An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Trafficking in Contraband Tobacco), Bill C-10, is a direct attack on the economy of Six Nations. The traditional practice and trade of tobacco and tobacco-related products has evolved into a commercial commodity that supports many Six Nations families.
The Six Nations Elected Council has repeatedly informed the government that the economy and trade in our territory is our right to govern and regulate. In 1994, the Elected Council passed a resolution stating that any product made on Six Nations is tax-free.
The Six Nations Elected Council has signed a Declaration, along with the other Iroquois communities, denouncing Bill C-10. The Six Nations Council is prepared to work with other First Nations to take action in attempts to defeat Bill C-10.
Many members of the Six Nations Elected Council attended the Two Row Times Information session on February 22, 2014, and heard the community’s message loud and clear. The community is against the criminalization of the tobacco economy here on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
Six Nations Council is working on political, legal and communication strategies to address this pressing issue. One part of the strategy is to host a community meeting in order to get input as to how we can address this issue as a unified community, as Bill C-10 will impact us all. It is hoped that all members of the tobacco trade, such as manufacturers, retailers, growers, etc. will attend this community meeting. A date, time and location will be determined soon.
The Six Nations Council also plans to meet with government officials to inform them of the serious implications that will ensue if Bill C-10 is passed.