Divide and Conquer

One of the most effective methods in warfare is to separate the attention of your enemy between many but equally important fronts and then strike while their focus is divided. The Canadian Government has been using this strategy as a method of fighting against the Native People of this continent. The ultimate goal of the Canadian Government is to rid itself of its “Indian problem” – ie our existence. As long as the Government can throw legislation at our People that can diminish our quality of living we will continue to scramble in many different directions. We will stay divided. The greatest strength we have is our ability to come together in times of need. As long as we remain divided, we can be conquered. We must be indivisible to ensure the protection and future of our children.

The First Nations Educations Act, Hydro-Fracking, the Tar Sands, Murdered and Missing Women, cuts to First Nations Health Care, Bill C-10, unsafe drinking water, inadequate housing; where do we look first? Our concentration could easily be engaged on multiple paths. Bill C-10 is one of those acts aimed at tearing out the economic foundation of the Ohnkwehonh:we and putting our focus in one direction. Personal bias cannot be allowed to detract from the important contribution tobacco has made towards our renewed sense of integrity and self reliance. The tobacco trade has built an infrastructure that has allowed us independence from any source of government enslavement. The tobacco trade has created jobs for farmers, for factory workers, engineers, mechanics, retailers, wholesalers. Businesses have been built with the money from tobacco including pizza parlors, flower shops, beauty salons, health clubs; the list goes on. The monies radiating from the tobacco industry are the pheromones which have caught the attention of Corporate Canada.

According to various studies by such agencies as The Norman Patterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), “Contraband products represent about 15% of Canada’s tobacco market and hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit revenue, lost legal earnings and lost taxes.” Money has been at the root of all the issues for which Canada has done battle to marginalize and eradicate the Aboriginal Peoples. Money has been at the root of power the Government uses to keep the working class in debt. Control over the people that smoke, no matter the color, keeps the Canadian state wealthy and the general public poor. The Government has been using such bogus scare tactics as tying the sale of tobacco to organized crime, drugs, arms dealing and terrorism.

Bill C-10 was first introduced under the precursor Bill S-16 as part of an omnibus bill that was prorogued on October of 2013. Bill C-10 amends the criminal code to include terms of imprisonment and for the offender to be held accountable for an indictable offence. The “Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act”, as it is also known, states that we cannot sell, offer for sale, distribute, transport or have in our possession for the purpose of sale, a tobacco product… How is the Canadian State legislating authority over the tobacco market on our territories? The general public is grossly unaware of the illegality of the Canadian Government to enter our territories much less to enact legislation made in their House of Commons. We are another people living in our own country. The fact that we are another country is recognized by Canada or they would never have sat down at a negotiation table with us. The “Tackling Contraband Tobacco Act” is being put in place to violate our treaties and further weaken our sovereignty.

Canada is declaring war on the people, not just the Onhkwehonh:we. We are all being criminalized by a greedy and zealous Government. A Government which uses an array of ploys to divert attention from the real matters at hand. We are well within our rights to sell, offer for sale, produce, distribute, transport or have in our possession tobacco – a plant given to us by the Creator and one that we have had a sacred relationship with for thousands of years. The Canadian State endeavours to dispossess the Onkwehon:we peoples of Turtle Island of the natural resources under our stewardship. We cannot allow them to divide our attention and think we are unaware. We cannot allow them to conquer us. We all must stand together. United we stand, divided we fall.

Related Posts


  1. Contraband is the word that the government has attached to our tobacco stating that any tobacco diverted from the general (white) market unto reservations for broader distribution is then contraband. The way they use language to further criminalize us should not be surprising

  2. I’m interested to know who wrote this particular piece, if you could let me know, that’d be great.

  3. Native tobacco is not contraband.

    The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a recognized Aboriginal right and title contained in the Canadian Constitution is one that existed before the Royal Proclamation 1763 and was contiued after the proclamation. Tobacco trade between the Haudenosaunee, other nations and settlers has existed since contact and continues to exist today.

    Further the Royal Proclamation 1763 recognized the right of Indigenous people to continue to trade with settlers:

    “And we do, by the Advice of our Privy Council, declare and enjoin, that the Trade with the said Indians shall be free and open to all our Subjects whatever….”

    “And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to our Interest, that the several Nations or Tribes of Indians with whom We are connected…should not be molested or disturbed in the Possession of such Parts of Our Dominions and Territories as, not having been ceded to or purchased by Us…”

    Southern Ontario south of the Ottawa River was recognized by the British as Six Nations Territory in 1757 (Mitchell Map), and further recognized again in 1776 (Jeffries Map) and would therefore still be Six Nations Territory according to the RP1763 unless it was surrendered to the Crown specifically by the Six Nations. However, in negotiations of the Treaty of Loggstown 1754 Six Naitons put the British on notice that no other surrenders would take place on penalty of a war on frontier settlers. (If you notice the wording in RP1763 it not only prohibits occupation of ‘Indian Lands’ but imposes a penalty of treason for those occupying ‘Indian Lands’.)

    When the Treaty of Paris severing the war between the French and British was made in February of 1763, it awarded Quebec to the British as one of its colonies. Lower Canada was surrendered. Upper Canada was not surrended by the French since they knew well that it was Six Nations Territory.

    The long and the short of it is that Six Nations still holds Ontario free and clear never surrendering any part and that trade of any kind within SN Territorial boundaries remains constitutionally protected. That means that not only the tobacco trade is Constitutionally entrenched but so is the prohibition of taxation on any goods or service sold or bought by Six Nation (Haudenosaunee) people. It also means that settlers found within that territory are equally protected from taxation under Canadian law when dealing with Six Naitons business.

    One last note to keep in mind when Canada Revenue Agency (who are behind the attempted taxation of Six Nations communities as well as the tobacco is contraband myth) comes calling is to remind them that any money or goods recieved either by any Six Nations citizen whether or not is was from a business dealing immediately becomes his/her personal property (not income) and is constitutionally protected from any and all taxation.

Comments are closed.