A 2006 law granted Vermont's Abenaki recognition but failed to meet federal requirements for artists to market their wares as native-made.
The Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs is seeking to change the law and allow the commission to grant tribes recognition for the purpose of selling arts and crafts.
Please urge legislators to support an amendment to S. 117 that would give the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs the authority to recognize tribes and bands which allow Native artisans and craftspeople to label their work as Native-made.
There is still a great deal of fear and misinformation around this issue. This is not an attempt on the part of Native Americans to seize land, build casinos or evade taxes. Two years ago, the Legislature took the important first step of passing S.117 to grant recognition to Native Americans so they can label arts and crafts as Native-made items.
Please contact your legislator and ask him/her to support this amendment so that Native American people in Vermont can label their crafts as native-made.