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I wanted to give you all an update on our Free Abenaki Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping permanent Vermont Licenses for both Residents and Non-Resident Citizens. I worked with Legislators this year to include more Free licenses in an Administrative Rules Bill and it passed - Signed by the Governor on June 7th, 2022. Effective date for the new licenses will be the first of the year. Note that your paperwork must be updated yearly. Citizens who would like to get free Vermont licenses should get their updated tribal id cards and certified paperwork prepared before applying. We keep moving forward.......
Following is a copy of the licensing information needed to apply for a Tribal Citizen Fishing and Hunting License. Note the words "Download PDF" below - just click on that to download and print a copy. Note that if you want to also have things such as archery, muzzle loader, and wildfowl licenses, you still have to pay for those add-ons.
Instructions on how to fill out the paperwork are on the first page.
Anyone who is on the tribal rolls of any of the tribes that are recognized by the State of Vermont can apply.
This is for Vermont Residents and Non-Residents.
For Nulhegan, you should have the updated version of the ID Card. The application form is available on the Nulhegan Citizens page. (See link in menu.)
Dan Coutu is in charge of this process. His contact information is on the form. However, if you have questions about the process, you can send Dan an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that you have the option to start the process by filling out the form below and sending it to Dan or you can send him an email and ask him to start the process and he will fill out his portion of the form and send you a paper copy.
How to renew your license.
You can view the instructions here or download them.
Please note that the Act goes into effect January 1, 2021. It is important to read a copy of the Act. You must apply for a special license - just carrying your card is not sufficient. However, there is no cost for the special license. Since this is a new program, further instructions will be provided before the law takes affect on what and how the process will work. This law does not include all big game tags (like bow, turkey, muzzle loader, etc.) which still would have to be purchased as extra. It only comes with what is issued with the combination hunting and fishing license. We will work on these rights at a later date.
Here's the video of the debate prior to passing the bill.
Here's an interesting article from The Other Paper
VERMONT ABENAKI SOVEREIGNTY TAKES STEP FORWARD - TRIBES RECLAIM HUNTING & FISHING RIGHTS - H. 716 PASSES
Today H. 716 became law:
"(7) A certified citizen of a Native American Indian tribe that has been recognized by the State pursuant to 1 V.S.A. chapter 23 may receive a free permanent fishing license or, if the person qualifies for a hunting license, a free permanent combination hunting and fishing license upon submission of a current and valid tribal identification card."
Just a decade ago the Abenaki did not even have the respect of recognition from the State of Vermont. Today, four tribes are recognized (the Nulhegan, Missisquoi, Kaosek, and Elnu). And further, as of 2012, the Nulhegan have even established a collectively owned Tribal Forest in the Northeast Kingdom. And as of today, with the passage of H. 716, all four Tribes have reclaimed their traditional hunting and fishing rights.
These are HUGE achievements in a very short time. And while all the Chiefs and active Tribal Citizens deserve honor and respect for realizing these achievements, Nulhegan Chief Don Stevens certainly deserves much credit for seeing these major victories through.
The Vermont AFL-CIO is proud to stand by the Vermont Abenaki Tribes and to support them in their efforts to reclaim their sovereignty. We are further honored to work with them in the Green New Deal coalition along with Rights And Democracy. Together we are strong.
David Van Deusen
President of the Vermont AFL-CIO
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