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New Vermont Native American Commission meets

Montpelier, Vermont (AP) October 2010
 
A newly appointed Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs has started meeting in what officials say is a step toward creating a system for recognizing Indian tribes in the state.

Last week the nine-member commission heard testimony on the history of tribes seeking state recognition in Vermont.

A new state law created a process for the commission to recommend tribal recognition, which the Abenaki hope will allow them to sell their crafts as Native American and seek federal funding for education and other benefits.

The law is intended to address the shortcomings of a bill passed in 2006 that created the commission and recognized the Abenaki as a minority population in Vermont, but failed to allow them to label their crafts as Native American.



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