Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Greeting all;

I am honored to write this message to our Abenaki citizens and their families living at Odanak, in our three large off-reserve communities at Sudbury, Waterbury, and Albany, and beyond.  I am pleased to announce that we will host  a forum for Abenaki citizens to meet this year’s candidates for chief and council on October 24, 2015, at the Best Western on Wolf Road in Albany, New York. Doors open at noon and the forum begins promptly at 1pm.  We will wrap things up at 5pm, and then enjoy a buffet dinner.

All of our citizens and their families are welcome to attend., Candidates will be given an opportunity to describe their qualifications and relevant experience, to account for time they have already spent in office, and to explain why they believe that Abenaki voters should support them. Community members will have a chance to ask their own questions as well. A moderator will direct the forum and a translator will be available for candidates to bridge the French-English divide.  I hope that all of you can join our candidates and our Albany, NY community of Abenaki families, to consider the important issues facing our nation and have a chance to hear directly from those running for office.

It is my sincere belief that we as a people need to become more involved in the life of our nation.  We need to embrace opportunities like to this to learn more about our brothers and sisters on and off reserve and those who want to serve as our Chief and our Council members.  In just the last few years I have mourned the loss of community elders and I have been haunted by what their passing means for our families and for our nation.  I have met Abenaki kin who are unable to gain their Abenaki citizenship and I have met people with no Abenaki ancestors who falsely claim our lands, our rights, and our ancestors as their own.  I have learned about the Emerald Ash Borer threatening to destroy all of the beautiful Black Ash trees that have given our people so much.  And I have learned about the harm we continue to suffer as a result of residential schools and the Indian Act.

All of this can be discouraging.  The deck seems stacked against us.  However, I believe that we can overcome these challenges and strengthen our nation.  Today, we hold the future in our hands.  Our ancestors ensured our place in this world.  It is by their love and hard work and faith that we have endured and grown.  The elders pass on and leave this world to the next generation, our generation, and it is up to us to make a difference and secure our collective future.   Come out on October 24th to take part in this process, or contact me if you’d like to become involved in any of the community projects and events being organized in the Albany area.

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