Vt. formally recognizes 2 bands of Abenaki

Posted May 07, 2012, at 10:03 p.m.

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The state of Vermont now formally recognizes two more bands of the Abenaki Indian tribe.

On the lawn of the Statehouse in Montpelier on Monday, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed two bills recognizing the Missisquoi, St. Francis Sokoki band and the Koasek of the Koas as Native American tribes in Vermont.

Shumlin said the two tribes recognized Monday were the third and fourth recognized during the just ended, two-year legislative session. He says the Commission on Native American Affairs has worked hard at reviewing all four applications.

Just over a year ago, the state recognized a band in Windham County and another in northeastern Vermont.

In the past, the state had been reluctant to recognize the tribes believing it could lead to land claims and casinos.

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