Review of Genealogies, Other Records Fails to Support Local Leaders’ Claims of Abenaki Ancestry
A controversy involving genealogies in New Hampshire highlights it may be difficult to prove one’s ancestry. Within a few weeks of starting her first term, State Representative Sherry Gould filed a resolution to give her American Indian tribe — the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation — state recognition in New Hampshire.
Under the language of the resolution, which would have made the Nulhegan Band New Hampshire’s first recognized tribe, the group would become eligible for federal housing funding for tribes and the right to sell arts and crafts as “Indian-made,” among other benefits.
Gould’s bill stalled in the House about a month later. But her new public role, and her effort to win official recognition for her tribe, have shined a new light on a longstanding controversy around the question of who has the authority to represent the Abenaki community.
The effort is controversial because there are no formal historic records identifying the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk Abenaki Nation as Abenaki.
You can read all about the controversy in an article by Julia Furukawa published in the New Hampshire NHPR web site at: https://tinyurl.com/bdes9eeb.