Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi Newsletter 2021


In typical operations community members would come and select items, but when COVID started we had to be creative to continue to have the food shelf open as all Non-Profits were closed by the Governor. Volunteers maned phone lines 3 days a week and brought food outside to place in vehicles for contactless delivery. When a family battling COVID called, our volunteers prepared food boxes and masked up to deliver boxes to their doorsteps.

In 2021 we were able to feed 1,052 families and 4,000 individual people not only from Franklin County but Lamoille, Chittenden and even from upstate New York.

A big shout out to Anne Lampman and April Lapan for volunteering 3 days a week! Also, to Butch Barrat for assisting Ann and April. Thank you to Anne and other family members for picking up food every weekend from our local Hannaford. Without all of them our food shelf would not look as good as it does today!

Thank you to Heathy Roots for giving us our summer gleaning bags. Thank you to Vermonters Feeding Vermonters for our grant to buy locally raised beef, chicken, eggs or locally grown vegetables and fruits. Thank you to Vermont Food Bank for delivery of our bulk food on the first Tuesday of the month.

The food shelf is open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 9:00 – 4:00.

Grants Received

Seventh Generation- Flicker Grant

Harris and Frances Block Foundation

VT Chronic Disease Grant

STOP Grant


Vermont Food Bank

Vermont Community Foundation

Voices Grant

Firearms Technical Assistance Project

Agnes Lindsey Trust

Seventh Generation- Thriving Women

Vermont Humanities

Vermont Arts Council

STOP Grant

Michele Bessette is our local Advocate and Outreach Coordinator. She is located at the Tribal Office and is available for emergencies. She also provideds advocacy, community outreach, education, support groups and substance abuse prevention. 1-802-782-3843


[email protected] 

Hi my name is Michele Bessette and I am very excited to be the Advocate/Outreach Coordinator for the STOP Grant at Abenaki Nation of Missiquoi. I will be working within the Abenaki Community with families that have been impacted by domestic violence. It is our goal to build resiliency and skill to help families overcome obstacles which may have led to their victimization. We hope to bring together all of the best parts of our communities to help empower and connect these families on their journey to wellness.


A little about myself, I have a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling from Northern Vermont University (Johnson State College), a Bachelors in Psychology (NVU), and an Associates in Human Services at Community College of Vermont. One of the biggest things I love and enjoy the most is spending time with family. You can reach me at (802) 782-3843.

Voices Against Violence Grant

We help victims of domestic and sexual violence access housing resources to be safe and self-sufficient.

Please contact Michele Bessette at (802) 782-3843 or email [email protected]

Great Groups Offered at Tribal Headquarters

Women’s Circle of Support


Educational Support around Staying Substance Free

Thursdays - Dec 9 – Jan 6

10:30 am – 12:30 pm


Michele Bessette

1-802-782-3843 or [email protected]

100 Grand Ave

Swanton, VT 05488

Blackie Lampman Maquam Bay of Missisquoi Abenaki Scholarship

We were able to provide a $1,000 scholarship to Cheyenne Lampman this past spring. Cheyenne will be going to Champlain College as a Gaming Artist.

Next year we will be offering another scholarship.

The Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi will award at least one scholarship of up to $1,000 to an Abenaki high school senior at Missisquoi Valley Union High School who has been accepted to a four-year college, community college or trade school. All scholarship awards will be paid directly to the recipient and must be used for college expenses, such as tuition and books.

Chief's Corner

Since our last newsletter the Tribal office has been very busy. Our food shelf volunteers have not only been busy with everyday food boxes but also making sure everyone that came was provided a Thanksgiving box. For that I want to thank April Lapan, Ann Lampman, Lester Lampman and Butch Barratt.

Chantel has been reaching out to various businesses and organizations looking for donations. Thank you to Chantel for the outstanding work she has been doing this past year!

Thank you to local businesses for your generous donations. Donations have been going towards the running of the food pantry as well as the back building. This year we have received many food donations, and have been able to collect enough coats to keep our free coat racks full the days the food pantry is open. 

Another topic I would like to share is that Tribal is working with the City of Burlington to help with some changes within the city. Also, we are working with the State of Vermont with the truth and reconciliation. They have given Abenaki a public apology for their wrong doing but the Tribe and other Bands are working on a monetary donation that will help all Tribes/Bands. 

We are also in the process of working on getting Federally recognized. We are looking for help in accomplishing this. If you have time and ideas, please email the Chief at [email protected], we would be pleased to have you!

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Chief Richard Menard


Community Health and Wellness

On December 6, 2021, Donna Toneatti became our new Community Program Facilitator. She will be working on bringing health and wellness programs to our community with the help of local partners.  One of the programs we are hoping to have available this winter is a Diabetes Prevention/Management class.

These free classes will guide and support you to:

·       Solve problems and create plans for action

·       Make healthier eat choices

·       Get more physical activity into your daily life

·       Better monitor your blood sugar levels

·       Prepare for how to safely monitor and manage your diabetes during times of illness

·       Find ways to manager your stress

·       Be an active partner in working with your health care team*

As soon as we have a schedule for this program, we will be letting the community know through our social media, our newsletter, and local newspapers.

*My Healthy Vermont Diabetes Management page.


COVID – 19 and Our Community

To ensure that everyone in our community can get vaccinated, our tribal office has been hosting vaccine clinics. At our last clinic in October, we were able to provide 6 Pfizer vaccinations (boosters as well as 1st and 2nd doses) and 8 Moderna boosters. It was a good turnout.  We are hoping to have two more clinics in January and then hopefully continue them monthly or bi-monthly. We will keep everyone in the loop as to the schedule.

In the new year, we are also looking to begin offering COVID – 19 testing at the tribal office. We don’t know when this will happen yet but as soon as we have the details, we will let everyone know.

If you know of someone who is homebound and is having trouble getting to our vaccination clinics, please give us a call, and we can help to arrange to have someone visit the individual and provide the vaccinations. Our phone number is 802-868-6255.

Community Events

We were excited to hold 2 events this year. Our first event was held in Richford at the Davis Park. Though we were not able to place the 25’ Voyager Canoe in the water due to low water levels we were able to have the canoe on display. We had a great turn out of over 50 people to listen to real stories thank you Louise Larivee for sharing your stories of when you were growing up in Swanton, Vermont. We also sold t-shirts and crafts and we were able to bring in $1,487.00.


Special thanks to our sponsor for the events, “Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers (UMATR) and Wild & Scenic Committee and Missisquoi River Basin Association.


Our Goals for 2022

  • Voyager Canoe in the Missiquoi River
  • Gardens for Community Use
  • Creation of Community Room, Womens Lodge
  • Pow Wow Celebration
  • Drumming Classes
  • Basket Making Classes
  • Cultural and Well Being Classes

A Big Thank You To Our Local Businesses and People Afar (grants/donations)


Anne Slade Frey-crafts

7th Generation-Flicker Grant-food insecurities

River Community Grant-canoe in the river, planting and river clean up

Harris and Frances Block Foundation (Vermont)-gardening (stay tuned this spring)

VT Chronic Disease Grant/community health worker

Stop Grant-domestic violence, outreach Michele Bessette

Vermont Feeding Vermonters Grant-food insecurities, purchase food from local farmers

COVID Grant Department of State

Holy Trinity Church

Everyone from Quechee Vermont DE I Council

Vermont Food Bank

Vermont Arts Council

Vermont Humanities

Vermont Community Foundation

And many more...

Many donations from community members from Franklin County and afar!!


Free Tuition at CCV (Yes, really.)

For students with a family income of $50,000 or less.

VSAC and the Community College of Vermont have teamed up to offer Vermonters with a family income of $50,000 or less the opportunity to attend CCV tuition free.

Funded by the Vermont Legislature, the 802 Opportunity is open to new or returning students of any age, starting in the fall of 2021 and continuing for two academic years.  

Choose from 33 flexible programs. Day and evening classes. In person or online. 

Get the training you need for the job you want.

The high-demand, high-pay jobs in Vermont require college or training.

An associate degree or certificate from CCV can provide the knowledge and skills you’ll need to pursue a higher paying job, advance in the job you have, or build a foundation for further study.  

For instance …

  • an Early Childhood Education associate of arts (A.A.) degree helps students develop knowledge, skills, and experience to work effectively with young children and families.
  • an Information Technology associate of science (A.S.) degree prepares students for the exciting and ever-changing field of information technology.
  • Pharmacy Technician certificate prepares students to work as a pharmacy technician under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist.
  • Workplace Skills certificate provides students with the skills necessary to be successful in today's workplace: good communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making.

Explore all CCV programs here.

Tribal Council

Chief Richard Menard

Pamela Martin- Secretary

Brian (Butch) Barratt- Tribal Member

Robert (Bob) Richard- Tribal Member

Linda Richard- Tribal Member

Lester Lampman- Tribal Member

Roger Bushey- Tribal Member


Maquam Bay of Missquoi Board Members

Chantel Bockus- President/Grant Writer

Linda Richard- Vice President/Director

Joanne Crawford- Secretary

April Lapan- Treasurer

John Lavoie- Director

Brian (Butch) Barratt- Director

Janie Gregorie-Hiliker- Director

Crystal Lampman- Director

Sara Park- Director

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