Abenaki recognition may mean less representation on state commission

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Vermont’s Abenaki Indians have won state recognition, but that may carry some consequences they don’t want.

The law granting recognition calls for the abolition of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Native American Affairs. That will be replaced with a Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, whose members will be appointed by the governor.

Members of the Abenaki Tribal Council based in Swanton say they should be represented on the new panel, but the governor isn’t required to follow their recommendations.

Members of the existing commission met Thursday in Swanton. They say they don’t plan to apply to be on the new panel because they don’t like the way it was established.

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