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Vermont Public: Why are Abenaki Nations challenging the legitimacy of Vermont’s state-recognized tribes?

    “Mississquoi, Elnu, Koasek and Nulhegan also asked the Vermont Legislature that some of the federal recognition criteria not be included in the state recognition process. The Legislature obliged.

    “For starters, the groups didn’t want genealogy to be a requirement. Some said they feared their personal information would be exploited, citing previous eugenics policies in Vermont. And so state lawmakers allowed them to use, quote, “other methods” to trace their membership to a shared “kinship group.””For starters, the groups didn’t want genealogy to be a requirement. Some said they feared their personal information would be exploited, citing previous eugenics policies in Vermont. And so state lawmakers allowed them to use, quote, “other methods” to trace their membership to a shared “kinship group.”

    “The groups also didn’t think they should be asked to document their community’s history into the distant past. And the Vermont Legislature was OK with that, only asking that groups have a “connection with” historic Native American tribes in Vermont, rather than needing to be descended from them.

    “Lastly, the groups specifically didn’t want Odanak First Nation citizens’ involvement in Vermont’s process. Remember that a few years prior, Odanak’s government had denounced groups like theirs.”

    Read or listen more at Vermont Public.

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