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Monday, March 14, 2016

Lewis Henry Bowman and Joseph Edward Bruchac Research Time Line Part 1:

Having had some time away from the blog, it is time to return, and post some new developments. 

This family (meaning Joseph Bruchac III and his sister 'Marge' or Margaret Bruchac-Kennick and Joe's two son's) Jesse Bowman Bruchac and James Edward Bruchac ... have claimed repeatedly in numerous Books, Tapes, CD's, and In-Person Presentations and Interviews particular assertions about their shared ancestors, Lewis Henry Bowman and his children (namely Jesse Elmer Bowman) and these two (father and son(s)) were Abenaki Indians.

This family has been very specifically perpetuating an "oral history" as factual ... that they themselves have created, peddled and perpetuated to any listener/ believer, without any historical, genealogical or genetic evidence to support the merits of their claims of being Abenaki Indians. Making $$$$ throughout ... hand over fist. Going to Schools, Colleges, Pow-wow's, Speaking Engagements, and other events. And of course, through their Publishing Company, Greenfield Review Press, claiming they, the Bruchac's are Abenaki Indians ... or Abenaki descendants.

I have addressed some data and concerns on my blog previously (please review this blog post)

Over time, I have wondered WHO Lewis Henry Bowman Sr. was, where he'd actually come from, who were his parents, and relatives) and in the summer of 2015 I began the research study to determine and obtain the answers to that questioning. 

Now, Joseph Bruchac III (the man in the red ribbon shirt in the above picture) has stated "that his grandfather, was an Abenaki"

Margaret "Marge" Bruchac - Kennick has stated in at least one book that allegedly "Jesse E. Bowman claimed he was Black" ... "because it was better to be a Black man rather than an Indian," so she says ... 

Joseph Edward Bruchac III, (her brother) ... published, that "Jesse E. Bowman claimed he was French" and that it was Joe's own father Joseph Edward Bruchac II, the Taxidermist, who told him, while bird hunting with a shotgun, that "Jesse E. Bowman was an Abenaki." 

Suffice it to say the stories generally have the same theme that"Jesse and his father Lewis were Abenakis" ... "Hiding in Plain Sight"

Over time, bits and pieces were added, to include "Lewis Bowman was born at St. Francis" and  of Joe Jr.'s statements that 'St. Francis' meant specifically Odanak, the Abenaki Community adjacent to Pierreville, Quebec, Canada.

Was Lewis Henry Bowman Sr. and or his children actually Abenakis from and of the Abenaki Community of "St. Francis" later called Odanak?

So let us now drop down that "rabbit hole" to what has been SAID and IMPLIED and what is now known:

Bruchac Time Line

Abt. 1810
Charles "Joseph?" Bowman was born alleged in Massachusetts or Canada.

Abt. 1810
Sophia "Senecal?" Raspberry [Laframboise] was born in Province of Quebec, Canada.

8 Nov 1843
Charles "Joseph?" Bowman died at the age of 33 yrs. allegedly on the Kennebec River, Maine.
In the Province of Quebec, in the County of Shefford on the 22nd day of July 1890, personally appeared before a Notary Public, a Mrs. Bowman aged 80 years, and a resident of West Shefford, Quebec, Canada.
She declared that she was the widow of Charles Bowman, and mother of Lewis Bowman who volunteered under the name of Lewis Bowman at "N" on the __29th__ day of August 1864, as a private, who died of ... wounded in the knee and thigh, while in the service on the __Mar.___ day of __25th___, A.D. 18__’65__, … at Washington D.C.
That Charles Bowman, aged _____, years, is dead, 8 November 1843, that she is still the widow of the aforesaid Charles Bowman.

Sophie [her X] Senecal, widow of Charles Bowman
20 Jul 1844
Lewis Bowman was born in East Farnham, Brome-Missisquoi County, Quebec, Canada.
Age at physical birth from the time of father’s death date:
0 years 8 months 12 days
8 months 12 days
36 weeks 3 days
255 days

Lewis Bowman claimed that he was resident in Richmond, Chittenden County, Vermont.

Lewis Bowman claimed that he was resident in St. Albans, Franklin County, Vermont.

Lewis Bowman claimed that he was resident in Albany, Albany County, New York.

August 29, 1864
Lewis Bowman enlisted into the Civil War from Troy, Rensselaer County, New York.

March 25, 1865
Lewis Bowman was shot, and received at least 4 bullet wounds being wounded in the battle at Hatchers Run, Va., having been struck by a Minnie Ball in left leg, thereafter having a left foot paralytic and leg weakness which made him unfit for usage thereafter.

August 13, 1865
Hatcher’s Run, Virginia
Lewis Bowman was honorably discharged from the Civil War.

Declaration for Invalid Pension
District of Columbia
County of Washington
On this 14th day of August, 1865, personally appeared before me, a Deputy Clerk of a Court of Record, in the County and District aforesaid, Lewis Bowman, aged 21 years, a resident of St. Albans, County of Franklin, in the State of Vermont swears that he is the identical Lewis Bowman who enlisted in the service of the United States at East Troy in the State of New York on the 29th day of August 1864 as a Private in Company E commanded by Capt. Sweeney in the 69th Regiment of New York Volunteers in the war of 1861, and was honorably discharged on the 13 day of August 1865. That while in the service aforesaid, and in the line of his duty, on or about the 25th day of March in the year of our Lord 1865, he was wounded in battle at Hatchers Run, Va., by Minnie Ball in left leg - left foot paralytic leg weak unfit for use. He was treated and discharged from Stanton Hospital, Washington D.C.
Signature of Claimant, Lewis [his X mark] Bowman

August 14, 1865 up to ca. 1867-
Lewis Bowman has been residing in Cohose, Albany County, New York for about two [2] years.

Lewis Bowman has been residing in Potters Corner, Saratoga County, New York.

July 04, 1870
Lewis Bowman married Alice Marie Van Antwerp by Elder Combs, in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

21 Aug 1871
Louisa Bowman was born in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

26 Jul 1873
Forrest F. Bowman was born Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

September 29, 1875
Clarence Bowman was born on in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

August 03, 1877
Myrtle Bowman was born in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

April 02, 1879
Myrtle Bowman died at the age of 1 year old in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

April 02, 1880
Sarah Ettie Etta Bowman was born on 2 in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

June 12, 1880
Greenfield, Saratoga County, N.Y. Federal Population Census
184-193 Louis Bowman W M 40 Chopper Born Canada (both parents were born in Canada)
Alice Van Antwerp W F 25 Keeping House NY (Both parents born in NY) Listed on same pg. 178-187
Louisa Bowman Age 09 W
Forest Bowman Age 07 W
Clarence Bowman Age 05 W
Sarah Bowman Age 2 months W

May 25, 1881
State of New York
County of Saratoga
On this 25th day May, 1881 appeared before me, a Deputy Clerk of the County Court, aforesaid Lewis Bowman, age 37 years, and a resident of the town of Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York ... declares that he is the identical Lewis Bowman who enrolled on the 29th day of August 1864, in Company E. of the '69 Regiment of the New York Volunteers commanded by Peter Sweeney, and was honorably DISCHARGED at Washington D.C. on the 14th day of August, 1865; that his personal description is as follows: 

Age: 37 years
Height: 5' ---feet 8 1/2 inches
Complexion: Dark
Hair: Dark
Eyes: Black

That while a member of the organization aforesaid, in the service and in the line of his duty at Near Petersburgh, Virginia on or about the 25th day of March, 1865, he was wounded by Gunshot from the enemy in four different places. 1st in the left knee. 2nd right thigh. 3rd (wound) in the left arm in muscles near shoulder. 4th (wound) in right hip and all the aforesaid wounds were received in one day or battle.
That he was treated in hospitals as follows: About one or two days at City Point Hospital and [he] was then taken to Stanton Hospital [in] Washington D.C. where he remained until discharged.
That he was not been employed in the military or naval service otherwise than stated above. That since leaving the services this applicant has resided in the town of Greenfield in the State of New York, and his occupation has been that of a Farmer etc. He was a Laborer. He is now totally disabled from obtaining his subsistence by manual labor by reason of his injuries, above described.
Claimant's signature: Lewis [his X mark] Bowman

January 25, 1882
State of New York
County of Saratoga
In the matter of the original invalid pension claim No. 88821 of Lewis Bowman of Co. E., 69th Regt N.Y. State Volunteers, Lewis Bowman, age 37 years and a resident of Potters Corners in the County of Saratoga County, New York, stated that for 5 years immediately preceding his enlistment into the service of the United States on the 29th day of August, 1864, that he had resided in the following places:
Richmond, Vermont in 1859
In 1860 & 1862 at St. Albans, Vermont
At Albany, NY in 1862
And at time of enlistment at Troy, N.Y.
His occupation was that of a Laborer
Since his discharge from the service on the 14th day of August 1865, he has been residing in Cohose, Albany County, New York for about two [2] years.

December 05, 1882
Eva May Bowman born in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

August 31, 1884
Lewis Henry Bowman was born in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

Aug 31, 1886
Jessie Elmer Bowman in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York

July 29, 1890
In the Province of Quebec, in the County of Shefford on the 22nd day of July 1890, personally appeared before a Notary Public, a Mrs. Bowman aged 80 years, and a resident of West Shefford, Quebec, Canada.
She declared that she was the widow of Charles Bowman, and mother of Lewis Bowman who volunteered under the name of Lewis Bowman at "N" on the ____ day of August 1884, as a private, who died of..... wounded in the knee and thigh, while in the service on the _____ day of _____, A.D. 18 ___, at Washington D.C.
That Charles Bowman, aged _____, years, is dead, 8 November 1843, that she is still the widow of the aforesaid Charles Bowman.

Sophie [her X] Senecal, widow of Charles Bowman

April 19, 1891
Flossie Belle Bowman was born Greenfield (or South Corinth), Saratoga County, New York.

February 16, 1892
Greenfield, Saratoga County, N.Y. State Census, Page 01
Lewis Bowman Age 45 Born Canada Citizen Farmer
Alice Bowman Age 36
Louisa Bowman Age 20
Forest Bowman Age 19
Clarence Bowman Age 17
Ettie Bowman Age 12
Eva Bowman Age 10
Lewis H. Bowman Age 08
Jesse E. Bowman Age 06
Flossie B. Bowman Age 01

Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County, N.Y. State Census, Page 05
Lewis Bowman Male Age 51 Born Canada Liveryman
Amelia Bowman Female Age 47 Born Canada
William Bowman Male Age 24 Born U.S. Liveryman

September 21, 1893
John "Jack" Bowman was born, Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York;

March 19, 1896
Warren Charles Bowman was born on in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

May 03, 1898
Helene May Bowman was born on in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

Nov 27, 1898
Helene May Bowman died at the age of 0.

June 12-13, 1900
1900 Population Census Greenfield, Saratoga County, N.Y.
Name: Lewis Bowman
Age: 56
Birth Date: Jul 1843
Birthplace: Canada
[Canada French]
Home in 1900: Greenfield, Saratoga, New York
Race: White
Gender: Male
Immigration Year: 1860
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name:                Alice Bowman
Marriage Year: 1870
Years Married: 30
Father's Birthplace: Canada
Mother's Birthplace: Canada

September 03, 1901
Forest F. Bowman died in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York

March 09, 1902
Sarah Ettie Etta Bowman died at the age of 21.

June 01, 1905
Greenfield, Saratoga County, N.Y. State Census
Lewis Bowman (Head) Age 58 Born Canada (French) 42 yrs in the USA Farmer
Lewis H. Jr. and Jesse (Sons) age 20 & 18 are Day Laborers
Household total were all identified as WHITE

 June 04, 1905
Clarence Bowman died at the age of 29.

May 1909
Lewis Bowman married Mary E. Van Antwerp in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

April 15, 1910
Greenfield, Saratoga County, N.Y. Federal Population Census
Lewis Bowman (Head) Male White Age 68 Widowed, Both he and parents born French Canada
Lewis Bowman speaks English, and was a Farmer
Lewis H. Bowman (Son) age 24 Born N.Y. Laborer on Home Farm
Jesse E. Bowman (Son) age 22 Born N.Y. Laborer on Home Farm
Eva Bowman (Daughter) age 27) Born N.Y. House keeper in Home
Warren Bowman (Son) age 14

Before July 1910
John “Jack” Bowman married to Catherine Gray probably in or around Cole Hill, South Corinth, Warren County, New York.

July 04, 1911
Lillian G. Bowman was born on Cole Hill, in Warren County, New York.

March 18, 1912
Joseph Edward Bruchac II was born, to Joseph M. Bruchac and Pauline Hrdlicka.

April 03, 1913
General Affidavit
State of New York, County of Saratoga
In the matter of additional Pension Action march 11, 1912
By Lewis Bowman, Pvt. Co. E. 69th Regt NY Vol. Infantry
Personally came before me, a Notary Public, in and for the aforesaid County and State, and Lewis Bowman, aged 68 years past years, citizen of the Town of P. O. Address RFD 1, Greenfield Centre, County of Saratoga, State of New York, well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declare in relation to aforesaid case as follows:
To the Honorable Commissioner of Pensions, the following Statement Under Oath is made in answer to Enclosed call from your Honor, for Deponent To State Under Oath my exact age and stating the reason why I know my true age. Ctf. No. 208.738.
I therefore depose and say that I was 68 years of age on the 20th Day of July 1912, as I was born on the 20th Day of July 1844, at East Farnum, Canada.
The reason I know the Same is True is because my father and mother always told me I was born On Said Date and the said record of Date of my Birth is filed in my own family Bible And Same was placed in my family Bible record at least 40 years ago.
I also file Physicians  Affidavit Showing that I am now and have been all the time since the filing of my Said Claim in Pension Office On or About July 29, 1912 Totally Disabled from performing Manual Labor on Account of Gun Shot Wounds received in Battle in the Civil War.
I further declare that I have no interest in said case and ___ is not concerned in its prosecution.
A.J. Freeman
Notary Public

May 24, 1913
General Affidavit
State of New York, County of Saratoga, in the matter of Lewis Bowman, Company E., 69th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry.
Personally came, a Notary Public in and for the aforesaid County and State, A. J. Freeman, aged 69 years, citizen of the town of Milton, P. O. address, in Ballston Spa, Saratoga County, New York, declares in relation to aforesaid case, as follows;
Lewis Bowman the claimant above named, has this 24th day of May, 1913, brought before me what he claims is his family Bible record … this small family Bible was printed in the year 1890 by the American Bible Society on the Leaf in said Bible for the record of Births appears the following record among 14 other records of Birth:
Lewis Bowman Born July 20, 1844
The writing appears to have been written at least 10 or 15 years ago. Its appearance denotes it and there are 14 records of Births written after Lewis Bowman record was written. There is no marks of erasure or alteration in the said record and has the appearance of having been written at least 10 or 15 years ago. The claimant said they were written 20 years ago and it may be true.
I further declare that I have no interest in said case and ___ is not concerned in its prosecution.
A.J. Freeman
Notary Public

May 24, 1913
General Affidavit
State of New York, County of Saratoga
In the matter of additional Pension Action march 11, 1912
By Lewis Bowman, Pvt. Co. E. 69th Regt NY Vol. Infantry
Personally came before me, a Notary Public, in and for the aforesaid County and State, and Lewis Bowman, aged 68 years past years, citizen of the Town of P. O. Address RFD 1, Greenfield Centre, County of Saratoga, State of New York, well known to me to be reputable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declare in relation to aforesaid case as follows:
That he is the Claimant in the Above Entitled Claim and my P. O. Box is as above stated and I further state in answer To Enclosed Communication from Your Honor, wherein you Honor request Claimant To prove the Date of my Birth By the Public or Church record or By the family Bible record or other Evidence Tow which Deponent states under Oath as follows:
That is impossible for me to prove the Date of my Birth by the Public record as there was no Public record of Births filed in Farnum, Canada in the year 1844, and there is no Church record of my said Birth known to Deponent.
But Claimant has a family Bible record of my Birth wherein it is written as follows:
Lewis Bowman Born July 20, 1844
The Said Bible I have this Day Brought before A. J. Freeman, a Notary Public of Ballston Spa, Saratoga County, New York, who will explain to your Honor it’s condition and all things required by your Honor But Honorable Commissioner The record contained in my Said family Bible was copied from an older family Bible at least 20 years ago. But the Old family Bible has disappeared and where I do not know. But Honorable Commissioner I am sure the Date of my Birth as having occurred on July 20, 1844 is True + Correct + ask your Honor to accept same as true.
I further declare that I have no interest in said case and ___ is not concerned in its prosecution.
A.J. Freeman
Notary Public

June 01, 1915
Greenfield, Saratoga County, N.Y. State Census
Edgar Sénécal (Head) Age 43 Born U.S. Farm Laborer
Maggie (Wife) Age 34 Born U.S. Housework
John (Son) Age 18 Born U.S. Farm Laborer
Alitia (Daughter) Age 16
Edgar Jr. (Son) Age 15 School
Cashier (Son) Age 13 School
Harold (Son) Age 12 School
Richard (Son) Age 12 School
Sarah (Daughter) Age 07 School
Henry (Son) Age 05 No Occupation
Viola (Daughter) Age 03 No Occupation
Claudia (Daughter) Age 01 No Occupation
David (Son) Age 80 days No Occupation

On the SAME PAGE of the 1915 Census:

Lewis Bowman (Head) White Male Age 79 Born French Canada 52 yrs in the USA Farmer
Warren Bowman (Son) White Male Age 19 Born U.S. 19 yrs in the USA Farm Laborer

WWI Draft Registration Card
Form 1 1760 – 1107 No. 18
Jesses E. Bowman, Age 29
Greenfield Center, New York
Born August 31, 1887 Natural Born in Greenfield Center, New York, U.S.
Laborer for 30 years at the Virginia Hot Springs Company in Hot Springs Virginia
He has no dependents at the time. He was married. He stated his race was Caucasian (white)
Medium height, medium stature, Brown eyes, Black Hair.
Disabled by Hernia and Broken shoulder.
F. L. LaRue, Clerk
Circuit Court Bath Co., VA

September 10, 1918
Lewis Bowman died in the Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York area.

January 18, 1920
Jessie Elmer Bowman married Marion Edna Dunham.

1920 –
Federal Population Census – Greenfield, District 0109, Saratoga County, New York
Fm – 184-188
Edward H. Dunham – Head of Household, Age 87 yrs. Born in NY Parents: F in NY, M in VT Occupation: Lumberman
Flora M. (wife) Age 61 years. She and her parents born in Vermont.
Olga C. Dunham (granddaughter) 4 yrs. and 3 months
Jesse Bowman (Head) Owner White Age 32 yrs. Reads and Writes. Born in NY F: Canada. M: NY. Father a  French speaker. Able to speak English. Occupation: Farmer on Home Farm.
Marion [Dunham] Bowman (wife) Age 24 yrs. NY - NY - VT Lawyer Law Office
Household - Fm-185-189
John Bowman (Head) 26 yrs. NY - Canada - NY. Father a French speaker Common Laborer
Katherine [Gray] (wife) Age 26 NY NY NY
Lillian Bowman (daughter) Age 08
Earl Bowman (son) Age 3 yrs. and 5 months
Howard Bowman (son) Age 2 yrs. and 3 months
Myrtle Bowman (daughter) Age 8 months

January 14, 1921
Marion Flora Bowman was born, the daughter of Jessie Elmer Bowman and Marion Edna Dunham, in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

May 19, 1922
Flossie Belle (Bowman) Stone died of septic poisoning from throat, in Rutland, Rutland County, Vermont at the Rutland Hospital. She was identified as WHITE, Age 31 years and 1 month of age.

June 01, 1925
Greenfield, Saratoga County, NY State Census
Jesse E. Bowman (Head) W M Age 37 U.S. Citizen Farm Laborer
Marion Bowman (Wife) W F Age 29 U.S. Citizen Housework
Marion F. Bowman (daughter) W F Age 04 U.S. Citizen

After 1926
Warren Charles Bowman died at the age of 30 [Missing since 1926]

January 31, 1940
Marion Flora Bowman married to Joseph Edward Bruchac II.

October 16, 1942
Joseph Edward Bruchac III was born in Saratoga Springs, NY … the son of Joseph Edward Bruchac and Marion Flora Bowman.

December 02, 1942
Carol Worthen was born to Albert Woolen Worth who was the son of Edmund Worthen and Isabel. Her mother was Katherine Haberly.

Abt. 1944
Lewis H. Bowman died at the age of 60.

May 08, 1944

Mary Ann Bruchac was born to Joseph Edward Bruchac and Marion Flora Bowman.

Family of Pauline Hrdlicka and Joseph Bruchac, around 1945

September 1944
Modern Taxidermist: Adirondack Deer Head and Wood Duck Flying

Mounted by Joseph Bruchac in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York

February 23, 1945
The Norwalk Hour Newspaper, Page 03
Sister of Bruchac in Army Nurse Corps
Second Lieut. Margaret E. Bruchac of the Army Nurse Corps has followed her brother, Major Albert E. Bruchac, Infantry, into the fight for freedom. They are daughter and son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bruchac of Greenfield Center, N.Y., and sister and brother of E. Milton Bruchac of 34 Spring Street in South Norwalk, CT.
Lt. Bruchac recently completed her basic training at the Thomas M. England General Hospital at Atlantic City, New Jersey and at present is stationed there. She is an honor graduate of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. High School, Class of 1941, and of Vassar Brothers Hospital, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Class of 1944. She served at the Thomas M. England Hospital as a cadet nurse and also as a civilian nurse prior to recently receiving her commission.
Major Bruchac is in a hospital receiving treatment on his arms at present after combat action. He has been cited and awarded the Silver Star for gallantry against the enemy in Germany.

December 08, 1953
Margaret Marie Bruchac was born to Joseph Edward Bruchac and Marion Flora Bowman.

January 19, 1958
Marion Edna Dunham (widow of Jessie Elmer Bowman) died in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

Joseph Edward Bruchac II graduated from Saratoga Springs High School in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Fall of 1960-
Joseph Edward Bruchac III went to Cornell University.

February 03, 1963
The Schenectady Gazette Newspaper
Joseph Bruchac turned in outstanding efforts on the Cornell University athletic scene. Bruchac, Big Red heavyweight grappler, scored a 5-2 decision

Joseph Bruchac … Class of 1964 … in Ithaca, New York

June 13, 1964
Joseph Edward Bruchac III married to Carol Worthen, daughter of Edmund Worthen and Isabel.


Joseph Edward Bruchac III gained his A.B. from Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, where he majored in English, with a minor in zoology.


Joseph Edward Bruchac III attended Syracuse University on a Creative Writing Fellowship. [Bowman’s Store, Page 304] Joseph Bruchac stated that he would ride an old Harley Motorcycle out to the Onondaga Mohawk Indian Community and talk with elders, beginning a friendship with that community. [Bowman’s Store, Page 305] Jesse Bowman always approved of them [Joe’s poems and stories, many of them he says, were about his search for his Native heritage] yet he [Grandfather, Jesse Elmer Bowman] still never openly acknowledged or talked about his own Abenaki ancestry to me.

Joseph Edward Bruchac III gained his M.A. [Master’s Degree] English Literature in Creative Writing from Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y.

Joseph Edward Bruchac III and his wife Carol (nee: Worthen) joined the Peace Corps, and lived in the West African country of Ghana.

August 09, 1966
The Norwalk Hour Newspaper, Page 08
Miss Pamela Bruchac to be Bride of Paul Vinson Tebo on August 27, 1966
The East Avenue Methodist Church will be the scene on Saturday, August 27, 1966, for the nuptials of Miss Pamela Sue Bruchac, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Emil Milton Bruchac of 15 St. John Street, and Paul Vinson Tebo, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Tilden Tebo of 95 Highland Avenue, in Rowayton.
The double-ring ceremony will take place at 11:00 o’clock and will be performed by Reverend Edward L. Eastman, pastor of the Watertown Methodist Church, formerly pastor of the East Avenue Methodist Church. The church organist, Mrs. Eugene Webb, will provide music for the ceremony and will accompany Miss Karen Nickerson, soloist.
The bride-elect will be escorted by her father.
Miss Bruchac’s sister, Mrs. Charles G. Weiss of Fairfield, will attend her as matron of honor. Other attendants will be Mrs. Robert Hocken of Corvalis, Oregon, sister of the prospective bridegroom; Miss Cecile Dzielinski of Terryville, Miss Sheila Clarke of this city, and Mrs. Earl LaChance of Wollaston, Massachusetts.
Edward Steinlauf of Norwalk will serve Mr. Tebo as best man. Bruce Bruchac of Norwalk, brother of Miss Bruchac; John Leavitt and Peter Blank, both of Norwalk, and Anthony Day of Arlington, Mass., will usher.
A reception will take place in the Silvermine Tavern.
Mr. and Mrs. Tebo, parents of Mr. Tebo, will give the rehearsal dinner for the bridal party at their home.
Miss Bruchac is a graduate of the Norwalk High School in the Class of 1961 and received her B. S. degree in therapeutic recreation from Sargent College, Boston University. She is presently employed as a recreation therapist at Newington, Hospital for Crippled Children in Newington. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Thomas of Norwalk and of Mrs. Joseph Bruchac of Greenfield Center, New York, at the late Mr. Bruchac.
Mr. Tebo, a graduate of Norwalk High School in the Class of 1961, received his B. S. degree, cum laude, from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, honorary engineering society, member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. Recently he completed requirements for his master’s degree in chemical engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and will awarded the former in October. At present, he is pursuing studies towards a Ph.D. degree at Lehigh under the Nation Science Foundation Fellowship.
Feted At Showers
Miss Bruchac was feted recently at two showers.
A miscellaneous shower and buffet dinner were given by the bridal attendants at the home of Mrs. Charles G. Weiss in Fairfield. A large assemblage of friends and relatives were present to honor the bride-to-be.
A personal and linen shower and buffet dinner were given by Miss Cecile Dzielinski and Mrs. William Adams at the former’s home in Hilliard Street, Manchester. Fellow employees at the Newington Hospital for Crippled Children were in attendance

June 24, 1968
James Edward Bruchac was born to Joseph Edward Bruchac III married to Carol Worthen.

Joseph Edward Bruchac III and his wife Carol return to the United States.

January 22, 1970
‘Malcolm X’ Author Speaks
On Black Heritage Tonight
Alex Haley, author of the award-winning book, The Auto­biography of Malcolm X, will speak on “Black Heritage” tonight in College Hall as an event in the annual Skidmore Lecture Series. The Malcolm X book, Mr. Haley’s first, remains a best­seller after four years and is being made into a motion picture. It has been translated in­to eight languages.
Before This Anger
Mr. Haley’s second book, cur­rently titled ‘Before This Anger’, is to be published in the fall. Columbia Pictures has made a commitment for film rights to this book, too.
Genealogical Miracle”
Before This Anger is being hailed before publication as a “genealogical miracle”. It contains an unprecedented tracing and documenting of an unbroken nine generations of Mr. Haley’s maternal family’s history back to a tiny village in Gambia, Africa, and a Mandinka tribal family circa 1700. Mr. Haley doggedly pursued slender linguistic clues through seven years of research in North Africa, Europe and finally West African bush country. Mr. Haley, until recently writer-in-residence at Hamilton College, was born in 1921 in Ithaca, the son of a college professor. He attended North Carolina Teachers College until his enlistment in the Coast Guard, which subsequently created for him the rating of chief journalist. Free Lance Writer
In civilian life, Mr. Haley became a free lance writer. Scores of his articles have been published in such publications as Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, Cosmopolitan, Sports, True, This Week, and The New York Times Magazine. He has been a regular writer for Reader’s Digest and Saturday Evening Post, and his interviews with the famous and controversial have been appearing in Playboy for several years. He has also made hundreds of radio and TV appearances. The public is invited to hear Mr. Haley tonight without admission charge.

Joseph Bruchac, Poet and Faculty Member

Recognized by “Syracuse Poems: 1963-1969
Joseph E. Bruchac III, Instructor in English at Skidmore College, is one of 26 poets whose work has been published in “Syracuse Poems: 1963-1969,” a special collection occasioned by the centennial observance of Syracuse University.
Previous Prizes
Mr. Bruchac received his M. A. degree in English literature in 1966 from Syracuse, where he received a university writing fellowship. Earlier, while studying for his A. B. degree at Cornell University, he received the Morrison Poetry Prize and won honorable men­tion from the Academy of American Poets. While an undergraduate, Mr. Bruchac studied with the aid of a Cornell University scholarship. He was editor of the Trojan Horse, student literary magazine, and associate editor of Epoch magazine at Cornell.
3 Years in Ghana
Mr. Bruchac joined the Skidmore faculty last fall after serving three years in the Teaching for West Africa Program in Ghana, where for a year he was national chairman of the Ghana Association of Teachers of English. “Syracuse Poems: 1963-69” was edited by George P. Elliott, professor of English at Syracuse, and published Jan. 13, 1970. Its contents are the work of faculty and students in the creative writing program at Syracuse since its inception in 1963.

28 Jan 1970
Jesse Elmer Bowman died in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

July 17, 1971
DOS ID #: 711852
Initial DOS Filing Date: JULY 17, 1971
Jurisdiction:  NEW YORK

Joseph Bruchac and William Witherup (eds)
The Greenfield Review Press published its first book, a collection of inmate poems smuggled out of Soledad Prison. Reproduces many works from the surreptitious, inmate-produced anthology The 6:15 Unlock (of which only ten copies were produced)


Indian Mountain and Other Poems
By Joseph Bruchac
Ithaca, Ithaca House, (1971). The second book, and first regularly published volume, by this writer. Warmly inscribed by the author to his grandmother:  "For Grandma … For her birthday July 4, 1972 Love, Sonny." Joseph "Sonny" Bruchac was raised by his grandparents, and his grandmother influenced his early love of reading. [“Grandma” being Pauline Apolena (nee: Hrdlicka) Bruchac]

June 24, 1971
Eva May Bowman died.

January 14, 1972
Jesse Bowman Bruchac was born to Joseph Edward Bruchac III married to Carol Worthen.


The Buffalo in the Syracuse Zoo: and Other Poems
By Joseph Bruchac
Published 1972 Paperback
By The Greenfield Review


Earth to Earth; poems
Kalu Uka
Greenfield Center: Greenfield Review Press, 1972. 26p.

January 22, 1973
The Hour Newspaper (Norwalk, Connecticut), Page 06
Mrs. Joseph Bruchac Sr.
Mrs. Joseph Bruchac Sr.82 years of age, wife of the late Joseph Bruchac Sr., died on Sunday morning in the Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Hospital after a short illness. She was a former resident of Norwalk, CT.
Survivors include three sons, E. Milton Bruchac of Norwalk, CT., Albert E. Bruchac of Flushing, N.Y., and Joseph Bruchac Jr.
She is also survived by a daughter, Mrs. James A. (Rosemary) Smith Jr. of Greenfield Center, N.Y.; 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday morning at the Burke Funeral Home, Saratoga Springs and at St. Joseph’s Church, in Greenfield Center.

August 11, 1973
John “Jack” Bowman died in Glen Falls, Warren County, New York.

Joseph Edward Bruchac III was a graduate study at State University of New York—Albany, 1971-73


Hopi Roadrunner Dancing
Wendy Rose (Chiron Khanshendel)
New York: Greenfield Review Press, 1973.
First edition of the Native American's first book, a collection of poems.

Taos Pueblo
Duane Niatum
(Greenfield Center, NY: Greenfield Review Press, 1973)

Joseph Bruchac taught English at Skidmore College up to 1973.

University without Walls, coordinator of college program at Great Meadow Correctional Facility, until 1981.


Come To Power
Joseph Bruchac
Crossing Press, NY, (1974). Edited by Dick Lourie. Introduction by Joseph Bruchac. The simultaneously issued softcover edition of a collection featuring 11 contemporary American Indian poets. Includes Leslie Silko, Duane Niatum, Norman Russell, Ray Young Bear, Joseph Bruchac, and others.

Joseph Edward Bruchac III gained his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the Union Institute & University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Class of 1975


‘The Manabozho Poems’ by Joseph Bruchac
Blue Cloud Quarterly, 1974 (Vol. XX, Number 3). Slim, stapled soft cover, un-paginated (12 pages)

Turkey Brother and other tales: Iroquois folk stories. Illustrated by Ka-Hon-Hes. Sydney: Crossing Press.


Austin, TX: Cold Mountain, 1975. First edition / First printing. #212 of 300 numbered copies out of a total edition of 1,000. Illustrated stapled wrappers. iv, 23 pages. About fine. Brown end-papers (first state) including the numbered colophon page.
ISBN: 0915496003
Inventory: 13400
Signed by Joseph Bruchac at the end of the text. Bruchac has additionally inscribed the book on the title page: “Falling Leaf Moon 10/7/82 For Sylvia, Peace, Joe”.
Bruchac has drawn Kokopelli, the humpbacked Indian flute player, to the right of his signature.

Seven Sections from the Dream of Jesse Bowman
By Joseph Bruchac
Cover Illustration done by the author
(Austin, TX): Cold Mountain Press, (1976).
Published for the first time as a preface to catalog five from Cold Mountain Press.
 Illustrations by the author.
Fine in stapled, gray paper wraps with printed design in black ink on the cover.


This Earth Is a Drum, Cold Mountain Press, 1976.

September 01, 1976
The road to Black Mountain: A novel
By Joseph Bruchac
Paperback, 72 pages
Published by Thorp Springs Press

February 04, 1977
The Lewiston Evening Journal Newspaper
Poet Bruchac Lectures at the College
Joseph Bruchac, poet, novelist, critic, and teacher, will present poetry ready reading Thursday, February 10, 1977 at 8:00 p.m. in the Chase Hall Lounge at Bates College, the public invited to attend free of charge.
Joseph Brachac, whose poems have appeared in four anthologies and more than 100 magazines, also has published eight books of poetry, including “Indian Mountain and Other Poems” and “The Manabozho Poems.”
Born in 1942, Joseph Bruchac holds the M.A. in English from Syracuse University and the Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from Union Graduate School. Following studies at Syracuse, he spent three years in Ghana, West Africa as a member of the Teachers for West Africa Program.
The founder and editor of the literary magazine “The Greenfield Review,” Joseph Bruchac is also the editor of a series of pamphlets which feature the work of a wide range of poets including Nigerian poets, Native American writers, and prison writers. He is a song writer and has produced an album with Peter Davis in 1972. WMHT, an ETV station, did a show of Joseph Bruchac reading his poetry accompanied by music written by himself and Peter Davis.
Joseph Bruchac currently teaches Creative Writing and African Literature at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, and conducts (a) creative writing workshop(s) at Great Meadows Correctional Facility as part of the Skidmore University Without Walls Program.

1978 –
According to the 2015 American Indian Festival of Words Writers Award Recipient, by his own admission verbally, stated that he carries around in his wallet, an old(er) St. Francis – Sokoki “Abenaki” Membership Card #3312 issued by Homer Walter St. Francis Sr.’s incorporation based in Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont, and that on it, there is a photographic image of himself at 36 years old.

February 04, 1978
The Schenectady Gazette Newspaper, Page 08
Reading Set on Poetry of Bruchac
TROY – A poetry reading and dialogue with Joseph Bruchac, editor of the Greenfield Review, published at Greenfield Center, will be held at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow at the Rensselaer Newman Chapel and Cultural Center, on Burdett Avenue.
Joseph Bruchac, who is half Abenaki Indian, brings a deep love of nature to his poetry and his life’s work. Currently he is directing the Skidmore College “University without Walls” program at the Great Meadow Correctional Facility.
“Flow”“This Earth is a Drum” and “There Are No Trees in the Prison” are title of some of his books of poetry.
“Turkey Brother and Other Iroquois Folk Tales” is a book of his which retells nine stories of Iroquois origin and shows his devotion to the American Indian tradition.
Joseph Bruchac has written several novels, including “The Road to Black Mountain” and “The Dreams of Jesse Brown.”
He edited volumes of prison writings such as “Words from the House of Dead: Prison Writings from Soledad,” and a collection of poetry in English from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean called “Aftermath.”
An authority on African and Asian writing, he will be prepared to discuss these literatures and his editing a magazine and teaching in prison. His first concern will be to present and discuss his own poetry.
The Chapel and Cultural Center and Poets and Writers are co-sponsors of the fee event.

The Dreams of Jesse Brown: A Novel
Bruchac, Joseph
Austin: Cold Mountain Press, 1978. 16mo, 202 pp.
ISBN: 0915496119


‘The Next World’ – Poems by Third World Americans: Edited by Joseph Bruchac

Cover Drawing is the Hopi People’s symbol of emergence, cover & graphics by Karl Wolff
This is a collection of younger poets, Chinese-American, Chicano, Afro-American, Puerto Rican, Filipino, Native American, Japanese-American men and women from vastly different backgrounds who are fine poets, as much as any poet in any anthology, Americans.
All of the poets in this anthology have felt, usually first-hand, the prejudice which is part of the American experience. All of them have risen above it by making literature out of it, not “just protest literature,” but work which is both lasting and original.


Entering Onondaga. Poems. Illustrations by Kahonhes.
By Joseph Bruchac
Published 1978 by (Austin, TX): Cold Mountain Press, (1978)


Mu'ndu Wi 'Go: Mohegan Poems
Vol. 24, No. 3 of the Blue Cloud Quarterly.
By Joseph Bruchac
Marvin, Blue Cloud Quarterly, 1978. Poems derived from Mohegan stories and from the diary of Flying Bird, the last speaker of the Mohegan-Pequot language.

 November 01, 1978

Stone Giants and Flying Heads: Adventure Stories of the Iroquois
By Joseph Bruchac, Kahonhes Brascoupe (Illustrator)
Paperback, 79 pages

December 1978-
Alex Haley’s Roots: An Author’s Odyssey, Pages 46-47-48
By Adam Henig
Harold Courlander went to U.S. Federal District Court and sued [in 1978] Alexander Murray Palmer a.k.a. ‘Alex’ Haley for an undetermined amount of monies, alleging Copyright Infringement a Mr. Alex Haley who later eventually settled the suit by paying Courlander the sum of $650,000.00 dollars (nearly triple what his original offer was to settle the matter) and sign a release statement that “Alex Haley acknowledges and regrets that various materials from The African by Harold Courlander found their way into his 1976 published book, Roots: The Saga of an American Family.” …. Courlander was granted a sum of money larger than all his past earnings from books combined. The 5-week trial was over and the racial repercussions feared by Judge Robert J. Ward did not materialize. And Alex Haley himself narrowly escaped a reputation-destroying verdict; he didn’t even have to acknowledge authorship of the disputed passages in future editions of the book.
With the Roots sequel scheduled to air in six weeks, Alex Haley seemed to have regained his equilibrium. Privately, he remained convinced that he was innocent of any wrong doing. The settlement was not, to his way of thinking, a lucky break. On the contrary, the trial had been unfair and he had been victimized.
Back out on the lecture circuit, determined to satisfy his critics and redeem himself to his fans, Alex Haley presented an arsenal of responses:
“The reason for the settlement, at the last minute, was that a skilled lawyer that morning was preparing to paint me as a villain.”
“How can you explain every word that you write?”
“I don’t remember where I got something at 3:00 a.m., eight years ago.”
“I became a sitting duck for lawsuits.”
When asked to elaborate, he didn’t hesitate.
Since Roots was published in over twenty-five languages and countries, Alex Haley explained, he was vulnerable to suits in each of those jurisdictions. He had to settle.
Besides, he admitted, there was no way he could have accounted for all the information he had accumulated. Out on the road, while writing Roots, it wasn’t unusual for the author to be given stacks of material by audience members that might be useful in his writing.
One of those people had been Native American writer Joseph Bruchac.
On January 20, 1970, Alex Haley had delivered a lecture at Skidmore College in upstate New York. [Skidmore College is private, independent liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs] Joseph Bruchac, who was an Minority Ethnic Studies Instructor [in Black and African history] at Skidmore College, swore in an affidavit  that he had discussed with Haley in 1970 and had found Alex Haley “to know so relatively little about” West African history that he’d recommended the then-to-be-published historical novel, The African. Surprised Alex Haley had not even heard of the book, Joseph Bruchac had driven back to his home, a mere three miles away, to retrieve his “own personal copy.”
“Here, you can keep it,” Joseph Bruchac had said, handing Alex Haley the book. Haley replied, “Thank you, I’ll read it on the plane.”
Joseph Bruchac was subsequently stunned to read about Harold Courlander’s case. He knew his testimony could make a difference. Unfortunately for Harold Courlander, by the time Joseph Bruchac had decided to write to him an affidavit [December 15, 1978], the trail was already over.
In the late 1970s, unaware of the plagiarism rap, two leading genealogists, Gary Mills and Elizabeth Shown Mills, decided to follow up on Haley’s work through the relevant archives in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. They found that Haley’s transgressions went well beyond mere mistakes. “We expected ineptitude, but not subterfuge,” observed Elizabeth, herself the editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.
In fact, as the Millses discovered, the man that Haley identifies as Kunta Kinte, a slave by the name of Toby, could not have been Kunta Kinte or Haley’s ancestor. Toby was in America as early as 1762, five years before his ship was alleged to arrive. Worse for Haley, Toby died eight years before his presumed daughter Kizzy was born.
In 1993, a year after Haley’s death, writer Philip Nobile did his best to expose what he calls “one of the great literary hoaxes of modern times.” In February of that year, he published “Uncovering Roots” in the influential alternative publication, The Village Voice. The article brought to a larger public the story of the Courlander suit and the Mills’s genealogy work. Nobile also revealed that Haley’s editor at Playboy magazine, the very white and Jewish Murray Fisher did much of the book’s writing.
Haley’s unsuspecting archivists had given Nobile access to the various letters, diaries, drafts, notes, and audiotapes that Haley had kept. They were a veritable gold mine, theretofore unexplored. In working his way through them, Nobile came to understand the depths of Haley’s “elegant and complex make-it-up-as-you-go-along scam.”

The Ice-Hearts
By Joseph Bruchac
Austin, Cold Mountain Press, (1979). A single short story, printed as a limited edition -- one of 300 copies signed by the author and the book's designer and printer, David Holman.


Joseph Bruchac
The Good Message of Handsome Lake. Unicorn keepsake series 9. Woodblock illustration by Rita Corbin. Greensboro, N. C.: Unicorn

October 13, 1979
The Schenectady Gazette Newspaper, Page 08
Bruchac Chairman of Taxidermists
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Joseph E. Bruchac II, taxidermist and lifelong resident of Greenfield Center, was elected chairman of the New York State Taxidermists Association at a recent meeting at the Finger Lakes Community College and attended by over 100 taxidermists throughout the state.
Known nationally as “The Adirondack Taxidermist,” also a Greenfield Town Councilman, he has been at his profession for over 50 years and was the first licensed taxidermist in New York State. He is also the editor and publisher of “Modern Taxidermist Magazine” and of dozens of taxidermy and wildlife studies books. As featured speaker at the Association meeting in Canandaigua, Joseph Bruchac II discussed “Money Making Ideas for Taxidermists.”
Joseph Bruchac II’s shop is located on the Middle Grove Road in Greenfield, where he and his wife, the former Marion Bowman, also of Greenfield, manage their Adirondack Taxidermy Studios.

December 01, 1980

Translator's Son
By Joseph Bruchac, Stanley H. Barkan (Editor), Kahionhes (Illustrator)
Merrick, Cross-Cultural Communications, 1980. Paperback, 40 pages
A collection of poems, Cross-Cultural Review Chapbook 10, illustrated by Kahionhes (John Fadden).
This copy is inscribed by Bruchac to his parents: "Moon of Falling Leaves/ 1980/ For Dad & Mom/ Peace/ Your Son," with his signature Kokopelli drawing. According to the text, a "translator's son" is a term used among certain of the Lakota people to refer to a person of mixed Indian and white ancestry.

 December 12, 1981
The Schenectady Gazette Newspaper, Page 11
Bruchac Writing Aide at Saratoga Library
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The New York State Council on the Arts has announced that Joseph Bruchac of Greenfield Center, New York, will be writer-in-residence at the Saratoga Springs Public Library next year.
Joseph Bruchac will serve under the sponsorship of a $5,000.00 dollar council grant designed to encourage the creation of new works of literature by the writer-in-residence and to make the services of the writer available to the community.
The services include the hosting of writing workshops, poetry readings, and acting as a consultant in contemporary poetry to the library.
A graduate of Saratoga Springs High School, Joseph Bruchac attended Cornell University, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree. He received a master’s degree from Syracuse University on a creative writing fellowship, and in 1974 he received a doctorate in comparative literature and creative writing from Union College.
The author of more than 18 published collections of poetry, folk tales and fiction, his poems, stories and articles have appeared in more than 300 magazines over the past 15 years, including Adirondack Life, The American Poetry Review, The Nation, The Ohio Review, Salmagundi and Poetry Australia.
Past honors for his work include a National Endowment for the Arts writing fellowship and the Cornell University Poetry Prize.
He and his wife, Carol, edit and publish the Greenfield Review, a literary magazine now in its 12 year. From 1966-1969 Joseph Bruchac was a volunteer teacher in West Africa and from 1969 to 1981 he worked for Skidmore College, first as an English instructor and for the past seven years as Coordinator of the University Without Walls College Program at Great Meadow State Prison at Comstock.
Joseph Bruchac’s residency at the library will run from January 1982 through until June of 1982, and will begin with a public reading from his work at the library.
Under the terms of the grant he will spend two days of the week conducting workshops or other activities for the library and community.
Exact dates of the workshops, which will be free, will be announced at a later date.
Further information on the residency and about the availability of Joseph Bruchac may be obtained from David Schwartz, Head Librarian at the Saratoga Springs Public Library.

April 28, 1982
The Schenectady Gazette Newspaper, Page 43
By Eleanor Koblenz
Adirondacks Inspire Award-Winning Area Poet
A love of the Adirondacks had proven the key to success for an area poet. When the CAPS (Creative Artists Program Service) awards were announced this spring there was one familiar name on the list of poetry project winners by the name of Joseph Bruchac, in the small village of Greenfield Center outside of Saratoga Springs, New York, share a desire to preserve the unique character of the northern New York wilderness.
Author and publisher Joseph Bruchac III, is already fulfilling part of the community service portions of his award as poet-in-residence at the Saratoga Springs Public Library and at the library at Old Forge, New York. A former Skidmore professor and author of 18 books (both prose and poetry) and numerous magazine and scholarly articles, Joseph Bruchac has won many awards, including a previous CAPS grant in 1973. His current project is to work on poetry “which draws on the Adirondack area and the American Indian heritage of New York.”
Joseph Bruchac’s roots in upper New York State go way back. His interest in Indian lore is very legitimate since his maternal grandfather, Jesse Elmer Bowman, in whose care he grew up, was an American Indian of the Odanak Tribe.
My Great Grandfather Lewis Bowman sold ash wood baskets and was a member of one of the thirteen [13] nations of the Abenaki Indians from Maine. When my grandfather came to live in the Adirondack, he denied he was an Indian. It was years before I knew I had Indian blood, but he taught me a great many values that I now know are based on Indian ethics. He was semi-literate when he married my Grandmother, a literary-minded Skidmore graduate who also had gone to Albany Law School. She inspired me to read and love literature.
This combined heritage, plus the influence of his paternal grandfather, a Czechoslovakian immigrant who grew to love the Adirondack area, his adopted home, shaped the life of Joseph Bruchac. His father, a taxidermist, also has spent all of his life in northern Saratoga County, New York and instilled in his sons a wonder and love of the land.
Through the years Joseph Bruchac searched for his Indian heritage in his writing. He studied the Iroquois and Abenaki languages and has celebrated these nations in his poetry. In the verse he hopes to write as a result of winning the CAPS award, he will emphasize the influence of the American Indian culture and beliefs on the Adirondack population.
When not lecturing, teaching or tending to the publishing of his literary newspaper, Joseph Bruchac also tours his beloved woods and in the spring can be found collecting maple sap, tending a wood fire and “sugaring off” just as his ancestors did years and years ago.

Magaret M. Bruchcac moved from the mid-west back to the Northeast, to be closer to her family.

August 05, 1983
Page 343: Also in 1910, in Highgate, VT a Bouman (Obomsawin) and Brisbois family appear in the records of Missisquoi. 1519. These two families hail from central Vermont and the Lake George community. Their presence suggests that migration back and forth to that area as well as Odanak was still occurring in 1910. In fact, oral tradition from the Bowman Joseph Bruchac family and the Maurice Denis Adirondack Abenaki family has confirmed the existence of the Vermont Abenaki community in the 20th century. 1520.

Footnote 1519. See Household # 232 in 1910 Highgate, Vermont Census in Appendix 11.
Footnote 1520. 2282, 8/5/83: 2283, 8/5/83: 1-4.

Page 344: In the Bouman Bowman present family members recall when their grandfather Jesse E. (Elmer) Bowman would “disappear” for awhile to go visit relatives  “in Vermont” in this century.

April 21, 1984
The Schenectady Gazette Newspaper, Page 15
By Alan Ginsberg – Gazette Reporter

Author Bruchac Tells Secrets of Writing

COBLESKILL “Writing is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,” poet Joseph Bruchac told students at Aker Elementary School recently.
… Joseph Bruchac, 42 years of age, whose ancestors were Abenaki Indian, told a crowd of 4th and 5th Graders, eager to learn the secrets of creative writing that American Indians have long believed that everybody has a song to sing, “Which means that everyone has the ability to create.”
Joseph Bruchac, whose been writing since he was a 2nd Grader, says his writing reflects stories he’s heard from friends and relatives, some from books he’s read, and much from personal experience.
He suggested to the youngsters “Listen to the stories in your family, every family has traditions, stories about things that have happened. Listen to your grandparents, go to the elderly people and listen what to what they have to say, because you’ll find they have a lot of memories which can be turned into good stories. Have them tell you what it was like when they were your age. You may find it very interesting.”
Joseph Bruchac, who majored in English and Wildlife Conservation at Cornell University and holds a master’s degree in literature from Syracuse University and a Doctorate in comparative literature from Union Graduate School, says he’s been writing seriously since he was a junior in college.
Asked by one 4th Grader if publishers rejected his works, he said “hundreds of them,” added, “but, you just have to keep trying harder despite the rejections.”
Emphasizing his successes however, he told the student’s that he’s paid $200.00 dollars each time one of his poems has appeared in a magazine. “So far it’s been published 12 times.” And he noted, “I was paid $500.00 dollars for a short story year.”
He is currently working on a novel about Africa, where he taught three years as a teacher. Titled “No Telephones in Heaven” and the book will be published in the fall.
Joseph Bruchac’s appearance at Aker Elementary School was part of the Cobleskill Elementary Teachers and Parents organization’s “Meet the Author” series. Co-Chairman of the program were5th Grade teachers Heather Johnson and poet Susan Spivac.

January 30, 1986
Joseph Edward Bruchac II died, in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York, the son of Joseph M. Bruchac and Pauline Hrdlicka (who were from Czechoslovakia). He was the husband of Marion Flora Bowman, and the father of Joseph Bruchac III, Mary Ann Bruchac, and Margaret Marie Bruchac.

September 26, 1986
The Schenectady Gazette Newspaper, Page 11
Indian Stories Program will held Sunday
GLOVERSVILLE – A program of American Indian storytelling will be presented at 12:15 p.m. Sunday at First Congregational Church of Christ.
The first in a year-long series of cultural programs to be offered by the church, Sunday’s program features Joseph Bruchac, a poet of Abenaki Indian ancestry from Greenfield Center whose stories were told to him by his grandfather, Jesse Bowman.
Joseph Bruchac is the author of several books including “Turkey Brothers and Other Iroquois Tales,” “Stone Giants and Flying Heads,” and “Iroquois Stories, Heroes and Heroines, Monsters and Magic.”
A light soup lunch will be served. There is a small admission charge.
The program is funded by Poets and Writers, Inc., which in turn is funded by the Literature Program of the New York State Council on the Arts.


Juliette M’Sadoques and Marion Flora (nee: Bowman) Bruchac, the latter visiting Odanak, Quebec, Canada … the Abenaki Community.

December 14, 1989
The Schenectady Gazette Newspaper, Page 41

INDIAN TALES – Greenfield Center author and storyteller Joseph Bruchac III, an Indian American of Abenaki descent, enthralls Broadalbin Elementary School children with authentic Iroquois and Abenaki stories yesterday in a program at Broadalbin-Perth Central School. (Gazette Photo – Garry Brown)

By Jim McGuire – Gazette Reporter
Students Enthralled
Abenaki Indian Takes Heritage to Schools
BRAODALBIN – With 50,000 copies of his new book, “Keepers of the Earth,” in print and the Public Broadcasting System planning a multi-part series on it, Native American author Joseph Bruchac III yesterday told Iroquois and Abenaki stories to Broadalbin-Perth Elementary students.
Joseph Bruchac, a 47 year old Greenfield Center resident and former Skidmore College English instructor, is Abenaki Indian on his maternal side, an ancestry that has inspired must of his writing in a literary career that began nearly 20 years ago.
The author of seven books of folk stories and poems, Joseph Bruchac has had his work published in more than 400 magazines and literary journals including the “Paris Review,” the “American Poetry Review,” “Chicago Review,” “Adirondack Life,” and “Vermont Life.”
His latest effort, “Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children,” is a collaboration with Vermont free-lance writer Michael Caduto and the first of a three-part series that is gaining acceptance across the country. It is published by Fulrum Press of Golden, Colorado.
A graduate of Cornell University with a master’s degree in literature from Syracuse University and Ph.D. in comparative literature from Union College, Joseph Bruchac, with his wife , Carol, founded and operated the Greenfield Review Press, which has specialized in publishing Native American literature. The Greenfield Review Press has published 75 books to date, he said.
Joseph Bruchac, a black belt in the martial arts who left Skidmore’s Campus Faculty in 1973 for an 8-year stint running that College’s University-Without-Walls program at Great meadows Correctional Facility, brings a wide range of experience and a unique viewpoint to the classroom.
In great demand at schools across the nation and even in Europe, Joseph Bruchac – pronounced Brewschack – had been making a living from his literary pursuits since 1981, and says that the age of 47 he is enjoying success. His Broadalbin-Perth visit was arranged by Lee Goodspeed, a parent in the district.
Schools booking him can expect to wait three or four months for an appearance. He often makes three or four school presentations a week, recently returning from a California tour.
Offering a participatory program to elementary level children, Joseph Bruchac tells authentic Iroquois and Abenaki stories and legends, emphasizing environmental awareness, self-respect, and respect for others. He tells the children as they sit in a circle that “if each respects the person to the right and to the left their circle will be strong.”
The students were particularly interested in his explanation of the importance of the clan animals, the bear and the turtle – the world was founded on the back of a turtle in traditional Indian belief – and when he produced his hand-held skin drum inscribed with a bear symbol, one boy could not restrain himself. “Awesome,” the boy said.
Joseph Bruchac sang and narrated his tales to the 5th Grades in the Broadalbin Elementary School and then presented similar material to an assembly program for grades three through five.
Encouraging the children to learn about their own ancestries while many of their grandparents are still alive, Joseph Bruchac told of his relationship with his Abenaki grandfather, Jesse Bowman, in whose Greenfield Center house he has lived most of his life and now owns. Learning about one’s family history develops self-respect as well as respect for others, he said.
A soft-spoken man with the measured, melodious voice one would expect from a poet, Joseph Bruchac was affected by his grandfather’s values and attitudes, particularly his kindness toward children, his trusting nature and generosity.
His father, who operated “The Adirondack Taxidermist,” was of Slovak descent, giving Joseph Bruchac an ancestral mix that has allowed him to “walk a little bit in either world,” enabling him to see how the two American cultures are alike and how they differ, he said.
His Abenaki ancestors, part of the Indian nation that encompassed most of New England, parts of southeastern Canada and stretched into the northern Adirondacks, is traceable to 1637 in Three Rivers, Quebec, Canada, where Jesuit missionaries kept careful records in their quest, Joseph Bruchac says, to account for all available candidates for conversion to Christianity.
His maternal great-grandparents whose family name was originally Obomsawin – which translates into “keeper of the council fire” – moved from Canada to the Saratoga Springs area where they sold baskets to tourists.
Joseph Bruchac said he has taken care to impart his ancestral knowledge and viewpoint to his two sons and they have followed him in developing a keen interest in their heritage.

December 16, 1990
The Daily Gazette Newspaper, Page H3
By Karen Bjornland – Gazette Reporter

Storyteller applies Native American wisdom to today
Indian artifacts surround Joseph Bruchac in his Greenfield Center home and literary center.

The land is cold, the trees are naked.  It’s time for Joseph Bruchac to tell his stories.
According to Native American tradition, Joseph Bruchac cannot tell his stories in the summer because the corn would stop to listen and forget to grow. Animals in the woods would stop and incline their ears too.
An author, poet, teacher and internationally known storyteller, Joseph Bruchac has a profound respect for Native American ways. On his mother’s side, he is Abenaki Indian, a tribe of New England and southeast Canada.
In Greenfield Center, a few miles north of Saratoga Springs, Joseph Bruchac live in the home where he was raised by his maternal grandparents.
Until the 1970’s, the house was also a gas station and general store on Route 9N, a pathway to the Adirondacks before the Northway hustle-bustle.
These days, cars swing in to visit Joseph Bruchac’s literary center and Greenfield Review Press, publisher of more than 75 books, which is run by Joseph Bruchac and his wife, Carol.
One of the latest books queued up on the center’s smooth pine book shelves is Joseph Bruchac’s “Return of the Sun: Native American Tales from the Northeast Woodlands,” ($8.95, Crossing Press).
Fourth collection
The book is his fourth collection of Native American tales and gathers 27 stories from many Northwest tribes, including Onondaga, Tuscarora, Penobscot, Seneca and Oneida.
Each tale emanates reverence for the Earth, and its creatures. Humans, animals, rocks and mountains are intertwined with the spirit world. Clever moral lessons are tucked inside the dreamy world where stones talk and crayfish sing.
Adding to the effect are full-page drawings, by Gary Carpenter of Santa Cruz, California, illustrating each story.
The title “Return of the Sun” is taken from an Iroquois story from the Earth and then reclaimed. The title also has a “larger sense,” Joseph Bruchac says.
“When you return to the teachings of the stories, you are returning to a life-giving light.”
Joseph Bruchac says “Return of the Sun” is different from his earlier collections because it includes the tales of many tribes, not just one, but his work is definitely “part of the same circle, a continuance.”
“I’ve always been interested been interested in native people and native stories, even since childhood.”
Growing up, he met many older people who told him stories.
“Contact with living, native storytellers,” he says, “sharing,” is one source for his stories. Many of his sources, however, do not consider themselves storytellers, they are just part of their particular heritage, the stories that all families have, Joseph Bruchac explains.
“The other source is literary, academic research.”
For each story in the book, Joseph Bruchac says, there are two to a dozen versions.
“Because they’ve been written down, does not mean they’ve been written down correctly.”
Comparing versions
Joseph Bruchac tries to see every written version of the story. He then compares it to what he knows of the oral tradition and uses his “experience and understanding” to relay it accurately.
“I try to be true to the tradition and to the people themselves.”
He then does the stories first as oral telling.
“I try to get the rhythm, the inflection, the feeling of the spoken language in the story.” Some knowledge of Abenaki and Mohawk languages helps, he says.
“I think (my approach) is a little different from some other people because I always do a combination of personal experience and what might be called academic research.”
Joseph Bruchac’s voice is serene, soothing. He stands straight and tall, with neat dark hair, a small thatch of which is pulled back neatly at the nape.
“Certain things in Native language can be reproduced to a degree in English. A great deal of natural imagery, for example.”
“The language … treats everything living with respect, as opposed to certain patterns of language you find in English which are contemptuous of people, and of other living things.”
Joseph Bruchac believes his work as a collector of stories is uncommon because of this upbringing, which allowed him insight into Native ways, an insight which he himself is not always conscious of.
His father, who operated “The Adirondack Taxidermist” in Greenfield, N.Y., was of Slovak descent offering Joseph Bruchac yet another dimension with which to compare cultures.
Child-rearing differences
For example, he says, he never realized until he was an adult that had never been struck as a child.
During his studies, he found that to be typical Native American child-rearing behavior.
“Speak kindly and slowly to children, show them respect and listen to their words. Do not strike them. Tell them a story.”
That is what is “codified” in Native American literature, Joseph Bruchac says.
He also found a kinship with native peoples while living in Ghana from 1966-1969.
People “native to the Earth relate to the Earth in an Earth-minded way,” Joseph Bruchac says.
“They came to their knowledge after many thousands of years … they came to an “understanding with the land.”
“Today we call this ecology or ecological awareness,” he muses.
Joseph Bruchac is also amazed at how modern society’s new perceptions for age-old troubles, i.e., “step programs” for recovering alcoholics, parallel Native American wisdom.
“Sometimes I think I’m listening to Indians, when I’m listening to some of these people talking.”
“What I’ve been taught from Native American elders is exactly the same.”
“I don’t mean Native American people are perfect. They are suffering from the problems of alcoholism, abuse and all kinds of difficulties that the modern world visits on everyone.”
Joseph Bruchac says the answer lies in the traditions, the morals passed down in Native American literature.
“Central to it all is the word ‘respect,’” he says.
Throughout his career, Joseph Bruchac, 48, has spread the knowledge he has learned from Native writings.
He’s told his stories at correctional centers, at schools, in libraries. Joseph Bruchac’s poems and stories have appeared in more than 400 magazines and have been translated into 11 languages. He is the author of two published novels, 14 collections of poetry and two non-fiction books.
A graduate of Cornell University, with a M.A. in literature from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Union College, Joseph Bruchac is a former English teacher at Skidmore College, a writer in residence at Hamilton College and Columbia University.
He has told his stories all over the world.
Not long ago, an elder from the Onondaga tribe gave him the name ‘Gahnehgohheyoh, which means “the good mind.”
Although Joseph Bruchac firmly insists he lives only in the present, the events on his calendar indicate full days ahead.
This weekend he winds up a performance in “Christmas Revels” at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, a production recreating  a 19th century New England village. In January 1991, he’ll be in Rotterdam, Holland, for a storytelling festival; on February 06, 1991 he’ll give a workshop on Native American stories and environmental awareness at the Nahani bookstore in Saratoga Springs; and in May, he’ll be in Brighton, England for more storytelling.
Another book, “Hoop Snakes, Hide Behinds and Side Hill Winders: Tall Tales of the Adirondacks,” is due out early next summer from Crossing Press.
Joseph Bruchac’s purpose – his guiding light – is revealed in the introduction to “Return of the Sun.”
“Now more than ever before, we need these teachings which lead us towards peace with each other, respect for the earth, and understanding of the sacred nature of the greatest gift … the gift of life itself.

February 01-02, 1991

April 1992

Dawnland Singers (James, Marge, Jesse, and Joseph Bruchac) in Highgate, VT.

March 14, 1993
By Rebekah Presson
New Letters on the Air, National Public Radio Interview
The writer Joseph Bruchac describes the generation gap created by termination and Euro-American dominant education, a gap that could not be bridged by the events on Alcatraz or the Red Power era that followed:
“I found myself growing up with two heritages that I knew very little about. I was curious about them … I began to directly seek out more about my Native American heritage. I sought it from books, I sought it from other people, and I sought it at the feet of elders, listening to everything they would have to say. By the time I became an adult, my mother[Marion Flora Bowman – Bruchac] referred to me a few years ago as “my son, the Indian.”
Which I found very funny, and she said, “Well you know what I mean, you know what I mean.” …
What she meant was that she had never been allowed to think that about herself. So she didn’t think of herself in that way. It was almost like it had skipped a generation. And I was finally allowed to be proud of a heritage that had been a shame or something to be covered up.”

September 19, 1993
The Daily Gazette Newspaper, Pages 61-62
By Jack Rightmyer – For the Sunday Gazette

Joseph Bruchac, storyteller and preserver of Indian culture, kneels before the frame for a sweat lodge on his land in Greenfield, N.Y. Joseph Bruchac is the author of the recently published novel “Dawn Land.”

Storyteller Bruchac seeks to preserve American Indian tradition
GREENFIELD CENTER - 1992 seems to be the year Joseph Bruchac. Reporters, writers and editors from around the country want a piece of him, but despite the distraction of phones ringing in the background, he sits and patiently spins his tale of how he became such a success American Indian storyteller and writer.
“I was always interested in writing, even as a small child,” he said during a recent interview at his home. “I was raised in this house by my grandparents. There weren’t a lot of kids around to play with so spent a great deal of time reading and going into the woods. Because of that I saw things and read things that inspired me to write.”
Joseph Bruchac, who has recently published his first novel, “Dawn Land” (Fulcrum Press; 317 pages; $19.95), has fond memories of his grandparents, and he believes living with them was one reason he became a storyteller.
“Storytelling was something I always heard as a child,” he said. “I still remember sitting here in this room, which used to be a general store, and listening to my grandfather and others tell stories. They would talk about walking in the woods when they were young, and my grandfather would often reminisce about when he used to work with horses and what it was like building the roads.”
In his early 20’s [ca. 1963-4], Joseph Bruchac learned how to tell stories by going out to American Indian elders and listening to them.
“Native elders are the greatest storytellers in this culture,” he said, “and I was prepared to listen to them because as a child I had listened to my grandfather and his friends.”
A few years ago after he began telling stories to his own children, “I was first published as a poet,” he said, “but I became a storyteller when I would tell stories to my children to help them understand things. I told them some traditional Native American stories that I had heard from the elders. These stories were entertaining on one hand and lesson-giving on the other.”
Some people who ran The Crossing Press, a small Publishing House in California, and who knew Joseph Bruchac as a poet, contacted him to see if he had any stories for a children’s book they were putting together. He wrote down his versions of the Iroquois and Abenaki stories he had been telling his kids, and this resulted in his first published book of stories.
“Stories are not like television,” said Joseph Bruchac. “They are more magical. You can turn off a TV both literally and figuratively, but a storyteller is immediate. That personal contact is very strong.”
Joseph Bruchac, whose relatives include members of the Abenaki tribe of Vermont and New Hampshire, didn’t know he had any American Indian blood until he was in his late teens.
My grandfather was an Abenaki, but he would often tell people he was French,” Joseph Bruchac said. It was kind of a family secret, and this feeling was the result of racism during that time. It resulted from the attitude that to be different was to be dangerous.”
He believes there will always be places in the country where American Indian culture will be embraced, but most non-Indians aren’t aware that the American Indian culture stands for the exact opposite of what modern culture stands for.
“The economy of the world is based in a large part on using the Earth, and decisions in business often reflect the idea that money is worth more than people,” said Joseph Bruchac. “A culture like the Native American culture, which values humanity and the environment over wealth, is always going to face opposition.”
Proud of heritage
Joseph Bruchac is proud of his Abenaki heritage. His ancestors were part of an Indian nation that once encompassed most of New England, part of southeastern Canada and the northern Adirondacks.
“I’m proud to be a member of the Native American community,” he said. “I’m extremely impressed by the respect I’ve found in Native American communities everywhere in North America for elders and for children. This is happening despite a mainstream culture where elders and children are constantly being pushed aside, manipulated or told not to make waves.”
He is also impressed with the value that is placed on life and on the family. “We’ve done a lot of talk in this country about family values,” said Joseph Bruchac, “but true family values, such as equality between men and women, are alive even today in the traditional Native American centers.
“Unfortunately, many Native American families are suffering from alcoholism and child abuse, but the ideas and the traditions that support native people are very much a pro-life tradition in the truest sense.”
Showing the essential humanity of American Indians was one of the main reasons he wanted to write the novel “Dawn Land,” which takes place after the last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, in an area we now know as northeastern New York and New England.
“So much of what we read about Native Americans presents them as cardboard characters and stereotypes,” he said. “I wanted to show them in a situation in which they are not influenced in any way by Europeans. I wanted to show the respect they had for each other, for plants, for animals and for the world around us. The people of Dawn Land have created a thriving community in balance with nature and with each other.”
He also attempts to show the central role that women played in the culture. “It was important for me to show realistic woman characters who had minds of their own, and who were acting out their lives in ways that were not dependent on the whims of a male-dominated culture.”
He never outlined the entire book, be he followed his main character, Young Hunter, from one adventure to another.
“The path my character follows and the situations he encounters are often based very strongly, almost word for word translations from the Abenaki tradition stories,” he said.
Process of writing
It took him five years to write his first novel, and he is currently working on a sequel to “Dawn Land.”
“I never planned on writing a novel,” he said, “but I’ve worked many years accumulating this knowledge of Native American people. I also must credit contemporary technology, such as word processors and personal computers, because they’ve allowed me to be as diligent with revision on prose as I am on poetry. What used to stop me before about writing a novel was that I was a relatively slow typist.”
Joseph Bruchac is also the editor and publisher of the Greenfield Review Press, which releases multicultural literature.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, a master’s degree in literature from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Union College.
Linda Stark, the Marketing Director of Fulcrum Publishing, is very pleased with how well the book is selling. “We’ve sold our first two printings,” she said. “That means over 15,000 copies have been sold since May.”
She believes a big part of the book’s success is the author himself.
“It’s Joe’s reputation as a writing that is propelling the book,” she said, “but he’s also a great salesman,” she said. “We have him traveling around the country promoting the book, and when you hear him talk you know that you’re in the presence of a storyteller. He has this mystic quality about him that makes you want to go out and buy his books.”
Linda Stark also feels that “Dawn Land” has come out at a perfect time.
“People are very interested in reading historical-place novels, and this book is a place novel for people in the Schenectady area,” she said.
“When people read the book, not only will they be able to learn a little bit about your area’s historical past, but they may discover something about their future.”
Tom Smith, Director of the New York Writer’s Institute, has found Joseph Bruchac to be helpful in many different ways.
“We’ve had him at Writer’s Institute as a storyteller,” he said. “Joe has such an enchanting style that he appeals to a variety of audiences. His outlook is so expansive that he makes a Native American story feel like it’s our story, too.”
Tom Smith said Joseph Bruchac “helped us greatly a few years ago when we did a series on Native American writers. He was instrumental in getting us such writers as Linda Hogan, Louise Erdich and Michael Dorris.
Tom Smith said he enjoyed reading “Dawn Land.”
“Joe is a scholar, a poet and a storyteller all in one personality and this comes across in his novel,” he said. “He’s enormously respected by all writers around the writers around the country and especially by Native American writers. We’re lucky to have him in this area.”
Advice to writers
Joseph Bruchac often tells beginning writers not to give up.
“There were many places along the way when I was told that I didn’t have the ability to do something. A professor once said, ‘You don’t know how to tell a story.’ Another professor told me, ‘You’ll never publish a poem.’ “
He said it’s essential for writers to believe in themselves. “But as you believe in yourself, also have your ears open for good criticism, for things that will help you grow, because if you maintain a certain level of humility, you have the space for growth. And writers need to realize that a good critic is something to be valued.”
Joseph Bruchac, who also has two children’s books coming out this fall, “The First Strawberries” (Dial) and “Fox Song” (Philomel).
Joseph Bruchac will sign copies of his novel “Dawn Land” from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Barnes and Noble Bookstore, on 20 Wolf Road in Albany, N.Y.

January 13, 1995
The Sunday Gazette Newspaper, Page C4
By Michael Hochanadel
Arts & Entertainment Section
Dawnland Singers to present Indian songs, tales at Café Lena
By unraveling the family secret of his grandfather’s identity, Joe Bruchac discovered his own.
And in the stories and songs of the Abenaki tribe of American Indians, Bruchac found both his life’s work and its meaning.
A storyteller and writer, Joseph Bruchac works to preserve American Indian culture through Greenfield Press Publishing Company, the Good Mind Record Label, and the Native American Author’s Catalog. Last year, Fulcrum Press published “DawnLand”, his first novel, and will release a sequel, “Long River, next fall.
Last year Joseph Bruchac began to make music / out of myth / to sing / his stories.
Saturday at Café Lena, Joseph Bruchac will perform with his DawnLand Singers: his sons, guitarist Jesse and percussionist Jim; and his sister, singer Marge. They’ll sing and play both traditional Abenaki songs and contemporary songs in Abenaki and English with flute accompaniment by Powhatan Eagle, a Santo Domingo Pueblo Indian from New Mexico.
They’ll sing some things Bruchac’s grandfather knew in his bones, but kept there, secret inside himself.
“My grandfather, Jesse Bowman, was one of those people who looked visibly Indian,” said Joseph Bruchac, “But he always claimed he was French-Canadian. My grandfather being an Abenaki was our family secret, something everybody knows but nobody wants to talk about.”
Jesse Bowman fled from school in fourth grade to escape prejudice, and then hid his heritage ever after.
“There was such racism and violence that hiding Indian identity was common practice,” said Joseph Bruchac sadly.
“But as he raised me, he taught me some things I later learned are very characteristic of Native Americans: great tolerance, patience and gentleness toward children, and a love for and connection to the natural world.”
“As a teenager I sought out Native people, trying to reconnect to other Abenaki,” he said. “They were called Adirondacks by the Iroquois, and that means ‘porcupines or eaters of bark.’
Joseph Bruchac studied Wildlife Conservation at Cornell University, hoping to become a naturalist or forest ranger, until a writing course persuaded him to become a writer.
Beginning to write
He went on to graduate school at Syracuse University for creative writing, then taught English composition and literature for 3 years in Ghana, Africa, learning to understand America from a distance and seeing in African tribal life similarities to American Indian culture.
He moved back in with his grandfather in Greenfield Center on returning to the United States. “When he died on January 28, 1970, I began to meet other Indians who acknowledged their Native ancestry,” said Joseph Bruchac. “When I started meeting Native elders, I found their demeanor, their appearance and way of speaking was like my grandfather; it was like coming home for me.”
As his author friend Simon Ortiz pointed out, “Indians are everywhere,” and Joseph Bruchac tirelessly sought them out. “Many Native people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s now were not brought up with a good understanding of the (Native) culture,” Joseph Bruchac lamented. “We have to rediscover it as adults.”
He wanted his sons Jesse Bowman Bruchac and James Edward Bruchac to know their heritage; so as he learned Abenaki and Iroquois stories, Joseph Bruchac, their father, told them as bedtime stories. He published a collection of them in 1973 as “Turkey Brother and Other Iroquois Stories,” the first of his more than 30 books.
“I have written poetry through High School and College,” he said, “But this took me in another direction.” Joseph Bruchac began to tell Abenaki and Iroquois stories in schools, then to travel nationally and internationally.
“I believe in the larger truth of traditional stories,” he said.
He acknowledge, “Some people have trouble accepting traditions as implicitly true,” but he maintained, “they have deep meanings metaphorically or literally,” and offered the “giant turtle” story as illustration.
“In many Native traditions, the earth was placed on the back of a giant turtle,” he explained. “Now, the earth is alive; many Native peoples call it Turtle Island. And now we know that in plate tectonics, whole huge sections of the earth are floating essentially, and it’s very dynamic and alive.” He said, “that’s a contemporary scientific truth that’s expressed in ancient terms, metaphorically.”
Joseph Bruchac said the Abenaki language is “a verb language of motion and changing, rather than a noun language about things.” New words are made by combining known words: one of the few new (less than 300 years old) Abenaki words describes a timepiece as “that thing which is making much noise doing nothing useful.
Early this year, CNN broadcast a special on “the most endangered language in North America” – Abenaki – showed 86 year old Cecile Wawanolet teaching it. The program also showed Jesse Bruchac singing an original song he’d composed in Abenaki.
Jesse Bowman Bruchac is lead singer and guitarist of the DawnLand Singers, the family musical group his father founded last year to preserve Abenaki songs and to reflect on contemporary life in the Abenaki language.
“When I became more interested in learning Abenaki, I found a very good way to get into it was through Native music,” said Jesse Bruchac. “Native literature prior to 1900 was mostly sung or chanted,” he pointed out. “I was always attracted to Native music; it has a lot of strength and a lot of poetry.”
Recording songs
The DawnLand Singers have just released “Alnobak,” a CD of songs in Abenaki and English. The title is Abenaki for “human beings.” The CD includes drumming by Awassos Sigan, the Spring Bear Drummers from Odanak, the Abenaki Reserve in Canada where Joe Bruchac’s grandfather Jesse Bowman was born.
As on the CD, Joe Bruchac will tell stories and introduce the songs at Cafe Lena. “We’ll open with music, a greeting song by Jesse accompanying himself on drum,” said Joseph Bruchac.
“The most important thing is that what I’m doing with the music and language is just a very small part of a larger effort that my sons are carrying on and will continue after I’m gone,” said Joseph Bruchac proudly. “They’ve already gone beyond places I’ve been.”
Show time Saturday at Café Lena is 8:00 p.m. Admission is $8.00; phone 583-0022 for reservations.

May 22, 1995
The Bangor Daily Newspaper
Section B
By Nancy Garland – of the News Staff
Author discusses Native American folklore
Storyteller Bruchac kicks off ’95 Maine Libraries Conference in Orono, Maine
ORONO – Native Americans long have placed strong emphasis on preserving the balance between nature and humanity. The stories they told to their children can be translated across the centuries to teach earth stewardship and social responsibility to youngsters in today’s world, according to Joseph Bruchac, an author and storyteller who spoke at the University of Maine on Sunday.
The Iroquois Indians of New York live by a considerate dictum that states “whatever we do must be done keeping seven generations in mind,” according to Joseph Bruchac, who kicked off the three-day 1995 Maine Libraries Conference at the University of Maine campus. About 500 school, college and state librarians attended.

Jesse Bruchac (Abenaki). The son of Joseph Bruchac and founder of Bowman Web Design, Jesse is a self-taught website design specialist who is presently pursuing a Masters Degree in Computer Science. Jesse has created some of the best websites around for native research, including nativesearch.com, nativeauthors.com, greenfieldreview.org, and ndakinna.com.
Jesse studied anthropology at Ithaca College and has a Bachelors degree in Linguistic Anthropology from Goddard College, where he created the first Western Abenaki Language Syllabus as his senior thesis. Jesse has released several musical recordings alone and with the Bruchac family and he toured with the Odanak Drum, Awasos Sigwan, in Belgium in 1995.
He currently lives in Williamsville, NY.

“Roots of Survival, Native American Storytelling and the Sacred” by Joseph Bruchac © 1996. Pages 179 to194 … Pay close attention to [Page 185] …“Bomazeen: The name comes from Obum-sawin. It means “Keepers of the Ceremonial Fire.” It is a name which has been spelled many ways by Abenaki people, some of whom still carry variations of that name. Joseph Obowmaswine was a veteran of the War of 1812, fighting on the Canadian side. Today, at Odanak (the Abenaki reserve on the St. Francis River in Quebec Province), the Obomsawin family still lives. And the name Cowin, which was that of a family of Indians in Vermont in the late 1880s, probably came from Obomsawin. Names are changed frequently from father to son among the Abenaki. Sometimes … [Page 186] … an Abenaki name has been Gallicized, then re-Abenaki-ized, and then Anglicized. Sabbatist. Saint Jean-Baptiste. Sabbatist. St. Pierre. Sa Bial. Sabael. Obum-sawin. Bomazeen. Bowman. The name of my mother’s father – Jesse Bowman.

January 21, 1996
The Daily Gazette Newspaper, Page G6 Books
Books and Authors
Bruchac honored for juvenile literature
Storyteller and author Joseph Bruchac has been named the winner of the Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature from the School Library Media Section of the New York Library Association.
The award honors a New York author whose work has assisted the educational needs of the state’s elementary and secondary students.
Bruchac’s “Keepers of the Earth” series ties Native American legends to activities.
Joseph Bruchac is of Abenaki Indian, English and Slovak ancestry … draws on his American Native heritage for his storytelling and writing. He has written four books and 14 collections of poetry.
He lives in Greenfield, New York.

“Bowman’s Store, A Journey to Myself” by Joseph Bruchac ©1997. Pages 10 & 11, 153 & 154.
“There was hardly any mention of Indians at all when the old men gathered around the potbellied stove in my grandfather’s general store … like the dark tanned skinned and features that hinted at something more than the Scotch-Irish or French ancestry that most of them claimed, they were careful about how they mentioned Indians. One never knew who might be listening.
But I think of this story as one of his stories too. I learned it two decades ago from my friend and teacher Maurice Dennis, as he stood behind his house in the Adirondack village of Old Forge, carving into a cedar pole the shapes of Bear and Turtle – the two main clan animals of our Abenaki people.
Maurice’s parents had come down from Odanak, the Abenaki reserve in Quebec, when he was a small child. Like my great-grandparents, they were basket makers. A number of Abenaki families made their way from that town of refuge in the far north to return to upstate New York or Vermont or New Hampshire – new European names grafted onto the land their ancestors once called simply Ndakinna, “Our Land.” They came now as either “French Canadian” loggers or as “Canadian” Indians, playing the role of fishing and hunting guides and makers of souvenirs for tourists.”

“The Heart of a Chief” by Joseph Bruchac ©1998. Author’s Note (In Part) “I decided, however, not to set this novel on a real reservation. Some of the issues in the book, such as casino gambling, leadership, and alcohol abuse, are too sensitive for me to do that. Instead, I have imagined a reservation where none currently exist, although they should: in New Hampshire. The Penacook are one of the nations of my own Western Abenaki people; but there is, at present, no state or federally recognized Penacook community.” man. The name of mother’s father -- Jesse Bowman.”
March 28, 1996
The Press – Republican Newspaper (Plattsburgh, N.Y.), Page A-6
The Arts Section
By Jeff Meyers – Staff Writer
To Indian writer and speaker, life is a long story
PLATTSBURG – Joe Bruchac will never forget his roots. In fact, he’s always more than willing to share his Abenaki heritage with anyone.
Joseph Bruchac, 53 years of age, was raised by his grandparents (his grandfather was an Abenaki Indian), and still lives in the house he called “home” as a youth.
Although he grew up in the midst of Native American tradition, the knack of telling stories about his heritage came much later in life.
“My grandfather owned a general store, and I’d go over to listen to the ‘potbelly’ stories,” Joseph Bruchac said from his Greenfield Center home recently. “The stories being told were Adirondack tall tales. The area had a rich folk tradition.
“When I grew up, my grandparents were living in a white community, and there was still a lot of prejudice,” he added. “My grandfather didn’t want to talk about his heritage. It’s something I didn’t hear a lot about.”
As a child, Joseph Bruchac enjoyed reading. He was also interested in animals and the outdoors and began to write children’s poems and stories.
“I think one of the seeds that developed into an interest in storytelling was my fondness of books,” he said. “I always loved to listen to stories, to be read aloud. Growing up with a grandfather who loved to tell stories encourages you to talk as well.”
Joseph Bruchac left Greenfield Center in 1960 to attend college at Cornell University. At first, he majored in wildlife conservation but changed majors to English. He later received a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Syracuse University.
He then became a teacher and administrator at Skidmore College in Saratoga, New York.
But the creative muses continued to pull at him. He left his job in 1981 and returned to Greenfield Center with his wife and two young children.
Joseph Bruchac began to have more and more success with his creative writing, selling poems and stories to national publications.
It was also during that time that he began to search out his Native American roots, combining the stories he picked up through research with his natural knack for storytelling.
“My storytelling career began entirely by accident,” he said. “I had written a book of Iroquois stories, and I was invited by a Grade School to come in and read as a visiting author.
“But I stood up in from of the group and said ‘I don’t want to read the stories to you. Let me tell you the stories.’ I knew them just as well by memory.”
When writing, an inner voice speaks to an author, giving advice on what direction a story should go. But when telling stories, an audience is listening, and the storyteller has to share the words with that audience.
“The stories come alive. It becomes a communal experience. It can be very exciting.”
Joseph Bruchac has also incorporated his storytelling skills into a singing career. With his two sons, Jesse and James Bruchac, he formed the Dawnland Singers, which performs contemporary music and traditional Abenaki songs. In fact, the Dawnland Singers opened for Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead in Highgate, Vermont last summer.
Performing with his children is important to Joseph Bruchac. It’s a perfet way to perfect the ancient art of storytelling.
“Storytelling is a gift parents can give to their children,” he said. “Parents don’t know what they’re missing when they tell their kids to go watch TV instead of reading them a story.
“Just talking to your kids is so important. It’s something that helps the family grow both physically and emotionally. It’s a way to share the community of the family.”

October 06, 1998
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Newspaper, Page
By Paul Grondahl – Albany Times Union
Exploring an American Indian past
Albany, N.Y. – Joseph Bruchac has taken the source of a shameful childhood secret and re-imagined it as the stuff of literature, laying the foundation for a family [history/genealogy] industry along the way.
In his memoir, “Bowman’s Store: A Journey to Myself” (Dial Books, 1997, $16.77), Joseph Bruchac reveals his family’s unspoken pact never to prod his grandfather about his dark skin or to discuss what he much later learned was Grandpa’s hidden Abenaki blood.
There were other mysteries for Joseph Bruchac growing up with his grandparents at their general store and gas station in Greenfield Center, N.Y. Why didn’t Joseph Bruchac live with his parents, whose house was just down the road? And why was his family so divided and ashamed about its American Indian heritage?
“There were a lot of family secrets and divisions that took a long time to understand and to heal,” Joseph Bruchac said.
Joseph Bruchac, 55, began to ponder his family’s troubled past in his poetry and prose as he explored his Abenaki roots. In 1971, Joseph Bruchac published his first poetry collection, “Indian Mountain,” and his latest book of poems, “No Borders,” due out this fall, continues to interpret the terrain of American Indian ways. In between, Joseph Bruchac has published dozens of books, ranging from children’s stories to novels to anthologies of Indian tales.
Joseph Bruchac’s new novel, “The Waters Between,” is set in an Abenaki community on Lake Champlain and completes a trilogy that consists of “DawnLand” (1993) and “Long River” (1995).
Joseph Bruchac also will trace how American Indian storytelling and literature has become a family affair. The Bruchac’s live in a farmhouse and work the attached gas station and general store, which has since been converted into an office, where Joseph Bruchac was raised by his grandparents in the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Joseph Bruchac and his wife of 34 years, Carol Bruchac, are co-editors and co-publishers of The Greenfield Review Press, which specializes in books on American Indian themes. Their sons, Jim, 30, and Jesse, 26, work with the family publishing company and are professional storytellers like their father.
Joseph Bruchac’s mother, Marion Bowman Bruchac, 78, confined to a wheelchair, lives just down the road, and the Bruchac’s share the responsibility of taking care of her needs.
The entire family assists with a program Joseph Bruchac’s sons established, Ndakinna Project, a series of workshops on American Indian philosophy, animal tracking, shelter-building and other ancient skills held on a 100-acre wildlife preserve in Greenfield Center that the Bruchac’s own. Ndakinna means “our land” in the Abenaki language.
Joseph Bruchac’s literary journey began, in a sense, with travel. In the late 1960’s Joseph Bruchac and his wife Carol spent three years as teachers in the wilderness of Ghana in West Africa. The isolation spurred Joseph Bruchac’s writing and he mailed poems to literary journals back in the States, where his first work was published.
The couple then started their own literary magazine in Ghana, The Greenfield Review.

October 23, 1998
The Daily Gazette Newspaper, Page C2
By Karen Bjornland – Gazette Reporter
Arts & Entertainment Section
 Margaret (Marge) Bruchac is a traditional
Storyteller of Missisquoi Abenaki Indian ancestry.

Talented Adirondack Women set day of performances, talks
An evening performance begins at 8:00 p.m. in the United Methodist Church, with performers including George and Vaughn Ward, Marge Bruchac, a Missisquoi Abenaki Indian storyteller. Vaughn Ward, Director of Black Crow Network, an educational and cultural organization for the Eastern Adirondacks and Mohawk Champlain region, says Saturday’s celebration is “more grassroots,” with “more space.”

December 01, 1998
The Hour Newspaper Page B7:
On December 06, 1998, which is a special shopping day for members, Margaret Bruchac, a historical interpreter, singer and story teller of Missisquoi and Abenaki ancestry, will tell stories and sing at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. There is no admission fee.

February 15, 1999
Marion Flora (nee: Bowman) Bruchac died in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York.

April 16, 1999
Smith College to Present "Molly Has Her Say"
Smith College senior Marge Bruchac will present her play, "Molly Has Her Say," at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8, at Smith's Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Green St., Northampton.
Bruchac's work-in-progress focuses on the "hidden histories" of northeastern Algonkian Indians and the conflict between Anglo-American written histories of disappearance and Native American oral histories of persistence. In the play, two "Mollys"--Molly Ockett and Old Mali--emerge from the past to speak to young Molly Marie, a Native American graduate student who denies her own Indian identity, even as she researches the details of Abenaki history.

Molly Ockett: "Some a' these young ones git ta thinkin' th' stories don' mean nothin. Jes words on a page, jes sounds spoken inta' th' air . . . Them scratches got power, girl! Talkin' leaves-akwighigan-we calls 'em....They can write ya out, same's they kin write ya in!"
The voices of these Abenaki Indian women speak to the systematic displacement and disruption of Abenaki communities from the colonial period to the present and their tenacious hold on "Ndakinna," their homeland, through personal anecdotes, historical texts, and traditional stories. Molly Ockett, a late 18th-century Pequawket Indian doctress, is trying to reach Molly Marie through her research, asking her to re-examine the texts and myths of extinction and remember her own family history. Old Mali, the voice of the ancestors, is trying to "sing the world into being," offering strength and connection to a timeless place where the songs and stories live. Molly Marie is just trying to get through her studies with a cynicism and disconnectedness that protects her from having to take any responsibility for these histories or her own "Indianness."
Molly Marie: "What if I'm not Indian enough? ...What if nobody believes me...who's gonna claim me then? Get off me--go find another Indian to kick around! I don't want your stories!"
Old Mali: "Old Mali has somethin' she's been wantin' ta say to ya: The ancestors did the choosin,' girl...ain't your responsibility nohow...it's jes that now yer the one holdin' pen an' paper..."

Playwright and director Marge Bruchac, who portrays Molly Ockett, is herself of Missisquoi Abenaki descent. She is a traditional storyteller, an interpretive consultant for Old Sturbridge Village museum, and a Smith College Sophia Smith Scholar pursuing independent study in theater and history. Shelly LaVallee, who portrays Molly Marie, is of French, Iroquois and Blackfoot descent. She is currently pursuing a degree in events and conference management.
This production, which is supported in part by a grant from the Five College Multicultural Theater Committee, is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.
For more information, call Marge Bruchac at (413)584-2195.

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May 27, 1999
Indian tales told
Native American storyteller and musician Marge Bruchac and her husband Justin Kennick perform tales and songs from Abenaki and other northeastern Indian cultures from noon to 2:00 p.m. Sunday in the Gathering Space of the Pequot Museum.
There is no admission fee for this event. For more information, call 1-800-411-9671 or visit the Website www.mashantucket.com

July 31, 1999
From: Marge Bruchac
Subject: REPLY: "Last of the Indians . . ."
Margaret Bruchac
Missisquoi Abenaki Indian
Historical Interpreter and Consultant
Member of the Board of Trustees, Historic Northampton

Smith College // Northampton, Massachusetts 01063 // (413) 585-2700
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Margaret Bruchac is a museum consultant, historical interpreter, and traditional storyteller of Missisquoi Abenaki Indian ancestry. She serves as an adviser to the Wampanoag Indian Program at Plimoth Plantation, a trustee for Historic Northampton and a consulting interpreter for Old Sturbridge Village. A 1999 graduate of Smith College, where she was an Ada Comstock/Smith Scholar, she is currently enrolled in an M.A. program in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts.

Marge Bruchac will be September 14 Song & Story Swap guest
Please come share in an evening of music and stories at the September Pioneer Valley Folklore Society SONG & STORY SWAP.

October 6, 1999
In a telephone interview with Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki), by Eliza T. Dressang, to accompany the discussion of Native American literature for children and teenagers, on CCBC-Net, Mr. Joseph Bruchac (in part) has this to say:

I belong to the Abenaki Nation which is a non-recognized nation in the United States. My great-grandfather [Louis Bowman] came from the little village of Odanak in Canada. I do not have a card from a federally recognized Native American nation.”

“I try to be absolutely straightforward about who I am, where I've been and where I hope to go. I don't want people to conclude that I'm trying to fool them.”

Joseph Bruchac’s younger sister, Margaret Bruchac, repeatedly in publications claims to be a Missisqoui Abenaki woman.

December 02, 1999
From: "H-AMINDIAN (Jeff Shepherd, J. Wendel Cox)"
Author's Subject: CFP: Reinterpreting New England Indian History, Sturbridge MA
The Colonial Society of Massachusetts announces a conference to be held in Sturbridge, Massachusetts on April 21 and 22, 2001, focusing on the impact of Euro-American colonization on the New England Indian experience in the indigenous homelands from earliest times to the present, as well as the Diaspora of Native peoples into Canada, New York, and elsewhere.
It is our hope to elicit presentations which will represent the best new scholarship and the new activism of American Native communities that have begun to reshape understandings of the region. We encourage presenters to reexamine Eurocentric definitions of what constitutes the "colonial period" and the forms of colonization experienced by Native peoples. We invite conventional papers as well as audio, visual, theatrical, or mixed media presentations from Native American and non-Native scholars and presenters.
Because the Society intends to print a volume of selected proceedings drawn from the conference, papers should not have been previously published elsewhere. The organizers hope the conference will promote a rich dialogue among members of the Native and scholarly communities on the meaning of Indian culture in New England, past and present, and the continuing impact of colonialism.
A brief description of proposals should be sent to the members of the program committee (Marge Bruchac, Colin Calloway, Barry O'Connell, Jean O'Brien, Russell Peters, and Neal Salisbury) care of John W. Tyler, Editor of Publications, Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 87 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108. Proposals should arrive no later than October 1, 2000.

By Cynthia Gomez, Standard-Times staff writer
Historical Society to hold native music program
 WAREHAM -- Hot fudge sundaes is what the Wareham Historical Society's third annual ice cream social is all about.
But there's also music to complement the confection.
Scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. at the Methodist Meeting House on Main Street on Monday, the sundaes will follow a special performance of traditional Algonkian summer songs and stories by Missisquoi Abenaki Indian singer and storyteller Marge Bruchac.
 "We thought it would be good to host a family event, and this is something both children and adults can enjoy," said Historical Society President Carolyn McMorrow.
 The program will include greeting and gathering songs, and stories of plants, animals, and tricksters, such as, "Green Corn Woman," "How Cow Lost His Voice," and "Gluskabe and Wind Eagle."
 Ms. Bruchac brings alive indigenous rhythms, old melodies, the sound of the language, and the wisdom of the stories through the use of vocals, rattles, and hand drums.
 "I have seen her perform myself before, and she's just wonderful," said Ms. McMorrow.
 She has performed both traditional and contemporary presentations at Old Sturbridge Village, Plimoth Plantation, Old Songs Festival, Sagakwa Native American Festival, and numerous museums and schools she visits throughout the year.
 Ms. Bruchac performs "The Dawnland Singers" with her brother, Joe Bruchac, and her nephews, Jim and Jesse. She and her husband toured the Netherlands in January performing "Hand In Hand." Ms. Bruchac can also be found at powwows dancing with the W'Abenaki Dancers.
 Her recordings include "The Dawnland Singers," "Alnobak," and "Hand In Hand." Her play, "Molly Has Her Say," is currently making the rounds of the area theaters.
 In addition to her performing, Ms. Bruchac works as a historical consultant and lecturer for museums, schools, and colleges across New England, focusing on the hidden history and survival of the Algonkian Indians. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Historic Northampton and the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School and is a member of the Five College Native American Indian Studies Curriculum Committee. She is also an adviser to the Wampanoag Indian Program at the Plimoth Plantation.
 Admission to the event is $2 for children, members, and seniors, and $4 for adults.
 Those who are unable to attend the event but would like more information or would like to book a performance, Ms. Bruchac is now booking for spring and summer 2000, and can be contacted at 413-584-2195.

May 21, 2000
The Daily Gazette Newspaper, Page G6
‘Witch of Mad Dog Hill’ recounts eerie tales of the Sacandaga Valley
By Don Bowman, edited by Vaughn Ward, Bowman Books, Greenfield Review Press, 230 Pages, $14.95

By John Bowman – For the Sunday Gazette
In “The Witch of Mad Dog Hill,” Don Bowman offers a well-written collection of Sacandaga Valley stories that are unsettling but insightful sketches of upstate rural life.
Don Bowman, a former Corinth resident who now lives in South Carolina, working with Vaughn Ward, an editor and folklorist from Rexford, had written and intriguing selection of stories about appearances by the devil and his demons, ghosts, good and back witches, medicine men, dangerous swamps, monsters and spells.
Don Bowman heard the stories in this collection in the 1920’s while working on Sacandaga reservoir construction and demolition crews. He helped build the dam near Conklingville and prepare the 42-square mile reservoir basin with crews that burned trees and buildings and reburied 2,000 graves.
While at work, Don Bowman heard stories about Sacandaga valley life from his co-workers and from valley residents. One of Don Bowman’s foremen, Clayton Yates, had an Aunt Wilma who was a witch lady. Seven stories near the end of the book concern Aunt Wilma’s use of magic.
About 50 years after the Sacandaga project was finished, Don Bowman began corresponding and sharing his stories with Joe Bruchac, a Greenfield Center storyteller and author. Don Bowman, Joseph Bruchac and Vaughn Ward assembled some of these stories, about American Indian traditions in the Sacandaga valley, in the collection, “Go Seek the Pow-Wow On The Mountain,” published in 1993 and still in print.
The foreword by Joseph Bruchac explains how he came to meet Don Bowman, and connects him with the great tradition of American storytellers from remote and mountainous regions.
Joseph Bruchac, by the way, has recently written two more young adult books. “Sacajawea,” a biography of Lewis and Clark’s guide, and “Pushing up the Sky: Seven Native American Plays for Children.”

Margaret (Marge) Bruchac traveled to the Netherlands. She took up residence in the town of Haulerwijk, Freisland, in a little cottage surrounded by fresh herbs and flowers. Her kind hosts, folk musicians Marian Nesse and Marita Kruswijk, along with their neighbors, embraced her as their resident Indian.
Unable to “hide in plain sight,” Marge Bruchac - Kennick quickly became a minor celebrity, as local newspapers, television reporters, and radio stations clamored to interview the exotic Indian anthropologist. This notoriety enabled her to collect colleagues and informants with relative ease; total strangers insisted on inviting Marge into their homes to record a dizzying array of scientific theories, historical accounts, fantastical myths, family traditions, songs, and more.
… One sunny afternoon, during lunch with Ita Prins (mother of Marge’s dear friend, Dutch anthropologist Dr. Harald Prins, well known for his studies of Wabanaki peoples) …
…So it is that Marge was thinking about other peoples’ relatives on the day that archaeologist Willem Deetman brought her to the Drents Museum in the nearby town of Assen.

European Studies Grant for Field Research European Studies Program, Anthropology Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. Marge Bruchac - Kennick conducted field research in the northern Netherlands for project, “Mounded Earth and Ancient Memory: Interpreting the Past in the Northern Netherlands.” She was awarded $3,500.00 dollars.

Marge (nee: Bruchac) and Justin Kennick in Europe:
"Abenaki Indiaanse Verhalen en Liederen/Abenaki Indian Songs & Stories.”
Booking Agents: Stichting Hjertaster, Haulerwijk, Netherlands and Bremer Konzertbüro, Bremen, Germany (partial list out of 40 venues)

Burgerhaus, Bremen.
Festival Ulmenhofscule, Kellinghusen.
Irish Pub Feuchte Ecke, Thüringen.
Seefelder Mühle, Seefeld.

Café Averechts, Utrecht.
Cafe Eigenart, Visselhövede.
Cultureel Centum de X, Leiden.
De Roos, Amsterdam.
USVA-theater, Groningen.
Razmatazz, Oost-Souberg.
Rijksmuseum vvor Volkenkunde, Leiden.
Theater Romein, Leeuwarden.

May 17, 2000
Humanities and Social Sciences.net Online
Editor's Subject: QUERY: Responding to Benedict's _Without Reservation?_
Author's Subject: Re: [Fwd: Pequot Recognition Investigation]
Jeff Benedict's book, "Without Reservation: The Making of America's Most Powerful Indian Tribe and Foxwoods, the World's Largest Casino," purports to be an expose of the genealogy and history, entitlements and wealth of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. Although Benedict claims to have surveyed an impressive array of records, it appears that he spoke to no members of the tribe, no other regional tribes or tribal offices, no regional anthropologists, ethnologists, or other recognized experts on the tribe in question or on the Algonkian tribes of New England in general, and has apparently ignored and dismissed oral regional and family histories. He also seems to be unaware of the significant body of interpretive work and comprehensive studies done in the last few decades by regional scholars to disperse the myths of "The Last of the Mohicans" genre and illuminate the complex histories of survival and accommodation on the part of Native peoples in New England.
It also appears that Benedict's motives are not to illuminate history, but to eliminate what he perceives as special privilege. The book is receiving national attention in the media, and focusing on some hot intercultural and political issues - Indian identity, entitlements, casino wealth, and influence. But Benedict's political agenda glosses over not only the libelous nature of his claims, but the real danger such attitudes and suggestions pose to indigenous populations across the country, who are still struggling for survival, despite public perceptions of wealth.
We are not as far away as we should be from the days when Native people had to hide their identity, change their names, and identify as "white" in public records to escape relocation, sterilization, and extermination. There is a potential backlash growing, in the media and American public, that questions Indian entitlements. There is a similar backlash growing among neo-Nazis in Europe that questions reparations to survivors of the Holocaust. Press releases for Benedict's book call for a federal investigation into Pequot entitlements. Before we launch a 21st century attack on the Pequot fort, I suggest we begin with an investigation into how the English and Dutch conspired to eliminate the Pequot Nation in the 1600s, and then render an accounting of just how much financial gain and political influence the descendants of European colonists have realized in the intervening years.
In the interests of responsible scholarship, I would hope that scholars of New England history and American Indian nations past and present would publicly address the issues that have been raised, not only in the research and publication of this book, but in the colonialist attitudes, racism, and political motives that surface in media promotions of the book and public questioning of the rights and resurgence of formerly colonized indigenous peoples, in America or elsewhere.
Marge Bruchac

May 20, 2001
The Daily Gazette Newspaper
Focus On History Section
By Bob Cudmore
Stories from a vanished place
Worker-writer collected tales from Sacandaga Valley’s people
Don Bowman was a member of the Boneyard Gang when the Sacandaga Valley was cleared for the flooding the created Sacandaga Lake in 1930.
“We carefully removed, tagged the remains (in the cemeteries) and reburied them,” Don Bowman wrote. He and his fellow workers moved “2,000 bodies” to higher ground.
Sacandaga Lake was designed to provide a place for water to collect to prevent flooding along the Hudson River. Paper and power companies also benefited from the massive project.
While working on the Boneyard Gang or as a “barn buster” demolishing buildings, Don Bowman “listened and learned” stories from Sacandaga Valley natives. He wrote down the stories in notebooks, including tales of witches called “Granny Women” and male Native American healers called “Pow-Wows."
Fifty years later, Don Bowman sent his handwritten stories to writer and publisher Joseph Bruchac in Greenfield Center. To edit the stories, Joseph Bruchac enlisted folklorist Vaughn Ward of Rexford, who has compiled tow books from Don Bowman’s stories, “Go Seek the Pow-Wow on the Mountain” and “The Witch of mad Dog Hill.” Don Bowman died shortly after the 2nd book appeared in 2000.
“The stories combine European and Indian traditions,” Vaugh Ward said.
European settlers from Scotland, Ireland and Palatine Germany intermarried with Abenakis and Mohawks in Sacandaga Valley.
The Granny Women and Po Wows learned from one another, according to Vaughn Ward, practicing midwifery, healing, fortune-telling and spell casting.
“Rather like contemporary specialists, each called on the other in a pinch,” said Vaughn Ward.
Many of Don Bowman’s stories are cautionary tales. Vaughn Ward said, “If you don’t follow the rules, you’ll disappear in the swamp or the beautiful girl you can’t resist will be transformed to a tormenting hag.”
In today’s climate of environmental review and “not in my backyard” protest groups, it’s hard to imagin how such a disruptive project came to be.
Vaughn Ward wrote, “The reservoir inundated cranberry bogs, covered bridges, factories, schools, blacksmith shops, picnic spots, barbershops – 27,000 acres were annihilated, including the elaborate Sacanadaga Park with its dance pavilion, amusement park and theater.
Three Indian villages were flooded, along with the villages of “Conklingville, Day Center, Batchellerville, West Day, Beecher’s Hollow, Fish House, Osborn Bridge” and several others.
None of those “with a vested interest in creating the Sacandaga Reservoir,” Vaughn Ward said, was a resident of the valley.
Don Bowman was a Long Island native who went to work on the Sacandaga Valley demolition crew in 1927.
“In retrospect, Don Bowman knew that he had helped demolish a world, a way of life,” Vaughn Ward said, adding that Don Bowman was “the Sacandaga Valley’s own ancient mariner.”

“The Witch of Mad Dog Hill,” by Don Bowman, edited by Vaughn Ward and illustrated by Deborah Delaney, is published by The Greenfield Review Press in Greenfield Center.

May 24, 2001
The Sun Journal Newspaper
By Cora C. Briggs – Special to the Sun Journal
Washburn Humanities Seminar Scheduled for June 7-9
LIVERMORE – At the Northlands Living History Center, this year’s focus is “Finding Sustenance in a Challenging Environment: Food, Drink, Family, Community and Spirituality.”
Friday presentation will be a performance in costume by Marge Bruchac, Anthropology Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
She will impersonate a Native American doctor, Molly Brant

September 14, 2001 
Friday, 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Black Sheep Café, 79 Main St., Amherst, Mass.
September's guest artist is storyteller  , Marge performs greeting and dancing songs in both Abenaki and English, historical anecdotes of colonial contact with northeastern Native peoples, and seasonal stories of plants, animals, and tricksters.  With rattles, hand drum, and eloquent words and gestures, she brings alive indigenous melodies and the wisdom of lesson stories.
Marge has appeared at numerous festivals and museums, including Plimoth Plantation, the Old Songs Festival, Odanak, Mystic Seaport, Sagakwa Festival, and Old Sturbridge Village, where she portrays "Molly Geet, the Indian Doctress."  Last year she was honored as Storyteller of the Year by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. 

June 03, 2001 
Author: By Edgar Allen Beem Date:  Page: 16 
Boston Globe Sunday Magazine
Even in the shifting ground of Native American-white relations, Mc Bride manages to keep her footing. "What's remarkable about Bunny," says Marge Bruchac, a Missisquoi Abenaki singer/storyteller from Northampton, Massachusetts, and a consultant on "The Four Molly’s" exhibition, "is that she is able
to put flesh and bones on history. She really gets inside these women. For an ordinary non-Indian writer to do that could come off as invasive, but a lot of native women turn to Bunny's work for an understanding of their own history and culture."

October 13, 2001 
The 11th Annual Women's Studies Conference 
Friday, October 12 - Saturday
  is an historical consultant for museums and schools throughout the northeast, including Old Sturbridge Village, the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, and many others. She serves on the Five Colleges Native Studies Committee and the University of Massachusetts Repatriation Committee. As an advisor to the Wampanoag Indian Program at Plimoth Plantation, Marge has just published a new book titled 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving. Marge was selected "Storyteller of the Year for Public Speaking" in 2000 by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.

December 20, 2001
Date: Thu, 18:51:33 -0500
From: Margaret Bruchac
Subject: REPLY: Native Women Drumming
Marge Bruchac
Missisquoi Abenaki
University of Massachusetts

“The Winter People” by Joseph Bruchac ©2002. Pages 160 to 168. Pay close attention to Page 163: “For many years I thought of writing about the events of Roger’s Raid. It was, in part, a personal thing. My own great-grandfather Louis Bowman was born in St. Francis.”

How many "St. Francis" locations are there in the Province of Quebec, Canada that Lewis Bowman ALLEGEDLY came from, to Saratoga County, New York? 

Let's see how many St. Francis there really is:

1. Saint-François, Laval, Quebec, a district of Laval, Quebec that was an independent city before 1965.
2. Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, Quebec, known simply as Saint-François until December 2003.
3. Saint-François-de-Beauce, Quebec, now part of Beauceville, Quebec, Canada. 
4. Saint-François-du-Lac, Quebec, Canada.
5. Saint-François-de-Sales, Quebec in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region.

(Confusingly, some of the other Saint-François were also known historically as Saint-François-de-Sales parishes)

6. Saint-François
-de-la-Rivière-du-Sud, Quebec, Canada.
7. Saint-François-d'Assise, Quebec, Canada
8. Saint-François-Xavier-de-Brompton, Quebec, Canada
9. Saint-François-Xavier-de-Viger, Quebec, Canada.

So, why did Joseph Bruchac jump to the conclusion that it automatically just had to be Odanak and or #4. Saint-François-du-Lac, Quebec, on page 293 of his book entitled "March toward the Thunder"? There are at least 9 (and probably MANY MORE "St. Francis" locations in both Ontario and Quebec, Canada) that I found just using Google.com Search engine, so why immediately pick Odanak's Abenaki Community? There was another known Abenaki Community or enclave situated around or near #3 back in the day, called "Sartigan" And some of the Native residents of Sartigan did in fact relocate to Odanak.

March 31, 2001
Rotenburger – Rundschau Newspaper
Bruchac and Kennick in nature Visselhövede
Native American songs, stories
The cultural and handicraft center character in Visselhövede is on Friday 31 March from 20.30 clock devoted to Indian tradition. Marge Bruchac and Justin Kennick offer Abenaki Songs and Stories.
Marge Bruchac part of the North American tribe of the Abenaki Indians. For about seven years, they are more songs and stories that for years living in the woods tribe. Together with her husband Justin Kennick, a lumberjack Scottish origin, she says proudly stories that are familiar from their tradition or has heard of animals and nature. Kennick accompanies them on Indian instruments. Their stories take turns on stage with songs and dances. Tickets for the evening in the Indian character is available at telephone 04262/4414.

August 25, 2002
The Daily Gazette Newspaper, Pages H1-H2
By Lee Coleman – Gazette Reporter
Greenfield wilderness project gets national TV attention
GREENFIELD CENTER – A wilderness project in Greenfield that incorporates Indian survival skills with more modern methods has gained national attention.
The Ndakinna Wilderness Project will be the subject of a “National Geographic Today” television show on National Geographic cable channel this fall.
The film crew, led by producer David Felsen, is scheduled to come to the nearly 100-acre Marion Bowman – Bruchac Memorial Nature Preserve off Middle Grove Road in Greenfield Center today to start filming.
Last month, Ivan Erchak of Saratoga Springs, head instructor for the project, won the “Survival Race” on the Premiere episode of “The Worst Case Scenario” on Turner Broadcasting Systems.
Ivan Erchack, 28, raced another survival expert during the 15-hour event in the Rocky Mountains with rock climbing, river crossings, wilderness navigation, fire making, and mountain biking part of the game.
The Ndakinna Wilderness Project, which offers programs for both young people and adults, was founded by Greenfield native James Edward Bruchac in the early 1990’s.
Jim Bruchac, an Indian wilderness expert, storyteller and licensed guide, is the author of a new National Geographic book titled “A Survival Guide for Kids” that will be released next spring. He has written seven other books.
The wildness program has expanded, with new programs being held locally at the nature preserve and at sites across the country.
“The wilderness project goes everywhere,” Jim Bruchac said, “We travel to places throughout the northeast, to Colorado, to Illinois.”
The project offers pre-orientation programs for college freshman, Wilderness experiences are conducted for Skidmore College in Vermont and Miami of Ohio, among others.
Jim Bruchac, 34, has a staff of 10 full-and-part time instructors and assistants, including his wife Jean Bruchac, who grew up in Africa and is a 4th Grade teacher in the Ballston Spa Central School District. She recently started a survival course for women.
In mid-August, the project was busy teaching a dozen teenage boys survival skills at the nature preserve in Greenfield Center.
Incorporated in the training are skills Jim Bruchac learned from his father, Joseph Bruchac III of Greenfield, a noted Abenaki Indian storyteller and author. Jim Bruchac is of Abenaki, Slovak and English descent. Ndakinna is the Abenaki word for northeast.
The woodland skills of the Algonquian-speaking tribes include fire-making and rope-making as well as animal tracking.
The week-long camping adventure is not cheap - $495.00 per boy – but the project offers partial and full scholarships to needy but worthy applicants, Jim Bruchac said.
Jim Bruchac has spent time in Africa and other countries as well as wilderness areas in the United States. He has a College degree in American studies from Skidmore’s University Without Walls program.
Jim Bruchac also studied English and Exercise Science at Ithaca College and was a member Ithaca College’s 1988 National Championship football team. He was drafted by the former Albany Firebirds Arena Football team in 1992 but never played a game and went back to get his college degree.
The Ndakinna Wilderness Project, which has an annual budget of more than $100,000.00 dollars plans to expand the facilities to include a re-creation of a full Abenaki village.

March 06, 2003
The Monument Newspaper
Auditions: Maine Renaissance Faire is holding open auditions on March 08, 2003.
"The Indian Doctor Meets the Yankee Physician" Marge Bruchac, a Missisquoi Abenaki Indian and interpretive consultant for Old Sturbridge Village Museum, will be at USM to discuss the philosophical and practical differences between Yankee physicians and traditional Native American healers in 19th century New England. Her performance and slide show, "The Indian Doctor Meets the Yankee Physician" will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 13, in Rooms ABC of USM's Woodbury Campus Center, Portland. Bruchac's lecture is free and open to the public. She was named Storyteller of the Year in 2000 by the Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers. Her new book, "1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving," was co-authored with Catherine O'Neill Grace and was released in 2001 by Plimoth Plantation and National Geographic. For more information on this lecture, and for access inquiries, please call 780-4920/TTY 780-5646.

April 10, 2003
Peterborough Transcript Newspaper
Algonkian stories shared
PETERBOROUGH – RiverMead Retirement Community invites you to attend “Earthshapers and Placemakers: Algonkian Indian Stories and the Landscape” on Thursday, April 17, 2003, at 11 a.m.
Presented by Marge Bruchac, a Missisquoi Abenaki Indian singer and storyteller, this program combines the performance with commentary and insight into how those traditions have been recorded and transmitted from ancient times to the present. Bruchac shares insight into how northeastern Algonkian Indian people demonstrated their relationship to the land through stories. The mountains, rivers, and forest of what we now call New England still resound with stories of giant tricksters and transformers who shaped the landscape, carved the rivers and moved the mountains. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are required. Call Dawn at 924-8611 to make your reservation.

 May 8, 2003
'Old Man' Collapses over the Weekend
Tribute to "Old Man of the Mountain"
Guest column by Margaret Bruchac
NAIIP News Path ~ Thursday
Copyright © M.Bruchac
All Rights Reserved
Marge Bruchac, Missisquoi Abenaki University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Native American Culture in Vermont
VAAS Fall Conference
Sponsors:    Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences, Saint Michael’s Academic Program, and the Edmundite Center for Peace and Justice

October 4, 2003
McCarthy Arts Center
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Judy Dow Abenaki. Founder of SABA (“Tomorrow” in Abenaki) and nationally known educator of native Indian Culture. 
Marge Bruchac Abenaki. Scholar, consultant, historical interpreter, traditional storyteller of Missisquoi Abenaki Indian ancestry.
Rick Pouliot Abenaki. Works with at-risk students, and to preserve Abenaki culture.
Doug Frink UVM Archeologist
Tom Cady Abenaki basket maker. VT Forests, Parks & Recreation Department
Jeanne Brink Indian basketry expert and consultant to schools, libraries, organizations, etc.
Greg Sharrow VT Folklore Ctr. Dir. of Educ. and Folklorist. Author of “Many Cultures. One People.”
Lynn Murphy Abenaki. Science teacher at Waits River Valley Union High School.
9:15 Recital Hall, MAC Marge Bruchac “Constructing Abenaki Invisibility.”
3:45 Closing:   Marge Bruchac “Abenaki Presence and Persistence:  Where are the Abenaki Today?”

October 14, 2003
Gourvernement Abenakis d’Odanak
From: Chief Gillis O’Bomsawin
Mr. Joseph Bruchac
23 Middlegrove Rd.
Greenfield Center, N.Y. 12833, U.S.A.

Dear Mr. Bruchac,
I have seen a document on a website (Ne-Do-Ba) that your family name of BOWMAN may be related to the O’Bomsawin family.
Please send your genealogy at your earliest convenience to me so that our Registrar may review it to see if there is an Abenaki tie.
Yours truly,
Gilles O’Bomsawin
Chief of Odanak First Nation

c.c.: State of New York Historical Society
St. Lawrence College
State of Vermont
University of Vermont

October 14, 2003
Gourvernement Abenakis d’Odanak
From: Chief Gillis O’Bomsawin
Ms. Marge Bruchac
63 Franklin Street
Northampton, Ma. 01060 U.S.A.

Dear Ms. Bruchac,
Although we did not get a chance to speak with each other when you were here in Odanak for our July Gathering, I have heard that you may be related to me. I have heard from people in Maine that your BOWMAN name is said to be tied to my O’Bomsawin family.

Please send your genealogy at your earliest convenience to me, so that our Registrar may review it to see if there is an Abenaki tie.
Yours truly,
Gilles O’Bomsawin,
Chief of Odanak First Nation

November 22, 2003
Lecture tells stories of region's early residents
The lecture series planned as part of Northampton's 350th celebration opened last Sunday with a look at the history of Native Americans in the region, long before the arrival of English settlers.Addressing the audience of 100 in Smith's Wright Hall were Marge M. Bruchac, a Missisquoi Abenaki Indian and Neal Salisbury, professor of history at Smith College. Both are authors of books about the native people of the Northeast.
During the program, ''From Beaver Hill to Bark Wigwams: The Native American Presence,'' the speakers explained the history of native peoples in the area and their relationships to the white settlers.

PLYMOUTH, Mass., Aug. 3, 2004 /PRNewswire/ -- Plimoth Plantation, the non-profit living-history museum that recreates the 17th- century life of the indigenous Wampanoag and the European colonists (Pilgrims), today announced that it has received a Landmarks of American History: Workshops for Teachers grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The program, which concludes its third session this week, brings together more than 150 elementary and secondary teachers from around the country, with eminent professors, authors and Native American scholars as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning historians such as Bernard Bailyn, Adams University Professor; James Duncan Phillips, Professor of Early American History, Emeritus, at Harvard University; and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, also of Harvard, author and historian, well-known for her books A Midwife's Tale and Good Wives. 
The Workshops, entitled Encounters and Change: Expanding Perspectives on Natives and Colonists in 17th-Century Plymouth offer intensive study about the Wampanoag People, the 17th-century new world colonists and the groups' co- existence then and now. 
Other renowned professors, authors, scientists and historians who are leading presentations during the week-long workshops are:
  -- Marge Bruchac, Missisquoi Abenaki, scholar, performer, writer, and museum consultant; doctoral candidate, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

“Hidden Roots” by Joseph Bruchac©2004. Pages 130 to 136.Pay close attention to Pages 31 to 44; and 134 of the Author’s Notes. “Sophie” wife to “Uncle Louis” in the book is in reference to Sophie Senecal; and “Uncle Louis” is in reference to Louis Bowman (Sophie nee: Senecal’s son).

August 30, 2004
Saving stories of those erased from history
Thanks for contacting me - I was prepared to talk about local Native history, but if you insist, I can also talk a bit about myself. My name is Marge Bruchac. I'm 50 years old and have lived in Northampton 17 years now. My husband is Justin Kennick. I was born in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., spent some time in the Midwest, and I moved back East in 1983, to be closer to my family.
I didn't realize when I came here how much work had to be done on Native histories in the Valley, and that that would become my life's mission.
I knew that it was called the Pioneer Valley because of the early colonization that had taken place here, I knew about the events of King Philip's War (1675-76) and the massacre at Turners Falls (May 19, 1676), but I didn't know at that time how closely the tribes that resided here were related to the people I came from. Given what I've learned about the diaspora of the Pocumtuck and Nonotuck peoples into Sokoki and Missisquoi families in Vermont, I wouldn't be at all surprised if I had ancestry that connects to the Valley. Many of the things that I have chosen to research in history and anthropology help me to make sense of old family stories.
My mother's family is Abenaki Indian and Mayflower English. My father's side, the Bruchacs, are Czechoslovak. His parents joined a small community of Slavs in Greenfield Center, north of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. It was a catch-all place, with mixed African, Irish, Indian, poor whites and immigrants - people on the outside of white society. Areas in the Northeast that became tourist meccas, where the great hotels were, the little towns on the outside are where you find people of mixed ancestry.
You told me that ''bruchak'' in Czech could mean ''one who growls like a bear,'' which is interesting, because my Indian side is bear clan. My mother's people, the Bowman’s, were Abenaki Indian basketmakers who came down from Canada and upper Vermont to sell baskets. Louis Bowman got his farm in Porter's Corners with pension money from being wounded in the Civil War - many folks don't realize that some Northeastern Indians joined the Union Army. After the Civil War, Indians were making so much money selling baskets that some Yankees turned it into an industry. And the Dunham’s, the English side of my family, hired Indians to teach young women from Saratoga how to make the baskets and started manufacturing them in the place that came to be called Splinterville.

This house in Northampton is filled with stuff: research, photos, baskets, my father's mounts, my brother's books. My father, Joe Bruchac, was a hunter, trapper, fisherman and taxidermist. He learned early on that the best way to get access to the best hunting territories was to have access to Native people, because much of the Adirondacks in the 1930s and '40s was still pretty wild, so he started forming friendships with Native people who were guides. The man who taught him taxidermy, Leon Pray, was an Ottawa Indian who worked for the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History. I'm certain that my father married my mother, Flora Marion Bowman, in part because of her Native ancestry, thinking that would be an opening. What he didn't know was that my mother was somebody who hated being in the woods!

What she had always dreamed of was having fine clothes and a fine house and being indoors because she grew up in such poverty. My grandmother, Marion Dunham, a [Daughters of the American Revolution] member, came from wealth and had thrown much of it away when she married an Indian. My grandfather, Jesse Bowman, was a logger, teamster and laborer building Route 9N through Splinterville Hill when they met. The Dunham’s sent her away, but she and Jesse married anyway and inherited the family place. My brother, Joe Bruchac, and his wife, Carol, live there now, and Bowman's store is now the Native Authors Book Distribution Project. I own part of the farm I grew up on, just down the road. It's now the Ndakinna Education Center, run by my nephew, Jim Bruchac, and the forest is now the Marion F. Bowman Bruchac Nature Preserve.
My husband, Justin, is a logger, like my grandfather. He's Scottish and English, but all my Native relatives have taken quite a liking to him. We both dance with the W'Abenaki Dancers, and have performed for festivals across the northeast and in northern Europe.
I often wondered as a child why I knew so little about my mother's family. It was this deep, dark secret that we were Indian. I was taught from the time I was very young never to talk to the neighbors about it. And I thought, ''Why? Indians are cool!'' What I didn't learn until years later was that my mother's parents were of the eugenics generation, when people were being sterilized, and that people were afraid.
All those immigrants coming into the Northeast sparked concern about social order and social disorder. The idea of controlling breeding was a fairly new concept in America, because most people tended to marry within their own socioeconomic strata. People did marry across race or class lines, but it wasn't common. In Massachusetts there were laws against intermarrying with blacks or Indians until 1869. The study of racial differences - it was believed to be a science - included the idea that anthropometry and craniometry could measure intelligence and social fitness. The assumption was that Anglo-Saxon whites were ideal populations, and everybody else was less civilized.
Margaret Sanger, President Neilson and Harris Hawthorne Wilder at Smith College, Edward Hitchcock Sr. and Edward Hitchcock Jr. at Amherst College - all of these people were at one time or another members of eugenics societies across the nation. Their goal was to control society by controlling how people would breed, and taking these decisions out of the hands of people who were ''unfit'' - anyone who was poor or mixed-blood or institutionalized or incarcerated.
Vermont was a testing ground. Through the University of Vermont people were sent into the field to identify families that shouldn't be allowed to breed. Between about 1910 and 1950, a whole generation of northern Native American communities just started to vanish. Two of my great aunts were sent to the institution at Utica and sterilized. One of my great uncles was murdered. Nobody talked about any of this when I was a child, but as an adult I look back and it explains why people were so afraid, why they went running from state to state, or sent women of childbearing age away.
People of my generation are trying to reconnect those links that were so forcibly broken in our parents' generation. A lot of people think that the dark times in the Northeast were during the colonization era. But as a historian I see that throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, Native American Indian people held on to their traditions; even if they seemed on the surface to have assimilated, they really didn't. They may have been wearing European dress or using European tools, but they were still very Indian, and traditions and life ways hadn't disappeared.
There was a diaspora of Native people out of the Connecticut River valley, roughly between 1676 and the late 1700s. It did not empty the valley of Native people, but it left in its wake this impression that all the Native people here had disappeared. When histories of the Valley were being written, between the 1840s and the early 1900s, men like George Sheldon and Josiah Temple and others assumed that the only Indians left were just a few remnants who were basket makers or hunters or fishermen.
The town histories focused at great length on King Philip's War, on the founding era of the towns, and often just stopped talking about Indians altogether after a set date.
Part of why I work as a storyteller and public speaker is because I feel that what I'm doing is finding missing pieces and locating the communities that those missing pieces belong to and trying to put them back in communication with one another. I've been doing a lot of work for Historic Deerfield and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association on the 1704 events. In other years it might have been enough just to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the 1704 raid. But the museums are finally coming to realize that Native history doesn't stop with that one event, just as Northampton's history doesn't stop with the commemoration of the 350th. Each of these communities has some obligation to understand how their way of crafting the history has been complicit in erasing other histories. Erasure is not always conscious, but it's very powerful.
Sometimes Native peoples chose to be out of view for their protection, but the fact that they were out of the public view is now used as a weapon against them, saying that if the dominant society couldn't see you, you didn't exist. For example, two tribes in Massachusetts just lost their bid for federal recognition, on the grounds that they couldn't prove on paper that they had persisted as a community through the early part of the 20th century. But many Native people can't document on paper that they are.
Most families don't have historians and genealogists, so what you carry with you in the present is the bits and pieces people choose to pass on, and if you pass through a time when it's dangerous to talk about the past, then less is spoken. And if you're at a time when you're just trying to be assimilated into the modern world and move forward somehow, you're not interested in those things. And maybe children don't spend time with their grandparents, or maybe they don't listen, so all you have is these fragments.
How do you record what wasn't written down? You can document oral histories. Even when oral histories are not linear and are not specific, there are still truths within them. A lot of the mission of my life is to find ways for people philosophically and emotionally and spiritually to understand how those pieces fit together. And then, in the process, learn to be more kind to people they encounter who are not like them, who have their own very distinctive ways of telling their stories and histories that we have to acknowledge as outsiders we can't understand.
So it's not just about Indians, it's about trying to establish a level of respect for any of those people and histories that are not dominant in the public eye.
For example, there's a family name, Wawanowanolewat, which literally means, ''he turns around in his track,'' and that was Greylock's name. Greylock was a Woronoco chief who led many raids against the Valley in the 1740s. The assumption is that Greylock left the area, and then just came back to raid it out of spite. But you have to understand that Native people raided the Valley because it was still their homeland. They moved their families to safe zones, then came back to fight. The entire history of the French and Indian wars was scripted as though these were foreign Indians from Canada coming to attack only because the French drove them to it. But in fact these are Native people from Woronoco (Westfield), Agawam (Springfield), Nonotuck (Northampton), Pocumtuck (Deerfield), Sokoki (Northfield), and not just lone individuals. All of these people are part of extended families.
Individuals like Sally Maminash [of the Nonotuck people] do surface in the histories if they're remarkable in some way - perhaps they're doctors or basketmakers or laborers with unique skills - employed by or living with prominent white families, or maybe they do something wrong, if they're involved in some criminal offense. If they are just living ordinary lives, they are rarely recorded in the history.
The historical erasure is so profound that most people are not interested in preserving any of the Native history that might still exist here because they don't see it as being relevant. The archaeologists aren't interested in the Maminash [family] burial site on Hospital Hill because the graves have been desecrated. They place priority on known Native gravesites where there is an extant Native community, or on archaeological sites that have been previously undisturbed.
The Nonotuck people in this region didn't disappear but they folded in with other Native communities. So you can track some of those personal names, some of those stories, you can track some of those movements of people, but you have to cut through the mythology in order to do it accurately and ethically. I don't want anyone to ever say that I've reconstructed a lost tribe out of nothing; that's not my job. My job is to determine what happened, how it happened, why it happened, and what traces are left behind.
If you can conduct your life in such a way that pieces come together, I think that's a life well lived. I don't think it matters what you do, but biologically and ethically and ecologically, the essence of living is a connective and restorative process. Things are always going to be breaking down, but there's always a move to connect and restore and to rebuild.
Ironically, some of the knowledge I picked up from my father in taxidermy is helpful in the repatriation work I do for the colleges. Harris Hawthorne Wilder and Edward Hitchcock Jr. were both collecting Native bodies out of gravesites throughout the Valley for the museums at Smith and Amherst colleges in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and they knew that Native people were living in the Valley at the time they were doing it. They even went so far as to suggest that live Indians were such deformed remnants of the past that they couldn't offer as useful information as archaeologists could get from digging up someone who died in the 17th century. When Wilder and Hitchcock were looking for ways to preserve the bodies, they started using shellac, the very technique that Leon Pray developed for taxidermy and taught my father. So now the shellac on some bones helps identify which collections are which for repatriation.
There's something my father taught me about hunting that I use in doing research as well. And it is that the best way to track is not a straight line. It's not to find and follow and eyeball whatever it is that you're looking for, but to start by learning the lay of the land and everything you possibly can about what you're looking for. What do they eat? Where do they live? Where do they go? When do they sleep? It may take years to travel the land and become part of it, but once you know what they know, feel what they feel, and then when you set foot on that track, they'll be right there in front of you.

Marge Bruchac spoke with Revan Schendler.

March 9th, 2005
7:30 pm Mar 9th: Native American Science and Western Science: Powerful Collaboration Native American Science and Western Science: Powerful Collaboration
Native American Science and Western Science: Powerful Collaboration
Free and open to the public
Trans-disciplinary Fund Trans-disciplinary Fund of Amherst College.
Leroy Little Bear, a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy and former director of one of the Harvard Native American Programs, will speak theme: "Native American Science and Western Science: Possibilities for a Powerful Collaboration." He will offer two events. The first is a panel discussion on the theme with Frederique Apffel-Marglin (Smith, Anthropology), Margaret Bruchac (Five College Fellow, Missisquoi Abenaki) and Arthur Zajonc (Physics, Amherst College). See March 10 for second event. 
For more information:


March 23, 2005 -  March 29, 2005
From: Margaret Bruchac maligeet@earthlink.net  
List Editor: "H-AmIndian (Joyce Ann Kievit)" amindian@MAIL.H-NET.MSU.EDU 
Editor's Subject: Query: Political Interference with Native American Indian Recognition
Author's Subject: Political Interference with Native American Indian Recognition
Date Written: Wed, 11:15:27 -0500
Date Posted: Wed, 23:07:35 -0500
Greetings, all
Is anyone in academia studying the political and social dynamics of media, state, and other attempts to disrupt efforts to establish state and federal recognition for Native American Indian communities?

(Apart from James Clifford and Jack Campisi's investigations of the infamous Mashpee trial.)

I've been tracking a disturbing trend in New England of increasing political interference and biased popular discourse that is drawing on a host of dusty stereotypes, not the least of which is the "vanishing Indian" trope so popular in New England's town histories. Political leaders, including state governors and legislators, have tried to sway public opinion against pending state and federal recognition decisions, using these stereotypes combined with biased assessments of racial identity to make contemporary Native communities disappear, while evoking fears of symbolic "Indian uprisings" with modern-day warnings about casinos and land claims, real and imagined.
This often, paradoxically, exists side by side with public and state support for Native cultural activities that are perceived as contributing to the ethnic diversity of the state. Some of the same politicians who oppose recognition have supported, in public discourse and legislation, Native cultural events, publications, museums, educational programs, etc. In other words, in New England at least, American Indians are more likely to be recognized as distinct cultural communities (when it benefits the state), than they are to gain recognition as distinct political communities (when it is perceived as a threat to the state).
In theory, both state and federal recognition were designed to be acknowledgements of the continuance of political relationships between the agencies of the US government and pre-existing tribal governments. Without delving into the machinations of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch of Acknowledgment and Recognition, it can be said that efforts to gain recognition are tedious, requiring the submission of reams of paper documentation, much of it composed of observations of Indians by biased white town historians and other non-Natives, and exhaustive genealogies. As a broad generalization, the ease with which western tribes have gained federal recognition may have more to do with the nature of governmental records, the reservation system, and the style of Indian scholarship then in vogue, than it has to do with the reality of any Native community in question. During the late 19th century when Native people were being counted in the census and removed to reservations, it was easy to generate evidence of their presence. In the northeast, it is downright illogical to expect 18th century white settlers and 19th century white historians (who were busily scripting heroic narratives of their forefather's wars with the Indians) to have accurately identified the Indians they were actively trying to eliminate.
The scarcity of ethnographic observations of northeastern Native peoples between the 1800s and the early 1900s, so often cited as cause for a negative finding, should be no surprise, given that the practice and science of ethnography was in its infancy, and that men like Franz Boas were training their focus on exotic Indians in faraway places, not on Native peoples living or working next door. Researchers have barely begun to tap into the depth of prejudice against Native peoples when weighing the fact - not just the possibility - that non-reservation Native community’s had developed sophisticated strategies for maintaining traditional kinship networks and cultural behaviors that enabled them to selectively adapt to white society on their own terms while keeping their head down politically. Although such behaviors clearly demonstrate indigenous political structures in operation, they cannot be legally "proven" with recourse to Euro-American generated documents. It is also rarely noted that New Englanders, in particular, for most of the 19th century, were far more keenly focused on collecting and exhibiting the remains of dead Indians than they were in observing live Indians. Given these conscious and unconscious forms of erasure, I find it unnerving to realize, in the modern era, that public discourse and public acceptance for tribal recognition is increasingly based, not on the factual history, the existence of extensive kin networks, the continuance of traditional forms of Native governance, Native cultural behaviors, or other merits of the case, but on the degree to which Native communities limited their communities to an enumerated population in a geographically limited space, while adopting Euro-American forms of governance and record-keeping. Tolerance for Native nations is also influenced by the degree to which local politicians are willing to support or interfere with pending recognition cases.
As just a few examples, the St. Francis-Sokoki Band of Missisquoi (Abenaki Nation of Vermont) was actually granted state recognition back in 1976 by Governor Salmon. It was then rescinded by incoming Governor Snelling in 1977. Howard Dean later staunchly opposed Abenaki state
recognition during his tenure as governor of Vermont, even though he supported cultural events (including personal appearances at the Missisquoi Powwow), establishing May as Native American month, approved funding for the Abenaki Tribal Museum, approved purchase of land for burial protection, and oversaw the Governor's Commission on Indian Affairs, which secured numerous grants for housing and educational assistance for Abenaki elders and children.
In Connecticut, Joseph Lieberman has often spoken of the need for acceptance of cultural minorities within the state, but he has also been very outspoken in trying to overturn the recent federal recognition of the Schaghticoke and combined Eastern Pequot/Paucatuck Pequot tribal nations. Jeff Benedict, a would-be politician, has made a career out of his attempts to discredit the Mashantucket Pequot.
In Massachusetts, at the close of the Clinton administration, the BIA/BAR granted a positive finding in a pending Nipmuc case for federal recognition, but incoming President George Bush withheld publication of the Federal Register to prevent this and other legislation from entering into print. Massachusetts has several other pending federal recognition cases, particularly the Mashpee Wampanoag, who have taken the BIA to court to protest the delays in consideration. Massachusetts does have a state Commission on Indian Affairs that, while it cannot confer formal "recognition," is empowered to grant waivers for tuition expenses, and "assist Native American individuals, tribes and organizations in their relationship with state and local government agencies and to advise the Commonwealth in matters pertaining to Native Americans"
State-sponsored advocacy and social support, or even state recognition for a tribal nation, are not, however, consistently considered by the federal government to be sufficient evidence of Native existence.

Back in Vermont, Senator Diane Snelling, daughter of former Governor Snelling, is now attempting to set things right by proposing, once again, that the state recognize the Abenaki, following the lead of the late Senator Julius Canns, who was himself of Cherokee descent. Snelling and her colleagues, however, are facing an uphill battle from the Attorney General, who has spent the last decade trying to discredit, publicly and personally, the Abenaki people that Snelling and her colleagues plan to recognize. Rumors suggest that the Vermont Commission on Indian Affairs may be in danger for having advocated for recognition.
These and other cases call into question the construction of evidence in the political arena as an odd shadow of constructions of Native identity in academic venues, and even the ways in which academically interpreted evidence can be used for or against indigenous communities.
As another broad generalization, it is common wisdom that no tribe can succeed in a federal recognition case without a bevy of historians, anthropologists, and genealogists on their side.
I am particularly interested to know if anyone is considering how these activities compare with ethnocidal attempts in other parts of the world. David Maybury Lewis, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, and others have written at length about how paper erasures and political dispossessions of ethnic history and cultural patrimony equate with ethnocide when used by states against indigenous peoples elsewhere in the world.
Although there has been much writing about US attempts at genocide in the colonial era, there seems to have been relatively little consideration of the continuing legacy of state attempts to erase, on paper and in the public venue, the people who have not yet disappeared, and who have continued to resist the state.

Marge Bruchac
Five College Fellow, Amherst College
PhD Candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst

April 13, 2005
Humanities and Social Sciences.net Online
During the 1930s, the Vermont Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services was colluding with the University of Vermont in sterilizing Abenaki people (and others deemed socially unfit) and removing Abenaki children from their homes to place them in orphanages and foster care. That paradigm of social service changed dramatically in 1993, when UVM and the Vermont Department for Children and Families (formerly Social and Rehabilitation Services) initiated a program to provide "cultural competency" training for foster and adoptive parents with Abenaki children in their care.
In 2003, Abenaki trainers replaced Euro-American trainers, and the program has dramatically improved family relations, reduced drop-out rates, lowered risky behaviors, and led many of these children into higher education and back into their families of origin. It has been heralded as a model of success by social workers across the country.
Just a few weeks ago, however, when the contract came up for renewal, Chief Assistant Attorney General William Griffin deleted all mention of "Abenaki" from the contract, even though ALL of the training provided is specifically for Abenaki children at risk. Why? Griffin claims that the 12 year old contract might provide evidence that the state actually believes in the existence of the Abenaki. It's now called the "Indian Education Program," a title that, ironically, mirrors the boarding schools that stole Abenaki children a century ago. Smells like ethnocide to me.
Marge Bruchac
PhD Candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Five College Fellow, Amherst College

May 2005-
Collecting Indians for the Colleges: Historical Erasure and Cultural Recovery in the CT River Valley
Margaret M. Bruchac, B.A., Smith College
M.A. University of MA-Amherst
Ph.D., University of MA-Amherst
Directed b H. Martin Wobst

September 14, 2006
The Peterborough N.H. Transcript Newspaper
Abenaki Indian Program September 25, 2006
KEENE – Popular histories of Abenaki Indians typically focus on events from the long-distant past. Many town historical societies have small assemblages of Native artifacts, tidbits of Indian folklore, place names with forgotten meanings, and stories of violent encounters during the French and Indian Wars. Very few memories of 19th century Abenaki people have been preserved in New Hampshire’s town histories, leading many to imagine that the Indians mostly disappeared.
Abenaki families did not disappear, however. Their deep attachment to Ndakinna, meaning “our homeland,” was poorly understood by most white Americans. They employed a myriad of strategies to adapt after the arrival of Europeans. For generations, they used their old familiarity with a broad range of territory and resources to survive. The M’Sadoques family of Keene is one example.
Marge Bruchac, Abenaki Indian, teacher, historical consultant, and performer, and Lynn Keating Murphy, Abenaki Indian, master educator, and granddaughter of Elizabeth Sadoques of Keene, N.H., will shed some light on this supposed “dark age” in New Hampshire’s history at the Historical Society of Cheshire County’s membership meeting on Monday, September 25, 2006 starting at 7:30 p.m.
Their talk will reveal how, and why, Abenaki people could literally “hide in plain sight.” Historians have only recently begun exposing the degree to which white town historians adopted stereotypical, racial-ized narratives of “vanishing Indians” that distorted the historical record.
Some people imagine that many of the Abenakis in New Hampshire today are imports from Maine or Canada. Using surviving documents and oral traditions, Marge Bruchac and Lynn Murphy have a far more complex story to tell by tracing just one extended Abenaki family before they settled in Keene, N.H. during the 1880’s. Marge Bruchac will also be joined by Joyce Heywood, a descendant of the Sadoques and Watso families who has some interesting histories of her own to share.
Co-sponsored by the Keene State College Diversity Commission and Commission on the Status of Women, the Historical Society’s September membership meeting is free and open to the public. HSCC is located at 246 Main Street in Keene. For further, please contact HSCC at 352-1895 or hscc@hsccnh.org.


"Towards the end, Joyce Heywood was mentioned as having been a part of the September, 2006 event at the Historical Society of Cheshire County in Keene, NH in the September 14, 2006 article. 
Joyce Heywood was not in fact part of that event
It included only Marge Bruchac and Joyce's cousin, Lynn Murphy
The sentence that mentions Joyce Heywood came from a different talk that Marge Bruchac gave at the Hopkinton, NH historical society on July 23, 2011."

Here’s a link to that event: http://ssenier.indigenousnewengland.com/tag/margaret-bruchac

"Joyce Heywood was indeed a part of that and the line the Peterborough N.H. Transcript Newspaper had included was part of the promo that was written for the talk. The subject matter of both talks were roughly the same, a look at the Sadoques family from Keene, from which both Lynn Murphy and Joyce Heywood descend."

December 26, 2006
Joseph Bruchac
P.O. Box 308
Greenfield Center, New York 12833
Phone: (508) 584-1728

Gourvernement Abenakis D’Odanak
102, Rue Siobsis
Odanak (Quebec)

Dear Friends,
Thank you for your letter of December 14th.
I do, indeed, often state that I am of Abenaki descent.
But I do not claim to be a member of the Odanak Band. I have no documented proof for such membership and I have never claimed tribal enrollment. (In fact, I freely acknowledge that I am a person of mixed white and Indian ancestry).
However, I have often made mention of the fact that my great-grandfather, Lewis (or Louis) Bowman recorded on such documents as his marriage certificate and his military enlistment in the Union Army indicate that he came from “St. Francis.” He settled in Greenfield Center, New York where he and his wife, Anna Van Antwerp (or Van Antwert) had thirteen children, among them my grandfather, Jesse Bowman.
My great-grandfather’s mother, Sophie Senecal, remained in Canada was a resident of East Farnum according to documents in the United States War Department. My great-grandfather never returned to Quebec, but remained in Greenfield Center where there was a sizeable community of others of Native descent, primarily Abenaki, Mohawk and Mohican.
I am a lifelong resident of Greenfield Center, New York where I live in the same house where I was raised by my grandfather, Jesse Bowman.
It was and remains well-known and widely accepted in our part of upstate New York that the Bowman family – like many other local families—were American Indian and that their tribal background was Abenaki. My grandfather was constantly referred to as a “dirty Indian.” There was no privilege attached to being Indian in our part of New York State during those years and his Abenaki ancestry often caused my grandfather hardships. Because of his own brown skin he was said by some to be “black as an Abenaki.” To be honest, it caused some members of my family great concern due to the prejudice they had experienced when I began as a young man to speak publicly about my Native ancestry over forty years ago.
While I am not a member of your community, I have often visited Odanak. I have enjoyed friendships with several of your elders and other tribal members. I am very grateful for all that I have learned from my friends at Odanak. My son Jesse, was received with warmth and great courtesy during the extensive periods he spent in your community trying to learn the Abenaki language. Other members of my family and I have been invited on several occasions to perform during your community celebrations. I’ve also given, without charge or hesitation, whatever help I can whenever I’ve been asked by the Musee D’Abenakis for assistance.
As a scholar, with a background in university teaching and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, I have done a great deal of research for not only Abenaki history and culture but also for many other Native peoples. I have tried as best I can to project the image and history of the Abenaki and other Native peoples in an honest, dignified, and positive ways in my scholarship, my creative writing and my storytelling for over four decades. I am one of the founders of the Native Writer’s Circle of the Americas and the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers, internationally known organizations that have worked to recognize, encourage, and support Native writers and storytellers throughout the Americas. I have spoken out and acted for Native rights and Native sovereignty throughout the world.
I have a very long and well-documented history of giving back to Native communities – both financially and in terms of work I have done and continue to do.
I sincerely believe that nothing I have done has either been fraudulent or tarnished the image of the Abenakis or any other Native nations. I am proud of my ancestry.
I wish you all the best in the holiday season and in all the seasons to come.
Dr. Joseph Bruchac

December 30, 2006
Margaret M. Bruchac
63 Franklin Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Phone: (413) 584-2195

Gilles O’Bomsawin, chief
Claire O’Bomsawin, councillor
Clément Sadoques, councillor
Alain O’Bomsawin, councilor
Jacques T. Watso, councilor
Gouvernement Abénakis D’Odanak
102 rue Sibosis, Odanak, Québec, J0G 1110

                This letter comes to you in response to your letter of December 14, 2006. Please allow me to clarify some of the confusion, and address your concern.
                I have never represented myself as a member of the Odanak Band. I do not claim to belong to the Odanak Band. I do not wish to become a member of the Odanak Band. These so-called claims that you speak of appear to be due to some misunderstanding. The reports that you are receiving about me from members of your First Nation residing in the United States do not accurately represent anything I have said. I am surprised to hear that you have received requests to verify something that is not true to begin with.
                I have Abenaki ancestry through my mother, Marion Flora Bowman Bruchac (1921 – 1999). Her father, Jesse Elmer Bowman (1887 – 1970), was the son of Lewis H. Bowman (1844 – 1918) (his first name was also spelled as Louis), an Abenaki Indian born in Canada, and Alice van Antwerp (1855 – 1909), an Indian from New York state whose family was apparently mixed-blood, with Abenaki, Mohawk, Mohican, Dutch, and/or other ancestry. Family tradition suggests that “Bowman” could be a variant of the family name OBomsawin. Although some of Lewis Bowman’s Civil War service records and other documents identify him as a “Saint Francis” Indian, we do not know if he was ever listed as a member of the Odanak Band. We do know that he lived in various places from the 1840’s – 1880’s, including Durham and Farnum (also spelled Farnham) in Quebec, St. Albans in Vermont, and also in Troy and Saratoga Springs, before buying farmland in Porters Corners in the town of Greenfield, in New York state.
                My mother’s parents, my mother, my siblings, and I were all born in New York State, and we are all American citizens. I identify myself as an American Abenaki Indian with mixed white ancestry. My siblings, my parents, and my grandparents did not ask to be members of the Odanak Band due to our Abenaki ancestry, and I am not asking for member now. There is thus no cause for you to be concerned about the potential of my making any fraudulent claims that might “tarnish your image,” as suggested in your letter. I do not claim to belong to your band. Anyone who says otherwise is mistaken.
                On the many occasions that I have been invited to Odanak, to perform at the July homecoming events, consult with curators at the Musée de Abénakis, or just to visit with friends, I have been warmly received as an Abenaki singer, storyteller, and historian. I am unclear, therefore, about the cause of your concern, since my friendship with members of your band does not give me any special privileges or rights in your country. It is possible that we may share some ancestors, since so many Abenaki people have moved back and forth for so many generations across the territory that is now divided by the United States-Canadian border. I do not, however, receive any special privileges from the United States or Canada by virtue of being Abenaki. I do not receive any of the health care, housing support, trust funds, food assistance, educational grants, casino profits, or other monetary payments that are typically given out to Canadian First Nations and to U. S. Federally-recognized tribes.
                I am led to wonder if there is some historical explanation for this apparent confusion between us? There are many Abenaki Indian families still living in Abenaki territory in the northeastern United States who are not members of the Odanak Band. As you know, during the French War Indian Wars (1670’s to 1760’s), a large number of Western Abenaki people from such tribal bands as Sokoki, Missisquoi, Pennacook, Pequawket, Cowass, etc. passed through Saint Francis/ Odanak, when it offered refuge for New England Indians fleeing from English settlers. Some families from those bands chose to stay at Odanak permanently. Others stayed for a few generations before returning to New England. Others never left their original homelands in New England or New York. When I invited Chief Obomsawin to come to Deerfield in 2004 to witness commemorative events that dealt with this history, he spoke quite eloquently, in the First Church of Deerfield, about historical Abenaki relationships. Perhaps this complex history contributes to the confusion, since there are so many Abenaki people living in the United States who do not identify themselves as members of your band.
                Since your letter raises the question of financial interest, please let me clarify that I have never asked for, nor do I intend to ask for, any special benefits or money from band. I do greatly appreciate your past generosities in reimbursing my travel expenses and feeding me when I have been invited to perform at Odanak. If that is the cause for concern, I am more than happy to pay for all of my own expenses when visiting in the future.
                Although my Abenaki ancestry is a source of pride and inspiration, it does not, on its own, offer me any special rights or income. Please be reassured when I tell you that I pay for my own health care, my own housing, my own transportation, and my own education. For twelve years, my college education has been funded, not by any grants dedicated to Abenaki Indians, but by more than $45,000.00 in student loans borrowed from the United States government, and by 8 years of my hard work as a teaching assistant and visiting professor. My income derives from the teaching, consulting, research, and performance work I do for New England colleges and museums, based on my own hard-earned and carefully developed skills as a teacher, archival researcher, writer, colonial historian, musician, and performer, my professional expertise as a museum consultant, and my advanced Master’s and Doctoral degrees as an ethno-historian and anthropologist. With homes that this sharing of information helps to offer some clarity between us, I wish you well.
Sincerely, in peace and friendship,
Margaret Bruchac

March 22, 2007
Ancestry.com Message Board
From: Cjr1974
Subject: Re: Mary and Alice Vanantwerp, Bowman, Saratoga Co. NY
My married name is Barrows. I’m Carly Russell – Barrows, the Great Great Great Granddaughter of Lewis (Louis) Bowman.

March 23, 2007
Ancestry.com Message Board
From: Cjr1974
Subject: Re: Mary and Alice Vanantwerp, Bowman, Saratoga Co. NY
I’ll get in touch with my Gram Hilda Bowman – Barton. She is Berlin and Hazel Bowman’s only child, to find out where in Vermont they came down from Canada as farmers and loggers, temporarily living in Vermont. I want to say Rutland or Swanton area, the latter of which would make sense due to the Abenaki heritage. My goal is to trace as far back as possible to not only share with other relatives but to pass on to my identical twin boys and my daughter, so it may be a short while before I have a definitve answer, as I am happily busy with my three young children.

March 23, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Cjr1974
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
I’m trying to continue my Abenaki Bowman lineage and I’ve hit a brick wall. I am looking for my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather Lewis/Louis Bowman. Census states that he was born in Canada. The Abenaki Bowman line I believe is Obomsawin and other variations. Can anyone help me?
I know my Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Forest Bowman did live a short time in Vermont. My line of Bowman’s settled in Greenfield Center, Saratoga County, New York. They were Abenaki but it was kept a family secret due to the “racism” of Native American Indians. They just didn’t let society know. Any information you could share will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

March 25, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: tedburton
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
The Bowman name is familiar, with your Forrest Bowman being a brother of Jesse Bowman who is the grandfather of Joseph Bruchac, an author of some fame. The father of Jesse and of Forrest Bowman was indeed Lewis Bowman and the connection to Obomsawin’ is also known. Who Lewis Bowman' parents were I have no idea, but your inquiry should be shared with the Bruchac’s. I do not have good contact info for them, but they are well known in academia.

[How can they KNOW how Lewis Bowman [AS T HE BRUCHAC’s CLAIM] connects to the O’Bomsawin family, WITHOUT first KNOWING WHO HIS PARENTS WERE?]

March 29, 2007
Ancestry.com Message Board
From: Cjr1974 [Carly Russell – Barrows]
Subject: Re: Mary and Alice Vanantwerp, Bowman, Saratoga Co. NY
KWAI, KWAI!! My Bowman family was Abenaki, their  Indian surname was Obomsawin, if you visit our Abenaki website Ne-Do-Ba you will find an old Indian Abenaki Census in Canada and also you can see what the Indian surnames were changed to, I have relatives, actually cousins who are Native American Authors whom I will be setting up a get together with as they have traced our Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather's descendants back to Odanak-TROIS-Rivieres, Canada, proof that my descendants were truly Abenaki. I am now trying to trace my Russell-SENECA and Robbins-Mahegan Indian Ancestors, when I find out where to look in Canada I'll post the info for you. What surnames/lineage are you investigating? [See June 13, 2012 Reply from Jack Lynch]

April 16, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Patricia A. Bowman
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
My husband Earl J. Bowman, Jr. (E.J.) is the Great-Grandson of Jack Bowman and thus the brother of Jesse Elmer Bowman (mentioned in the book ‘Bowman's Store’).
His Grandfather was Earl K. Bowman ... and his Great-Great Grandfather was Lewis Bowman, so I believe that you are related.
Jack Bowman lived in Queensbury off of Jenkinsville Road.
I believe that some of the Bowman's are buried in Glens Falls off of Bay Street.

April 16, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Patricia A. Bowman
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
My name is EJ, (Earl J. Bowman, Jr.) ej_bowman@roadrunner.com. We are probably related in some way. My wife Patricia sent you information about my Great Grandfather Jack Bowman, son of Lewis Bowman. I only recently learned about my connection with the Obomsawin's.
I learned this from my cousin Margaret Karides, daugher of Alegra (nee: Bowman) Karides.
I have emailed Joseph Bruchac several times, and have a copy of his book ‘Bowman's Store’.
Do you have any information on a possible Bowman Family reunion?
It would be cool to learn of more family in the area. We now live in Queensbury, south of Lake George.

April 17, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Cjr1974
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
Jack is a nickname for John Bowman? If so John “Jack” Bowman is my Great-Great Uncle and a brother to my Great-Great Grandpa For(r)est Bowman … whose father was Lewis/Louis Bowman of Greenfield Center, Saratoga County, New York. In regards to the book ‘Bowman’s Store’ by Joe Bruchac, open the book up to page 50 and the bottom paragraph. Look for the name Berlin, and Jesse taking off to his nephew Berlin Bowman’s to do Indian things for the weekend. Well, Berlin Seneca Bowman is my Great-Grandpa. His parents were For(r)est Bowman and Hazel Hitchcock.

April 17, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Patricia A. Bowman
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
Yes, Jack is the nickname for John Bowman (my great-grandfather). He was indeed the brother of Forrest and the son of Lewis. Therefore, we are related. While I did not know my grandfather (Earl K. Bowman) that well (he had a problem with alcohol and never saw the family) I did know my Great-Grandfather well having spent weekends with him in my youth. My father and his 3 sisters were raised by Jack/John and his wife Catherine after their mother died in a car accident at a very young age. That is when Earl K. Bowman picked up and left their lives as well. I guess that he was somewhat the "black sheep" of the family as he is not even mentioned in Joseph Bruchac’s book. Are you related to the Bowman's through your mother or fathers side? It would be great to track down the entire Bowman’s' and have a family reunion. I have been in touch with several cousins of mine since moving back to the area in November. I had been away for 30 years. You can e-mail me direct through ejandpat@roadrunner.com. Hope all this info helps.
Earl J. Bowman, Jr.

April 25, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Ibgen1 [out of Queensbury, New York, USA]
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
I am not sure what line of Bowman's you are looking at, but in the early 1800's brothers Levi and Lewis Baum arrived in Canada via French ship and started out in the trapping trade. After only two years, they moved into the US to the Warrensburg area of New York State and in the process their surnames were changed to Bowman. They were loggers and trappers. Each had several children, some of which stayed in the area. Berlin and Lewis later moved to Ohio and changed their names back to Baum. I am not sure if the New York children changed their names or not. My Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather was Berlin Baum, (brother to Levi and Lewis), who had stayed in Germany. My grandfather, William Baum moved to the U.S. and settled in Ohio.
I do not know much more about the Levi and Lewis New York lineages.

May 04, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Ibgen1
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
I am presently looking for more information too. I am related to the Bowman's via the Van Antwerps. I have found Louis/Lewis - spelled both ways and his parents in Canada - and their name is Bowman. Lewis Bowman's grandfather was also a Bowman, but only have his initial as of now. Back to the 1780's they are all Bowman’s and no visible Native American blood yet. Not from the women either.
Actually, the Bowman's have a better chance of being German or French. If their name changed, it could have been Bauman or Beaumont and these names were popular in the area of Canada where they were from. So, I have taken a couple more steps deeper into the mystery and it looks less and less like anybody is going to find an Abenaki line.
I am going to Canada in a month to try to get back even one more generation. Louis Bowman's Great Grandfather should finally show from what direction this family came.
I'll post again when I have definitive information.

May 04, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Cjr1974
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
Sounds great! And will you share names of Lewis Bowman’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents?
I too am beginning to believe that Bowman was only French and or German; and I am also not finding any Native American Indian descent other than in the Van Antwerp line, that Carollee shared with me from the 1600’s, which is Mohawk. It’s quite interesting how many branches of Lewis Bowman have all been told of Abenaki descent … and it has been carried on, or passed on for years, but as of now, it seems there is no factual proof to back this up.

May 04, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: tedburton
Subject: Bowman – Obomsawin
I believe "Bowman" is an anglicization of Obamsawin/Obomsawin, for which there is much Abenaki heritage. Changing the spelling of names away from French and away from Abenaki was an economic necessity for those who were trying to work in the dominant culture's economy.

Being Indian or French-Canadian in New England/Upstate NY could mean unemployment or worse.

May 06, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Ibgen1
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
I am with the Lewis Bowman's back to the 1780's and they are still Bowman’s and not yet showing up as Native American. There is no record of a name change to Obomsawin or anything like that. I would classify such a name change as unfounded speculation and its continual introduction as "semi-fact" as only clouding the truth.
In addition, we can stop with the "they changed their names because of embarrassment or economic pressures by the dominant culture" speculation too. Remember, we are talking about the 1700s, not the 1940's or 50's. Let's focus on facts.

May 07, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Cjr1974
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
I agree we should focus on the facts when I have proof that is indeed factual and documented that my Bowman Grandfathers' are-were Abenaki.

May 08, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Ibgen1
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
The Louis Bowman wives were sisters, Alice and Mary Van Antwert(p). They are daughters of John who was of the Baker's Mills/ Warrensburg area of New York. I am looking at John Van Antwerp's movement.

May 09, 2007
Ancestry.com ‘Abenaki – Bomwan’ Message Board
From: Ibgen1
Subject: Bowman - Obomsawin
The Bowman Indian line (Seneca or whatever) comes from one of Lewis's sons John Bowman who married Etta?
Etta was maybe Seneca and their Bowman kids were the only Native American I have found in the Bowman lineage; not from Lewis Bowman, Not from VanAntwerp’s.
Bessie Remington was my source of information, who I believe is Native from this line. So, I believe Etta (?) is the line to follow, that being John Bowman’s wife. John is buried in Baker's Mills I believe.

ARTSEDGE: The Kennedy Center
Author and storyteller Joseph Bruchac explaining the origin and significance of the flute and the drum to Native American culture
Commentary on Youtube.com
“The biggest phony Indian in the world. What are you Joe, about 1/100th Indian? I remember your son from school, who was a blond haired – blue eyed football player, who now wears a neck choker and tells “Indian Stories” you f’n phonies!!”

ARTSEDGE: The Kennedy Center
Author and storyteller Joseph Bruchac explaining the origin and significance of the flute and the drum to Native American culture
Commentary on Youtube.com
“I don’t know anything about his success in war, but I do know from living on an Indian reservation and counting some of the most prominent people in the Native American community as my friends, I can tell you without reservation, that his books are popular because it is the new chic thing for white people , and people who try to pass themselves off as cultured academics, to get “Native American stuff” and books.
Mr. Bruchac is at BEST 1/10th to 1.25th Native American by his own admission. The bullshit he tries to pass off, for example, that his some sachem as if he was standing there with Russell Means at Alcatraz or something is pathetic. His sons are phonies as well. I’m sure James Bruchac knows his stuff in tracking and outdoor craft but he and his brother Jesse are phony Indians and it is actually insulting the shtick they try to pass off as a family.

March 24, 2008
10:14 PM
From: Fred Wiseman wisem@vtlink.net
Hi Vince,
Mr. Dan Brush told me to send you a few very brief facts, since you have received too many long-winded letters and demands. I hope these five are short and clear. I will be at the State House tomorrow at the VT Champlain Quadricentennial display at the Card Room.
1.       You asked me to get everyone on board for the compromise. I did so. Missisquoi, Nulhegan, Koasek (including EL-nu as a sub-group) are self-governing tribal political entities with historical presence in Vermont. They represent ALL of the entities that, in my opinion as a scholar of the Abenaki experience, would meet the “tribal” qualifications set forth by the Federal Government’s requirements under the “state-recognized tribes” section of the Arts and Crafts Act. They represent over 3,000 Vermont Abenakis – a large constituency. Missisquoi is focused in Northwestern Vermont, Nulhegan is in your district, Koasek is in Eastern Vermont, and El-nu is Southern Vermont – complete state coverage. They now work together in unity.
2.       There is no anthropologically or historically detectable Moccasin village/ Winooski Band. Clan of the Hawk is (by their own admission on their website) an educational/cultural, not political organization, and so cannot be recognized as presently constituted. Skip Bernier’s group is recognized in Canada, derives its political authority from there, and has no dependent Vermont political/corporate basis. Paul Pouliot’s group is not form Vermont.
3.       There are only a few scattered unorganized families not included #1 or #2. They have no formal corporate political structure. Charlie Delaney represents one. As you saw, he was at the press conference on Thursday to support us. Louise and Lester Lampman represent another family, perhaps 10-15 people maximum. “Professional Abenakis,” such as Judy Dow have no known genealogical, cultural or political ties to any known Vermont corporate Abenaki groups.
4.       Members of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs threatened individual Abenakis as we as tribal officials to stifle competing proposals to your committee. Nancy Millette sent you the compiled evidence. These data, combined with other information no particularly germane to your legislative process, have caused all of the corporate Native groups listed above (#1) to reject any possibility of applying for recognition through the Commission as it is presently constituted.
5.       Heretofore un-documented groups may arise in the future, but they will not be large, nor will they have the corporate structure require by the Federal Government – they must handled on a case by case basis by a reconstituted Native Commission.

March 25, 2008
6:29 AM
To: Susanne Young Susanne.Young@state.vt.us
See March 24, 2008 10:14 PM from Frederick M. Wiseman. What do you think? Can we back off on some of the items which the applicants must submit to obtain state recognition for Arts and Crafts purposes?

March 25, 2008
8:47 AM
From: Susanne Young Susanne.Young@state.vt.us
I suggest this be sent to Mark Mitchell for consideration by the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs – they are meeting on Thursday afternoon.

March 25, 2008
1:35 PM
To: vcnaa@earthlink.net [Mark Mitchell]
Subject: Fwd. Information
Please consider.

March 26, 2008
7:47 PM
From: Mark Mitchell, VCNAA Chairman vcnaa@earthlink.net
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Information [March 24, 2008 10:14 PM from Frederick M. Wiseman]

March 28, 2008
7:47 AM
From: Margaret Bruchac maligeet@earthlink.net
Subject: Re: Traditional Abenaki Family Band Structure
Greetings, Vince
Mark Mitchell forwarded me the following letter, and on reading it, I am concerned at the casual manner in which the presumed legitimacy of specific Abenaki families, bands, and tribes is discussed.
                The traditional structure of Abenaki governance, as the primary Scholars of Wabanaki history have long observed (e.g. Frank Speck, Irving Hallowell, Colin Calloway, David Steward-Smith, etc. etc.) is the family band, a grouping that, among Algonkian peoples, can range in size from small extended family (5-10 individuals) to a cluster of families forming a larger band (30-300 or more individuals). There is no firm consensus among anthropologists, federal agencies, or Native Americans about the precise distinction between a “band” and a “tribe,” nor is there any general agreement about the size of a Native American group must be to be considered a “tribe.” There is, in fact, considerable debate about the degree to which the use of the term “tribe” may represent a somewhat modern (post-colonial) reconstruction of a historic group.               
                This debate over what constitutes a legitimate American Indian entity emerges, in part, from the Federal Recognition protocols that require a Native group to be tied to a fixed locations and highly visible, and to have a demographically structured system of governance, in order to be considered a “tribe.” For an example of the absurd extremes to which such observations may reach, one need only study the evidence from the 1975 Mashpee trial, wherein a well-documented group of Mashpee Wampanoag people were vetted, in the court system, as being “real” or “false” based solely on the biased perceptions of their racist white neighbors (see James Clifford. 1988 Identity in Mashpee,” pp. 277-346 in The Predicament of Culture; Twentieth Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).
                That being said, there is no question whatsoever in my mind, or in the Vermont documentation, that the St. Francis Sokoki Band of Missisquoi Abenaki constitutes a tribe. If the original legislation we drafted in 1005-2006 had passed, as written, and not been altered by the governor at the last minute, this question would already have been put to rest, since one of the explicit intents of that legislation was to acknowledge Missisquoi as the longest-standing, best-documented, Abenaki group in the state of Vermont. The Nulhegan and Koasek bands represent Native families with deep roots in Vermont, but they have not been actively engaged with the Vermont government in seeking State Recognition for as long as Missisquoi has. El-nu included a number of individuals who, until quite recently, identified themselves as Woodland Indian re-enactors rather than as Abenakis, but it is not my place to judge their ancestry.
                If these bands have reached a compromise that works for their common interests, that is, indeed, a great accomplishment. But such a compromise should not be allowed to undermine the efforts and goals of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. Nor should any participants be resourting to character assassination to make their voices heard.
                I do wish to note that Dr. Frederick Wiseman’s letter to you contains several historical inaccuracies.
                First, there is an “historically detectable Moccasin Village/ Winooski Band,” in the form of a small cluster families identified as “Winooski” in 17th and 18th century documents, and identified “gypsies” and other derogatory terms when living in “Moccasin village” and other parts of Burlington close to the interval. Dr. Wiseman himself briefly discussed the presence of this historic band in his article “The Abenaki and the Winooski” (in Laura Krawitt, ed. The Mills at Winooski Falls, Winooski, VT: Onion River Press 2000.) Frederick Wiseman wrote “There are Winoskik families on Burlington’s Old North End bluffs overlooking the interval, just as they have for thousands of years … Winoskik has always been here and it will continue to be.” Thus, I am puzzled at Frederick M. Wiseman’s attempt to now discredit Judy Dow, and by extension, Nancy Gallagher, since these two have done exhaustive scholarly work to document the very families that he wrote about. I can only imagine that there must be some personal rather than scholarly issues clouding relations at this juncture.
                Second, no one individual, Abenaki or not, has sufficient information or knowledge to presume to be in a position to judge the ancestry of what are (somewhat unfortunately) described as “scattered unorganized families.” Louise Lampman’s family, for example, is connected to a band of approximately 300 individuals that have long and deep roots at Missisquoi, even though they have separated from the St. Francis Sokoki group over old family issues. At other points in time, the various bands at Missisquoi have been tightly allied and they may well be at some unknown point in the future, that none of us can predict.
My conclusion is this:
Any individual who presumes to judge the legitimacy of these various families and bands may only, inadvertently, cause further stress and division. In a curious sense, speaking as an anthropologist, this is natural, since the ancient family band model of governance (which is colloquially called “voting with your feet”) allowed various families to come together and split apart, as necessary, to cope with climate change or outside threats. In the modern work, these patterns persist, but to outside observers, they are a source of considerable confusion, since families often refuse to stay put, or refuse to take firm sides in an argument among kin. We must also be aware of this interpersonal dynamics of Native groups living, for years, under the hostile intent, colonizing policies, and racism of their non-Native people to engage in “lateral violence,” where people turn against one another when they feel powerless to overcome a dominant enemy any other way.
                Although I could offer further opinions, let me apologize for my own unfamiliarity with all of the details of this dispute, which I have only followed at a distance. It is my opinion that the legislature created a group – the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs – which was charged with the task of resolving this issue. That group has deliberated on this issue for a full year and a half, and it was my understanding that they had drafted a fair and equitable process for recognizing Abenaki tribes, bands and families in the state. To my mind, as I stated earlier, I believe that the Missisquoi bands should be recognized without delay, as they should been years ago. From my reading, the VCNAA proposal seems workable, and it might be unnecessarily hasty and divisive to toss it aside at this juncture, or to encourage any more in-fighting among Abenaki groups. Since so many Abenaki families in the future will be affected by whatever actions are taken at this time, the wisest course might be to delay the vote, and to seek more peaceful and equitable resolution, in a way that builds a broader consensus among all of the Abenaki families and bands in Vermont, no matter how large or small they might seem to be.
Wli nanawalmezi, be well,
Dr. Margaret Bruchac
Adjunct Faculty, Tufts University
April 03, 2008
Dr. Margaret Bruchac - Visiting Faculty, Tufts University
Abenaki Indian families, tribes, bands, and legislation
In 2006, the state of Vermont adopted legislation to formally “recognize” Abenaki people and establish the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs (VCNAA). The Legislature entrusted VCNAA with the task of devising a process for recognizing Abenaki artisans, but the efforts to legislate Indian identity have not met with widespread acceptance. My personal opinion is that the current impasse stems, in part, from widespread confusion about the roles that the state of Vermont, the Attorney General, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Vermont legislators, the VCNAA, or any state agency should play in “recognizing” Indian tribes.
Traditional Native American Indian tribes are not, in essence, entities created by non-Native states and nations. One does not become an “Indian” by simply joining a hobbyist or fraternal group. One cannot be legislatively transformed into ethnic “Indian-ness.” Nor does one cease being “Indian” after being denied recognition by a state or federal agency. Native people are “Indian” by virtue of their kinship with Native families, bands, or tribes with distinctive oral traditions, cultural practices, links to particular landscapes or homelands, and systems of governance. These cultural and political markers are not always clearly visible to outsiders. 
The traditional structure of Abenaki governance, as scholars of Algonkian history have long observed (e.g. Frank Speck, Irving Hallowell, Colin Calloway, David Stewart Smith, John Moody, etc. etc.), is the family band, a grouping that, among Algonkian peoples, can range in size from a small extended family (5-10 individuals) to a cluster of families forming a larger band (30-300 or more individuals). Some Abenaki families have been in the location now known as “Vermont” for generations. Some have shifted back and forth across international and state borders over time, or bonded together after colonial displacements. There is no firm consensus among anthropologists, federal agencies, or Native Americans about the precise distinction between a “band” and a “tribe,” or the exact size of a “tribe.” Nor is there a single tribal genealogist who can document the precise history and ancestry of every single Abenaki family.
The BIA federal recognition protocols expect a Native “tribe” to be associated with a fixed location, to have a recognizably democratically system of governance, and to be documented for decades (by their white neighbors) as having been visibly authentic “Indians.” This federal model of the “tribe” tends to privilege highly visible post-colonial groups that live on reservations. That being said, there is no question in my mind that the St. Francis Sokoki Band of the Abenaki Nation at Missisquoi is an “Indian tribe.” Nor is there any question in my mind that the Lampman, St. Francis, and other Abenaki families in the state fit the model of “family bands.” Why, then, is the current picture so confusing?
For generations, Abenaki families and tribes have been gathering together and splitting apart, making alliances to benefit their own needs and purposes at different times. In a curious sense, speaking as an anthropologist, this shifting and recombining is natural, since Algonkian models of governance (colloquially called “voting with your feet”) allowed family bands to combine or separate, as necessary, to cope with seasonal changes or outside threats. In the modern world, these patterns of autonomy and negotiated dependence persist, but they are bewildering to outside observers. Abenaki individuals and families may seem to be taking contradictory stances while claiming similar goals, based on their own perceptions of the best course for survival.
Situations like these call for compassion and sensitivity to the interpersonal dynamics of Native people who have been forced to live for generations under the hostile intent, colonizing policies, and racism of their non-Native neighbors. When there is too much pressure from outside forces, it is (sadly) not at all unusual for Native people to engage in “lateral violence,” where people turn against one another when they feel powerless to overcome a dominant enemy. In this struggle, Vermont state officials are not neutral parties. 
In retrospect, the current problem would not be with us if Gov. Thomas Salmon’s 1976 Executive Order recognizing the Abenaki in Vermont had not been overturned by Gov. Richard Snelling. For a comparative example of how this might have worked, one need only look to the state of Massachusetts. In 1976, Gov. Michael Dukakis’s Executive Order recognized the historic Nipmuc and Wampanoag people and established the Massachusetts Commission on Indian Affairs. The MCIA has been extremely effective in working with Native families, bands, and tribes, assisting them with education, housing, arts, and burial protection, and they are now developing a new Native American Institute for education at UMass Boston. Vermont, however, is stuck in the past, still fighting its old Indian wars.
Since so many Abenaki families will be affected by whatever actions are taken at this time, it breaks my heart to see so much public arguing and divisiveness. It is my sincere hope that, eventually, somebody in the state of Vermont will be able to craft a peaceful and equitable solution to serve all of the state’s resident Abenaki families, bands, and tribes, no matter how large or small they might seem to be. It is also my hope that the family kin networks will continue functioning as they have for centuries, in healing ways that will protect and preserve our homeland - Ndakinna - for those who come after us.
Wli nanawalmezi, be well,
Dr. Margaret Bruchac
Visiting Faculty, Tufts University

April 2008-
By Louise Lampman – Larivee
Committee on Economic Development:
Senator Vincent Illuzzi, Senator Hinda Miller, Senator Carris, Senator Condos, and Senator Racine
Senator Illuzzi and Committee Members:
I am appalled by what is going on within Native communities. I have received many phone calls and emails from all over in regards with all the stuff that is being said on how this amendment is affecting everyone’s lives.
In 2005, I was sent a letter from the Native American Federal Arts and Crafts Board informing us that unless there was State Recognition as a tribe, we could not sell our crafts. In turn, my brother Lester Lampman had set up an appointment with Susanne Young about this topic.
I, and my brother Lester Lampman, Larry Lapan Sr, and Connie Brow attended this meeting which was held in Montpelier. We are unsure if anything was said to anyone else about this meeting. I asked myself why didn’t Jeff Benay, the ex-Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Native American Affairs (of which I sat on for two terms with him) didn’t ask me to speak? I had seen him on a regular basis for our offices were just down the hall from each other. He was and is aware of the different factions within the Abenaki Nation and he has known about for many years.
In 2006, I testified for State Recognition, after being asked by Senator Carolyn Branagan to do so.
When I finished my testimony that went for about 45 minutes, if not longer, I was subsequently complimented on how professional I was, and someone had inquired as to why I had not been the first one to testify, for my testimony would have answered a lot of questions about who these other bands were.
When the new Commission was set up, My brother Lester Lampman and I did approach the Commission with this letter about the Arts and Crafts law. Chairman Mark Mitchell and Jeanne Brink along with Judy Dow were concerned enough to start conversations about the matter.
My family being one of the oldest family bands from the Missisquoi tribe that has been in contact with this Commission on Native American Affairs, we have given input to the effects of this amendment. Most of my family members are working (employed) people who cannot take time away from their jobs, to testify at hearings.
I guess one question would be: Has any one from the Committee ever listened to my testimony, considering that this amendment is to rectify a bill?
I would like to correct some information that Mr. Wiseman has been passing around, especially when it concerns my reputation and family. For his information, I represent my family band, of which there are 250 members therein. This would include siblings, their children and fist cousins and 2nd cousins. This does not include a few out there that I did not add into this.
If he had such a connection within the larger Abenaki community of Franklin County, Vermont, he would have known this, and he does not mention the LaPan family band or the other family bands of which it has always been the way of the head of a family spokesperson for the family, but the one who is willing and able to speak. Why didn’t he contact all of the heads of these family bands?
I find it insulting that he claims to be the tribal historian of the Abenaki people, when he does not know who the people are. What knowledge could he possibly hold, if he has never spoken to me or any other member of my family? Does he not realize that I have been involved in tribal affairs for over 30 years; long before he or Jeff Benay were ever in the picture?
I remember when Jane Beck did the interviews with my father. We still have the transcribed copies along with many tapes of my grandmother who said on the tape that she was born in a cave (not the Fortin one … just to correct a rumor going around). These interviews were done before the St. Francis/ Sokoki bands existed.
I also feel it is important to remember that the St. Francis/Sokoki Band are those that lived on the St. Francis river, not the family name (St. Francis) which after doing seven years of cultural competency trainings, that this issue always comes up.
The tribe they all belonged to now should be the Missisquoi Tribe. This amendment is wrong for an aboriginal people. To acknowledge more than one Tribe within Vermont takes the rights away from those of us who know who we are.
There is no simple answer to this and by far, means to rush something that is so important is unfair to all of us. It is the responsibility for the State of Vermont’s government to make a right of a bill that was done wrong but not the right of a State government to decide who the Indians are, by listening to a few people.’
This amendment has turned Native against Native and allowed some to think they have the Abenaki scholar experience about tribal qualifications. Some have gone to length as to ridicule people who have passed on. This, in my book, is one of the lowest things for someone to do.
It should also be known that the Nulhegan, the Koasek and the El-nu as they call themselves, being bands or groups, are not Tribes. They may be bands that belong to the Missisquoi Tribe.
In closing, I hope everyone remembers what the Native American Commission was set up for. A commission made up of Native people, to make choices for the Native people. It is unfair for all of us, to bad mouth a group of volunteers who gave up many hours of their time to put people in a position where discussions are today , amending a bill that was set up for minorities, not the Aboriginal people.
For Bennington County was sold by the Mahigan; or have we forgotten this?
Louise Lampman – Larivee
Daughter of the Late Chief, Leonard Lampman, whose family was recognized by his Tribe (the Missisquoi)

More to be continued in the next posting: 

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