There are indeed legitimate Abenaki and other Native descendants within Vermont and New Hampshire. They have said regarding requirements for state recognition that they will not provide any genealogical evidence to support their claims, assertions or proclamations. Seemingly, the Vermont and New Hampshire governments and prospective legislators are supposed to simply take these alleged Abenaki representatives words in good faith that they are speaking the truth.
The problem is their lack of bona fide evidence of a genealogical nature, which would show the state of Vermont’s public and government that they indeed descend from Vermont Abenaki families. It would be simple if these groups were historically verifiably in existence from the 1800s to the contemporary time period, but they are not.
The so-called Missisquoi and Koasek groups, and their sub-band called the El-Nu, along with the Nulhegan group, will point repeatedly to historical maps and historically documented Abenaki people, yet not one of these groups or their representatives have shown their genealogical connectedness to these historical Abenaki communities. If they are legitimate Abenaki from and of Vermont, whose ancestors descend from Abenaki people who resided in Vermont, then why are they “hiding” their genealogical histories from the public and the legislature of Vermont? It behooves the state of Vermont to demand that each and every group put the clear and convincing evidence forward, onto the table, for the Legislature to review.
No one can get official Native recognition without first having to show the genealogical evidence. Why do these groups think they can manipulate the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs and the Vermont Legislature to get instant state recognition without so much as a shred of legitimate evidence? The governors of Vermont and New Hampshire had better demand convincing genealogical evidence before Abenaki recognition is haphazardly handed out.
Each member of these alleged Vermont Abenaki groups needs to show their genealogical evidence for each and every one of their representatives and members. They ought to be prosecuted for possessing and distributing eagle and hawk feathers when they haven’t any authority to do so, and they ought to be charged with fraud and embezzlement for claiming to represent the legitimate Abenaki, receiving grant funding, if they cannot show the clear and convincing evidence that they are Abenaki from Vermont.
It begins and ends with one simple act. Show the genealogical evidence so that the Abenaki people can once again know each other and so that the state of Vermont can recognize us legitimately.
– Douglas Lloyd Buchholz