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June 16, 2009

Vermont's Native American Commission Feud Gets National Ink

The saga of the increasingly dysfunctional Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs is making national news.

The national Native American newspaper Indian Country Today featured a front page article on the series of resignations and internal turmoil.

Since last fall, four members have resigned from the commission, including two chairmen. The most recent resignation was May 25 by member Paul Bell. He departed shortly after chairman Donald Stevens did. The group meets this Thursday, June 18, to elect a commission member to facilitate meetings until the governor indicates whether he'll appoint a new chairman.

Stevens hopes the national attention given to the commission's dysfunction and the plight of Vermont's Native Americans will force legislators and the governor to make changes to the panel.

"By putting us on the front page, they are bringing our fight to the rest of the nation. Native peoples have had to force the government to deal with our rights throughout history. Whether it be at Wounded Knee, the Canadian border blockades, or our own Monument Road blockade in Vermont in the past," said Stevens. "At some point Native People have always had to bring attention to our issues that were ignored for too long."

The question remains if lawmakers, or the governor, is listening. More attention appears to be going toward Samuel de Champlain, who "discovered" the region, than the people who were living here before he arrived — and live here today.

How can the long suffering (though phenomenally Caucasian-looking?) Abenaki of Vermont hope to get satisfaction from the State government when we can not even liberate ourselves from the machinations of the International Arch-Jew Sanders, and his progressive lackeys, assisting the Kenyan Obama in plunging us deeper into their own Hebrew fantasy of Global Warfare...(just a question...)?

You know this sort of thing is really startling, I've been looking some more now into available information on trapping fishers, pekans that is in the Abenaki language and so now I learn that the Abenaki Nation's sovereign identity is fraught with the same kinds of charades that we the Haudenosaunee are. I'm focusing on pekans now, so I'm not going to even try and get too much into what your situation entails though I just want to comment that it really is completely ridiculous that you would be even considering allowing a U.S. representative of any kind to be appointing your representatives. We the Haudenosaunee recognize you as a sovereign nation and more rightfully so than the U.S. could ever be and our recognition is really all you need, while we do of course fully and equally expect the same from you, and yes, that is really all there is to it, but no I should also add a viewpoint that if you are to recognize the U.S. as equals just be sure to take them fully to task for all of their wrongdoing to you, meaning yes, do take them to the cleaners.

I've been part of the VT struggle for the Western Abenaki to be recognized here in VT for over 12 yrs.. There are many reasons why they have not been given any other status other than "minority group" as well as other native americans, whether BIA recognized or not. Plain and simple, the Native commission is falling apart due to internal conflicts of the members as well as state wide conflicts of those who call themselves W. Abenaki or descendants thereof. Sadly, the politics among the various bands are of a toxic nature. some have "sprung" up right before the state recognition in May 2006. Although there are real and true Abenaki descendants, many others have made a claim that have not been proven in any way to be accurate in reflection of their geneology. Bands have fallen apart due to their internal conflicts. you are correct about the recognition in which ..." We the Haudenosaunee recognize you as a sovereign nation and more rightfully so than the U.S. could ever be and our recognition is really all you need, while we do of course fully and equally expect the same from you,....." I believe some of your representatives have attended the repatriation ceremony in 1994 or thereabouts down in western MA, with John Peters, Slow Turtle, as well as some of the representatives of the Pocumtuck Confederacy, as well as many other tribes. Not a single abenaki of VT had attended, nor did they have the rightful individual in existance to represent a tribe that has originated of the original abenaki of Missisquoi in Odanak, Canada. Until the internal conflicts of these bands and clans are resolved and these people learn the true history of the origination and compilation of the abenaki in Canada, through the wars with the Mowhawk centuries ago, and the POC from the settlers, then people cannot accept who they truly are and embrase their heritage, much less be accepted by anyone as to whom they claim to be. Nolka

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