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.