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.
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
February 23, 1945
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 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
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.
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.
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.
The services include the hosting of writing workshops, poetry readings, and acting as a consultant in contemporary poetry to the library.
Margaret (Marge) Bruchac is a traditional
© 1999 Smith College // Please send comments to: email@example.com.
Page maintained by the Office of College Relations. Last update: 4/21/99.
Page maintained by the Office of College Relations. // Last update: 12/10/99.
“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.
HUNTING AND GATHERING
The 11th Annual Women's Studies Conference
Friday, October 12 - Saturday
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.
Tribute to "Old Man of the Mountain"
NAIIP News Path ~ Thursday
All Rights Reserved
Rick Pouliot Abenaki. Works with at-risk students, and to preserve Abenaki culture.
Chief of Odanak First Nation
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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."
More to be continued in the next posting: