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To Lorene Liberty of the “Clan of the Hawk”

January 21, 2011
Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the letter submitted by Lorene Liberty-Curtis from the Clan of the Hawk. She stated in her article that Vermont should follow the Federal Standards to gain recognition. Vermont does not want any Federally recognized tribes in the State because of potential Casino’s, Why would they impose criteria that would circumvent the State’s authority over the tribes. Vermont would rather give recognition in a manner they can control and allow us to sell our arts and crafts. No more and no less.

Here is the truth as Lorene Liberty-Curtis puts it. The Nulhegan band has submitted it’s paperwork and it’s genealogy data to the scholars who have validated our petition, two of which work for the federal government. Nowhere in the Nulhegan’s application for recognition or supporting documentation is the name or image of Rosa Bangs referenced.  Get your facts straight before blatantly lying to the public.

Where is the Clan of the Hawk’s petition? They have every opportunity to prove themselves through the same process as does every other native group in Vermont. The truth is that the Clan of the Hawk tried to be included in our bill for direct recognition last year as an Abenaki tribe. What Lorene fails to tell you is that their representative stood up in front of the Senate committee and stated that he was not Abenaki and that the Clan of the Hawk accepts everyone, native or not. They admitted freely that they are a social club and not a native american tribe under the Statute. It is not our fault that Lorene and many like her at the Clan of the Hawk do not consider themselves Abenaki and only decendants of native people. This statement alone tells volumes. So who is the one here playing indian? Not us, we have proven ourselves and have been validated by independant scholars. Do not try to suppress our people because you do not believe you are Abenaki. The Clan of the Hawk started up a unity council to work with other natives in Vermont and sent us an invitation to join. If this is their way of gaining unity by speaking out of both sides of their mouth, no wonder they do not have many unity members.

I have no choice but to defend our people when letters of this nature are written about our tribe. I would much rather work for the good of all abenaki people so we can move our people forward. If Lorene and the Clan of the Hawk enjoy doing native things and being close to the earth, you have every right to worship the way you want. However, if you are going to follow the native ways. Then remember the teachings of our elders and to respect one another. If you want unity, you should treat others as you would like to be treated. My role as Chief is to be there for the Abenaki people and to provide guidance to our children. If you have members who are truly Abenaki and are artists, have them come see me after recognition so they may benefit from our hard work and can be protected under the law.

Waolowzi (Be Very Well),
Don Stevens, Chief
Nulhegan Band Coosuk Abenaki Tribe – Lake Memphremagog

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jim Tebokw'molsem McCahey permalink
    January 21, 2011 8:25 AM

    Very well stated Chief, I am glad to see you looking out for our People. It has been much to long a struggle, to be side tracked by somebody who wishes to ride the coat tails of the real people! The Western Easteners. Many Blessings!!

    Jim Tebokw’molsem McCahey

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