—April 13, 2023—
Vermont recently announced the three commissioners of its Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a group tasked with examining issues of racism, discrimination, and eugenics in state laws and policies, both historically and today.
As members of a marginalized community with homelands in what is now known as Vermont for more than 12,000 years, the Abenaki Alliance supports the intention of the Commission and stands with the commissioners as they embark upon a journey of research, review, and policy recommendations over the next three years.
We are optimistic about the progress made in the wake of the acknowledgement of and apology for state-sanctioned eugenics, and look forward to opportunities to support the important work of the Commission.
We applaud the Vermont legislature and Governor Scott for recognizing and supporting this intention to work together toward more positive, compassionate, and beneficial relationships. The Abenaki community is available to be a source for lived-experiences, cultural references, testimonials, and other relevant information. We encourage our partners, allies, and other historically disadvantaged groups to do the same.
We embrace this opportunity to provide our unique perspectives, share our stories, and lend our voices to the future of Vermont. We do this with respect and honor for all of our ancestors and future generations of Abenaki, and with the intention of finding common ground to build a better Vermont together.
–Abenaki Alliance is an inclusive community of four Vermont-recognized Western Abenaki tribes—Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, Elnu Abenaki Tribe, Koasek Traditional Band of the Koas Abenaki Nation, and Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation