Abenakis suggest compromise to recognition problem

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Vermont Abenakis are offering a compromise to state lawmakers on the thorny issue of official recognition.

Representatives of three of the state’s larger bands recommended yesterday that state legislators grant them outright recognition. Smaller bands would be allowed to apply to a state commission for recognition.

The recommendation comes as a possible solution to a dilemma created two years ago, when the Vermont Legislature granted recognition to Abenakis but not their specific bands.

But the compromise has its opponents: Some say such a system wouldn’t be fair to those from smaller bands. Judy Dow, of Essex is a member of a small family band of Winooski Abenaki. She says everyone should have to go through the same process for official recognition.

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