I am working on chronologically mapping the historical records, genealogical records, newspaper articles and doing field research in both Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, as well as Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.
In the meantime, I have recently read a blog post from "Thoughts from Polly's Granddaughter" dated June 17, 2014 wherein the author of that blog stated (in part):
"We all have family stories, and while that might be find and good for sitting around the dinner table, if those stories are inaccurate or untrue, and we allow them to become engrained into our very being they could lead us to make poor decisions based on lies and deception. Over time, that can become problematic and harmful.
This harm is magnified if one who has been influenced by false family stories becomes a leader of a nation (group) of people and he (or she) allows those false stories to play a role in the decisions he (or she) makes for that nation (group) of people."
Now, in reading this first part of her posting ....
Found here: http://www.pollysgranddaughter.com/2014/06/when-past-meets-present-part-1.html
I have several thoughts that came to mind, and subsequently some conclusions.
First, the name Homer Walter St. Francis, Sr. of Swanton, Franklin County, Vermont came to mind.
He thought, believed, perpetuated, and promoted to himself, his family, and to anyone that would also believe him, that he and his family "were Abenaki" or "Abenakis."
And yet, he honestly was not Abenaki. Genealogically-speaking he wasn't aware that simply and merely because he lived in Swanton, didn't make him "an Abenaki" nor the fact that his surname was "St. Francis" didn't make him "an Abenaki" either. I very strongly doubt he was aware, that his surname was in fact, a "dit" name in French tradition.
Siroux Giroux dit St. Francis
Indeed, the late Homer Walter St. Francis, Sr. and his familial relatives have in fact a Huron Ancestor, and perhaps even an Algonquin ancestor, MAYBE a Mik'maq ancestor, all of them ancestors (singular) that married FRENCH in the 1600's or 1700's, does not make that family Vermont Abenakis.
It is a reality, that after the quarry died, and the fire happened in Swanton, Vermont in the early 1970's, the community was "hard hit" and the local economy plummeted, and the jobless rate went up.
Indeed, seeing how the Federal Government was "flushing" money "for Indians" after Wounded Knee, etc to varied Tribes throughout and across the United States, into Urban areas, by way of the Boston Indian Council, it was indeed a time of "It's a Good Time to BE INDIAN." And that Homer became, right along with anyone else that would follow him, join him, and promote him. Promoting oneself as being an Abenaki, within Vermont, New Hampshire etc as in Self Identification, was the name of the game. Creating an incorporation and implying it was and is "a tribe" was a huge part of that game, in which to seek, and obtain those Indian Federal Monies, by way of Federal Grants earmarked suddenly in the 1970's for Indians.
Everyone who even remotely vaguely had heard of an Indian, in their ancestral background, uttered from some long dead Grandmother wrapped up in a blanket, smoked a corn cob pipe, and or worn braids, had dark eyes, or had high cheekbones, was instantly put up on the mantelpiece and appraised by the Instant Indian descendants of New England.
And while promoting their incorporations and proclaiming to help the Indians, help themselves, with the "White Man's Money" alongside this promotion were the Archaeologists, Ethnologists and the Folklorists ready to shake hands with anyone that implied or said they were Indian. And the latter began in Vermont and New Hampshire, to ally with and promote the incorporated groups within New England.
Homer wasn't an Abenaki. He wasn't a Wabanaki either.
And later in the Thoughts from Polly's Granddaughter article post:
...."in these perilous times when the number of fraudulent groups are growing each day; when the BIA is considering weakening the federal recognition process; and when states consider giving fake tribes state recognition."
Well here in Vermont the Legislative Representatives didn't consider the fraudulent tactics and dirty politics, they just went ahead and gave recognition to the fake "Native American" "tribes" without so much as doing any real retrospective research into the four groups backgrounds, genealogically or otherwise!
Indeed, their genealogies, the merits of their scholarly evidence, was manipulated and misinterpreted. No dog wants to check another dog for fleas as they would say.
And when these Thoughts from Polly's Granddaughter posting speaks of lies and deceptions in families, around the dinner table, being taken as being accurate and truth by the listeners descendants, I experienced this myself with my mother's paternal side of the family here in the Northeast.
"Interesting Photograph isn't it? Yes, this is your ancestor, your Great Great Great Great Grandfather named Chief Tomahawk Woodward. His wife was Laughing Sunshine or Mourning Dove or something like that."
Indeed, this photograph was held by and perpetuated by several members of the Woodward family descendants, who have retrospectively claimed it is their ancestor, even to the point of posting their naive conclusions onto ancestry genealogical oriented websites online.
And then one day, talking to a relative, I heard about another relative, who then I contacted and received a computer print image of this above photographic duplicate. I then sought out yet a third relative who had it, down n Connecticut. She'd had her duplicate ENLARGED and hanging on her kitchen room wall even! She was PROUD that this man was HER Indian ancestry.
She was absolutely wrong in her conclusions, about the photograph and about the identity of the man in this photograph. He was not a Woodward, he wasn't even remotely related to the family. Just a mere photograph which was very likely merely picked up somewhere along the ancestral past, from some Flea Market or Antique Store by the way, between Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey ... and hung on the wall of that Woodward relative's living room wall. Something to point to, when having those dinner table story talks about Indians-in-the-family.
While "Thoughts from Polly's Granddaughter" is oriented to the Cherokee Nation and the dynamics of identity and tribal status etc., the dynamics she addresses are very much as well an Abenaki issue as well, of status and identity.
Homer St. Francis Sr., wasn't 'somebody' if he wasn't Indian, if he wasn't claiming to be "Abenaki." There's nothing to be really gained, in claiming to be French, or Irish, or German, or Scots, or Brit, or even Canadian. But claiming and implying one is an Indian, and be Abenaki, is icing on the cake, and one can even eat the ice cream of being identity special, at the same time.
These groups recently came out in the media, via the State sponsored Websites on Tourism.... I thought that was cute yet none the less any more accurate than before they pulled this stunt in Vermont.
At the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum its written that, "Abenaki historian Frederick M. Wiseman, Ph. D. worked with his students and others, to provide replicas..." and that "El-nu Abenaki Chief Roger Longtoe [Sheehan' and Vera Longtoe create replicas of fishing lures, hooks, sinkers, and net used by Native Peoples in the 17th Century"
So what are these people who now claim to be, and perpetuate that they are "thee Abenakis" of Vermont and New Hampshire, but mere performers, replica makers, and 'artists' who very well learned their craft, their art from books, films, and other people OUTSIDE of Vermont?
They claim they have derived from historical community? I think not.
If one looks closer, more deeper, one can discern that many of the members of these four and or five groups, within Vermont and throughout multiple States, have been Group Hopping throughout the years, since the early 1980's, having multiple memberships (in some cases even overlapping) in several groups throughout New England, and even created groups in Quebec, Canada!
I've never heard of a Lakota hopping over and becoming an Ojibway or a Makah Tribal member. Indeed a Lakota could relocate into the Makah Community at Neah Bay, and marry there, etc. A Penobscot isn't a Wampanoag, or a Mik'maq either.
I have heard some say "I am Wabanaki"
Isn't that a POLITICAL Organization? Not a People or Person. It is a general terminology for all Wabanakiak, but it is not a person or a tribe nor a community. MAYBE ... I am wrong in this conclusion.
I have heard some Vermonter's (and or from New Hampshire) that claim they are from this or that Clan, such as Bear or Turtle, etc.
But doesn't one have to have a cohesive continuous viable externally discernable COMMUNITY that has actual Naming Ceremonies for that Clan, etc, songs, and dances etc.?
Pow-wow's don't count, so don't even go there..... and Pow-wow Attendance isn't a legitimate Abenaki Community either, that's like being in the fraternal Improved Order of the Redman, Knights of Columbus, or the Freemasons organizations. I can put on and take off my regalia too. Penobscot doesn't wash off, or hang in a closet or get stored in a box for only when it is convenient to the person. Being Mik'maq etc isn't like wearing a coat or putting on a pair of shoes, or learning beadwork from a book, or listening to a CD, and singing those Pow-wow songs over and over, year after year.
'Parrotting' Abenakis is what is happening in Vermont and New Hampshire. Picking up a presumed mimicked "culture" from books, and associating with Odanak, Akwesas:ne and so on, from OUTSIDE VERMONT and NEW HAMPSHIRE isn't "community" WITHIN Vt. or NH. Incorporations don't make a Tribe either. And Vermont State Recognition under that State's Laws doesn't make these groups El-nu, Missisquoi-Sokoki, Nulhegan or Koasek any more legit than yesterday. They are social clubs that are now state sanctioned by way of fraudulent evidence used to gain that 'recognition'.
If one looks deeper and closely one can discern the lies and deceptions going on within Vermont's so called "Native American" "Tribes" and their memberships. If one studies these people's genealogies, one can discern the fallacies of their concocted "I'm-an-Abenaki" stories, just like I did with the above photograph.
I took the time to do the research....
Apparently Vermont did not want to take the time to do the research on these people, their inc.'d organizations, nor their actual genealogies.....
So I will take the time to do the research.....on the Vermont's newly sanctioned and "recognized" "tribes."
In the meantime, these Abenaki Identity Thieves will continue to lie and deceive, and they will promote themselves to naive tourists coming into Vermont, who don't know any better.
They will reach into your children's heads, in classroom promotion of Title V or VI or VII, naive as little children are, will grow up believing in the lies and deceptions of these liars and deceivers against the Abenakis.
Vermont gets what it pays for: Lies, Deception, and Fraud.
Ask two questions of the contemporaneous "Abenaki" self-identifiers:
WHAT COMMUNITY DO YOU COME FROM?
If they say El-nu.... know that they created themselves as a Woodland Re-Enactor Group and were part of Tolba, Inc. [read about it here on this blog]
If they say Nulhegan.... know that they created themselves [ca. 2004] out of the Indian-ist organization of the Clan of the Hawk, Inc. which Dr. Frederick M. Wiseman claims is an Indian-ist organization, and not really a Tribe. [read about it here on this blog]
If they say Missisquoi or Swanton, Vermont.... know that they created themselves in ca. 1975 as well by way of Ronald Canns, son of the late Julius Canns, that began advocating and promoting for Homer, State Recognition the minute he got into the Legislature in 1992, nary once indicating that it was his own son Ronnie that started the whole Missisquoi "Abenaki" nonsense, coming from New Hampshire in 1974, by way of the Boston Indian Council in Massachusetts, doing census through the Man Power Office.
And let's re-read the BIA Reports shall we, while we're at it [of which are posted on this blog]
If they say Koasek... again CREATED as a 501(c)3 non-profit entity within the State, under State Laws, within the Secretary of State's Office as an INCORPORATION
And all of these groups simply derive their so-called "rich cultural heritage" from books, and people outside the State of Vermont. I can cite numerously example after example of this.
The songs from from OUTSIDE Vermont. Anyone can buy a tape or CD, and mimic ...
Regalia's can be copied from what is seen worn at any OUTSIDE Pow-wow at Kahnawa:ke, Odanak, or elsewhere.
The Circle of Youth up in Swanton derives from the Lakota.
The Language derives from Cecile Wawanolette and her adopted son Elie Joubert (Odanak), as does the Abenaki Dances.
The mound gardening the Nulhegan profess to have been doing for generations and generations are mimic'd from a book regarding Maine Indian People's!
The Four Indians in Alburg were not correctly identified by Dr. Frederick M. Wiseman Ph.D. (but of course he knew this, as did others descended from the Partlow family) nor his "Abenaki" compatriots either. Those 4 men mentioned in the Alburg Town Records were MOHAWKS from Akwesas:ne. [that can be reviewed in this blog as well as elsewhere]. The same with the misidentification of Antoine Phillips. He was not Sr. but rather Jr. in the photographic image coming from Mary Kinville. One can discern this from his clothing, worn in that picture!
And on and on it is proven, document by document, that these people who claim to be "Tribes" in Vermont, of "Abenakis" are not who they claim to be or imply their ancestors were.
The lying and deceiving politicians within Vermont and New Hampshire, right along with the grave robbing and disturbing Archaeologists and Ethnologists have allied with the lying and deceiving "Abenaki" Identity and Cultural Thieves.
Vermont Tourists BE AWARE.
Then again, one gets what they pay for; but in that process ... what does one really help promote?
Genocide? Identity Theft? Cultural Appropriation?
It's not just a Cherokee or Blackfoot problem or dynamic.....
Vermont and New Hampshire have a reality of the "Emperor's New Clothes" in regards to these "Abenaki" "tribes" and the State's population seemingly doesn't see this reality, or simply just doesn't care?