr insists. “They’re just hiding in the woodwork.”
Oneida Parr was lucky a second time. She found the only place in the region where Native Americans can feel some sense of community.
The United American Indians of Delaware Valley [UAIDV] is located in a three-story, government-owned building on Chestnut Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Only a few blocks away is Independence Hall.
The center represents a dramatic change from the Indian villages of the tribes that have made urban Philadelphia their home – the Rappahanocks, Saponi, Nanticokes and Mohawks. The orders which used to come from the great White Father now come from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW).
The ANA represents, among other things, a promise to provide community for American Indians.
The Indians have a history of broken promises. But many think that is a thing of the past. The pledge of a permanent Indian frontier west of the Mississippi was, of course, eventually broken. Expansion after the war with Mexico saw to that.
According to members of the UAIDV [United American Indians of Delaware Valley], promises to Indian are still being broken.
Some Indians organizations have had their ANA grants suspended in recent months. The UAIDV was among them. Others have been threatened with suspensions, the Indians claim.
Two months ago, the ANA suspended $17,835.00 remaining in a yearly $52,500.00 dollar grant to the [UAIDV] Indian group. The ANA said that the Indians had shown “a lack of corporate capability.”
The trail of tears was a journey of sadness
The grant was reinstated several weeks ago. The Indians said that was because of publicity generated in the wake f the May 23, 1980 ‘short walk’ protest, in which they trekked 28 blocks to HEW headquarters. The ANA said the money was given back because the UAIDV had met requirements.
Indian leaders remain skeptical and not that the grant runs out at the end of this month, when they must receive approval for a new allocation. The Indians fear that the suspensions are linked to an ANA need for money for a new program called the Social and Economic Development Strategy (SEDS).
During the last few months UAIDV’s executive director has been fired amid charges of lies and improper loan-taking. The financial director has resigned and so have many members of the board of directors.
There have been internal problems here,” admits Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa of Philadelphia, acting executive director of the UAIDV. “But they have been no different from the types of internal problems that are found in other corporate groups.”
Edward Wisniewski, ANA Program Specialist, said the funds were suspended (in order to protect lenders funds). The eight-year old UAIDV has been under suspension “several times in the past,” according to Wisniewski.
The ANA grant, he explains, is one of two major annual grants for the center. The other is a $210,000.00 dollar grant under the Comprehensive Education and Training Act (CETA).
             In addition to job referrals and placement under CETA, the UAIDV center provides a long list of services. Among them are informing Indian youth of educational opportunities, college placement and an alcohol and drug program.
Indians, Gerard “Tsonakwa” Rancourt points out, are the lowest economic class and lowest educated people in North America.
Alcoholism, he says, “Is our most crucial problem. Seventy percent of our men are alcoholics. I am a reformed alcoholic myself.”
The UAIDV had been planning a satellite center to service American Indians in Bucks and Montgomery counties. About 80 Indians from the Bucks and Montgomery counties are now active in the Philadelphia center.
“If we lost this center, we will never be able to organize the outside areas,” said Tsonakwa. “if we lose this center, the whole community will disappear.”
The ANA set six requirements on the UAIDV before the grant could be reinstated. Among them were a requirement for giving the reasons for the executive director’s firing, a formal management plan and a complete audit of the CETA grant.
Another requirement was the hiring of a certified public accountant. “They have had many penalties from the IRS in the past for late filing of their taxes,” Wisniewski says.
The Indians have claimed ANA wants to get rid of Tsonakwa.
            Edward Wiesniewki said the ANA had only asked the UAIDV to “provide documentation” on how Tsonakwa was selected as acting executive director, to determine if it was “a fair and competitive process.”
           Tsonakwa, who admits he is an “activist,” says 54 Indians had applied for the position. “I am an activist,” he says. “But the only trouble I’ve ever made is when I see people doing wrong. That’s the kind of trouble – the only kind of trouble – I think there should be in the world.”
UAIDV members appear unanimous in their support for Tsonakwa, a 37 year old Abenaki Indian from Quebec, who has spent years in the south, learning and teaching about Indian heritage and customs.
“Tsonakwa is bringing back the old ways I had known before,” says Oneida Parr. The Indian philosophy she says, is both simply and beautiful. There is just one father, they believe, the Creator of all things. There is one mother, the earth. The father gives life, and the mother sustains it. Humanity is one with all in nature.
“The Indians had ecology for years,” Oneida says. “They just didn’t call it that.”
Oneida grew up on an Apache reservation in Arizona. Her step-father was Apache. She is three-quarters Cherokee, as one of her ancestors married an English settler.
She recalls that in Arizona, she was “more accepted by the Indians than by whites.” The Indians tried to avoid getting into the towns whenever possible. Oneida Parr can recall being in Arizona towns and asking for a drink of water. The answer, she recalls, was, “Sure, you can have a drink of water for free, but it’’ cost you a dime for the cup.”
Born Oneida Wonaka 28 years ago, she met her husband, Joseph, during the second saga of Wounded Knee. They live in middle-American surroundings, but Oneida tries to retain her Indian heritage. Her husband, an honorary member of the UAIDV, wholeheartedly obliges the wish. Hence the name to her daughter, Sacheen Heather.
As with all who use the center, Indian and non-Indian, Oneida Parr is concerned it will close because of the financial problems it is having. She only learned of its existence a short it ago, and now feels her happiness will be very short-lived.

The REAL Story of Gérard Anthony "Tsonakwa" Rancourt Jr. - Part 3

October 21, 1976
Meriden-Wallingford Hospital
The Morning Record Newspaper – The Journal, Meriden, CT – Page 10
By Phyllis Donovan
Alcoholism Treatment Program making progress
…At the fall luncheon of the Meriden-Wallingford Hospital Auxiliary Monday at Waverly Inn in Cheshire, Carol Brown, coordinator of the new Alcoholism Treatment Program, explained that the program was set up with funds provided by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health Alcohol Council soon after the alcohol decriminalization act was passed in June 1976.


White + White
Does Not Equal = Abenaki Indian


December 17, 1977

Gérard Antoine (a.k.a. "Tsonakwa") Rancourt married for a second time, to Carol (bee: Brown) Renton in Catawba, Rock Hill, York County, South Carolina.

December 25, 1977
Gazette Women’s Newspaper
By Elsie Hamilton
Indian Wedding: A Celebration of Peace, Goodwill
The room was quiet except for the muted throb of a drum.
A young Indian in slow and majestic movements performed the ancient pipe dance, lifting the great pipe above his head as he executed a circle. His dance completed, he presented the pipe to his Indian friend in red-feathered headdress, who drew deeply on the pipe before handing it to his father.
The father passed the pipe to Chief Gilbert Blue [1.], who accepted the gift in the language of the Catawba nation: “Thank you, I hope your friends will be my friends upon the earth God has given us.”
This solemn moment for Gerard Anthony Rancourt, son of Tsimitzewa (Old Bear), an Abenaki Indian from Tadoussac, Charlevoix County, Quebec, Canada, was a “deep heartwarming dream.” For him in middle age it marked two beginnings: A return to an old lifestyle and his marriage to Carol Brown.
Earlier in the afternoon of Dec. 17, 1977 the wedding of Jerry Rancourt, Jr., and Carol Brown Renton took place in the tiny church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at Catawba, Rock Hill. The ceremony joined Carol, counselor to families of alcoholics at the Gastonia-Lincoln Mental Health Program’s Alcohol-Drug Abuse Division, and Jerry Gérard Antoine (a.k.a. "Tsonakwa") Rancourt, artist-in-residence at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
For the non-Indian guests, the wedding was a strange, new experience. There were none of the trappings of the traditional wedding familiar to them: no music, no white wedding gown, no bridesmaids in flowing dresses, no flowers, and no exchange of rings.
The bride and bridegroom wore matching beaded headbands designed and made by Jerry. Both carried owl feather fans made also by the bridegroom.
Wedding Costumes
The design of Carol’s dress was from the Zuni Indians; a silk under-dress trimmed with red and green ribbon, the overdress a black wool wrap draped over the right shoulder and caught with silver pins. The overdress, too, was trimmed with the traditional wedding colors of red and green. Carol’s Manta or veil was a printed silk of red, green, and black. Except for her knee-high moccasins, Carol made her complete wedding costume by hand.
Jerry Gérard Antoine (a.k.a. "Tsonakwa") Rancourt wore a printed shirt trimmed with ribbon, a hand-made gift from an Indian friend. His hand-made bear skin coat and a medicine blanket, a Northwest Coast design of killer whales, was Carol’s wedding gift to him. He also wore pants trimmed in ribbons of the traditional wedding colors of black, green and red and a head piece (called a dance roach) made of porcupine hair and feathers.
Wedding guests, meeting at the home of Catawba Chief Gilbert Blue, traveled in automobile caravan to the church. There they were welcomed by Chief Blue before Bishop Osborne Performed the Mormon ceremony.
The couple, joining right hands in a token of the covenant of their “free will and choice in the presence of witnesses and as in the presence of God” promised to love, honor, and cherish each other. Legally and lawfully bound after these brief vows, they kissed “as husband and wife.” Carol kissed the women and then the men in the wedding party. Jerry Gérard “Tsonakwa” Rancourt clasped the hands of the men in Indian fashion and kissed the women. And it was over.
The murmur of an Indian drum greeted guests as they returned to Chief Gilbert Blue’s home. Inside, they crowded into a tight cluster about Jerry for the pipe ceremony.
From an Indian bowl, where Jerry had kindled cedar wood (symbolizing flesh) and pecan shells (for aromatic), the bridegroom lit the pipe he had made for the Catawba Nation.
Unity, friendship
After the pipe was presented to Chief Gilbert Blue, Jerry offered this pair: “Great Spirit, hear me. Your relative I am. You are so great and so old the mountains are but wrinkles on your face. I humbly ask you that blessings in this life continue to the next. I ask you for brotherhood, unity and friendship for all people.”
The bridegroom invited wedding guests to the reception table spread with “natural” foods: Indian stew, sandwiches of whole grain bread filled with turkey and with a mix o cheese, pineapple and raisins, pastries stuffed with fruits and a carrot wedding cake. The beverages were contemporary American: various carbonated drinks.
The bride was tired. “My sister, Shirley, and I were up until 4:30 a.m. this morning, preparing all of the food for the reception,” she said.
The bridegroom was famished, “I have been fasting two days, and I am not used to it,” he said. “Fasting clears your brain, but it makes you light-headed.”
After feasting on the bride’s food, the guests gathered again in the living room to hear Jerry “confirm” his vows to Carol with a reading from Kahill Gilbran [2.].
With Carol still at his side, the bridegroom explained to his friends that he has come to realize that material goods do not bring success. “So I give away my material life to achieve spiritual worth,” he said. “It is a symbol of sharing without the hope of receiving.”
It was time for the pot latch and Jerry took down the screen which had hidden his “worldly possessions.” The screen, on which he had painted Indian mythological creatures – sea monsters, killer whales, a turtle and the sun – he folded and presented to his father Joseph Gérard Antoine "Tsemitzewa" Rancourt for his mother Eleanor E. (nee: Southland) Rancourt.
One by one Jerry, being assisted by his young son Gérard "Chickie" Anthony Rancourt III [3.], gave away his possessions: totem poles, pipes, stone bowls, Katchina dolls, and stone serving trays, paintings and prayer feathers. The Indian crafts, wood and stone, were carved by Jerry in the traditional manner without the aid of power tools. The paintings were done with paints Jerry mixed from herbs.
Gifts were presented to both Indian and white friends, including Gastonians Alan Stout, Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Jenkins, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Voorhees, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Metcalfe, Dr. and Mrs. Zack Russ and Eastace Conway [4.].
Among the guests, also, were the Lockleurs, an Indian family from Charlotte, North Carolina; Dr. Rachel Bonney and members of the Phoenix Society from UNC-C; Harjo, a national-known Indian dancer from Oklahoma; Doris Blue, the oldest Catawba potter and aunt of Chief Gilbert Blue; and Ben Duke, a Choctaw from the Southeastern Indian Culture Association at Nashville, Tennessee.
The Rancourt family came from Connecticut. The Brown family, including Carol’s four children, made the trip to the wedding from New Hampshire and Florida.
Special tribute
Jerry paid special tribute to his best man, Alan Stout, saying that the Schiele Museum director and his staff had given him a real family away from home, and to Dr. Rachel Bonney, thanking her for her help at UNC-C. Dr. Bonney was the bride’s corn maiden (honor attendant) when Margie Chavez, a Pueblo Indian from Acoma, New Mexico, was unable to attend the wedding.
“You have taken in Carol and me, strangers, and made us welcome,” said Jerry. “I am so willing to give away what I was so I can become what I am.”
To close the pot latch ceremony, Jerry told the story of the snake which shed his skin so that a threatening coyote would believe him dead. “The snake sheds his skin to grow and to rid himself of old scars,” he said. “Under the old skin is a fresh, shiny skin, and today I feel like that snake. May God bless all of you – we are such wealthy people.”
Chief Gilbert Blue echoed the bridegroom’s words: “I have traveled in many countries, and I have never been ashamed of being an Indian. We should be what we are. I pray that the Great Spirit will guide us and that a rainbow of hope will be over us all. It has been a privilege to have you in my home today.”


The wedding of Jerry Rancourt and Carol Brown became also a celebration of peace and goodwill as the bridegroom presented a peace pipe to the Catawba Nation. Shown in staff artist Ralph Deaton’s drawing of the pipe presentation are (l-r) Tsimitzewa (Old Bear), the bridegroom’s father; Chief Gilbert Blue of the Catawba Ntaion; Alan Stout of Gastonia, NC, best man; and bridegroom Jerry Gérard Antoine “Tsonakwa” Rancourt



Their Indian wedding was a new beginning for Gerard Anthony Rancourt, son of an Abenaki Indian from Canada and artist-in-resident at UNC-C, and Carol Brown, counselor to families of alcoholics at the Alcohol-Drug Abuse Division of the Gaston-Lincoln Mental Health Program.

Several days before their wedding, Carol and Jerry sat in her Gastonia office to think about the reasons they chose to include Native American elements in their wedding festivities.
“I have lived in both worlds,” Jerry said. “Lately I have found the more leisurely pace of the old way of life more comfortable.”
“Indians have close family and nature relationships,” said Carol. “They help one another and honor the elders in the family as well as understanding the need to maintain a balanced ecology.”
Carol and Jerry, who met at a alcohol counseling workshop in Meriden, Connecticut, have become involved in participating in Indian ceremonies and in working with Indians, and others interested in Indian traditions.
Both were active with the American Indians for Development while they were in Connecticut. Jerry’s son Gérard "Chickie" Anthony Rancourt III and daughter (Sherrie Elizabeth Rancourt born July 09, 1967 also to Brenda Joyce Hayes – Rancourt) are Sequoya members at Schiele Museum.
“My father came from a family of 14 children, and though they were poorly educated, there was great family unity and openness,” said Jerry. “My father was willing to accept new ways without leaving the old ways, and he became a very successful man.
“When I was young, I was embarrassed by my father. I was ashamed to bring friends home because my father spoke little English and our home was filled with Indian things. Today when you go to his house nothing outside is different – but you walk into a world more separate in time than in distance.”
As one, Carol and Jerry believe there is space for all men living together in the world. “I truly believe in the ceremony held after our wedding,” said Carol, “Meeting with Jerry is a reenactment of my spiritual self. We have more common then different interests.”
The couple wanted their wedding to be on the reservation at Rock Hill because the Catawba Indians are seeking their lost land and unity of their people. “Our reception was planned as a celebration of their success,” Jerry said. “We thought it an appropriate time because the Christmas season is a time for spiritual reflection.”
At the first Christmas came the message of peace and goodwill. That message was proclaimed again at the Indian wedding of Carol Brown and Jerry Rancourt.


[1.] Chief Gilbert Blue won recognition for Catawba tribe.
Chief Gilbert Blue of the Catawba Nation was born on Dec. 5, 1933, on the Catawba Indian Reservation to Guy Larson Blue (Dec. 03, 1911 – Feb. 07, 1984) and Eva George Starnes (June 07, 1910 – September 05, 1982). The family members are buried in the LDS Cemetery in Catawba, York County, South Carolina.
The grandson of former chief Samuel Taylor Blue (who married Hester Louisa Jane Canty), Gilbert Blue was elected chief of the Catawba Tribe of South Carolina in 1973. Under Chief Blue's leadership, the Catawba successfully pursued their lawsuit against the state of South Carolina for land claims under the Nations Ford Treaty of 1840 and their quest for the reinstatement of status as a federally recognized Indian tribe.
The Catawba Indian Tribe of South Carolina Land Claims Settlement Act of 1993, which provided for resolution of both demands, was passed by Congress in 1993, and the final agreement was signed by South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell on November 29, 1994.
Chief Blue has been active in Native American issues and organizations. He was elected to the board of directors of the Native American Rights Fund in 1996 and served as chairman of its board in 2000 and 2001. He has served on the state board of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He was an original board member of the Rock Hill "No Room for Racism" Committee and has been involved in numerous other civil rights issues.
Editor's note: Chief Blue stepped down after 34 years as chief in 2007.

[2.] Khalil Gibran (full Arabic name Gibran Khalil Gibran, sometimes spelled Kahlil;[a] Arabic: جبران خليل جبران‎ / ALA-LC: Jubrān Khalīl Jubrān or Jibrān Khalīl Jibrān) (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) was a Lebanese artist, poet, and writer. He was born into a Maronite Catholic, from Bsharri, Northern Lebanon. Following her brother, Kahill, Jr.’s mother Kamilla came to NY in mid-1895, bringing her children with her, settling in Boston’s South End. Khalil, due to a misspelling of his name, became Kahill Gibran.

[3.] Gérard "Chickie" Anthony Rancourt III was born to Gérard Antoine “Tsonakwa” Rancourt’s 1st wife Brenda Joyce (nee: Hayes). Gérard III a.k.a. “Chicky” Rancourt’s parents separated in August 1972, and the divorce had been completed on March 11, 1977 in New Haven County, CT. She remarried to James Clarence Patterson on December 02, 1977, also in York County, South Carolina.

[4.] Eustace Conway (born Eustace Robinson Conway IV in 1961 in South Carolina) is an American naturalist. At age 17 Conway left home so that he could live in a teepee in the woods. He is the owner of 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) “Turtle Island Preserve” near Boone, North Carolina. Conway has three siblings: Walton, Judson, and Martha Conway.

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