reply to post by superman2012
Choosing is tricky.
If I am in a position of power over you, and I choose
to control your choices, then I
am choosing for you, especially if if I punish any
choices that you might naturally make that aren't on my approved list.
For instance, I can might a logical argument that most blacks "chose" to remain slaves, as they had the choice to walk away as some did. The fact
that the success rate for escape was extremely low and failure severely punished limits the choices.
Saying people "choose" is not the same as saying they "freely choose". The difference lies in whether the individual has a free range of options
of their preference.
A torturer can legitimately say that the victim "chose" to be waterboarded. After all, the victim could do as asked but "chose" not to. And
anyway, they "chose" waterboarding over electroshock on the genitals.
When the options are that are available to someone are defined and proscribed by someone else, and choice is demanded, then the chooser doesn't
really exercise free choice. Would you rather eat dung, dirt, or rottten meat? Choose freely, but you must
choose, regardless of whether you
Most of the "choices" offered Native Americans are of that sort: choices with traps, choices with teeth, choices that all lead the same way:
dissolution and destruction.
Stay on the res with family, offering each other mutal support to endure an environment starved of development, starved of opportunity, prevented from
creating a true economy, or leave alone into a hostile world wherein success is rare and isolating, failure an expectation. Such are the choices
When the tribes attempt to choose to develop their own economies by supplying a product legally that is in competition with the majority culture's
business community, they usually respond with violence, either physical or legal:
The deal between Canada and big tobacco was a business arrangement between two partners. The Canadian government has an interest in keeping
tobacco sales high to collect more taxes, while at the same professing to cut down cigarette smoking to bring down medical care costs.
Smoking is on the decline. But these big companies and their corporate protector, Canada, want to keep the money rolling in. They are trying to
do this by putting legitimate indigenous tobacco manufacturers out of business
. They do not want legitimate Indigenous traders to legally sell tax free products. So they have to illegally stop our trade by bullying,
charging, threatening and fining us. Big tobacco companies are waiting to start up again big time. Canada does not want to “shoot the goose that
laid the golden egg” but it does want to steal any eggs laid by Indigenous people. In the meantime, the tobacco companies have moved all their
assets off-shore. British colonization of Turtle Island was founded on piracy. Throughout we have asserted our sovereignty including the duty to
look after our families according to our traditional laws and governance. Tobacco trade was always a part of our traditional culture. Today the
colonists want the valueless paper currency we are getting in exchange for our legitimate products. Who’s the counterfeiter here?
We are accountable to our mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, clanmothers, chiefs, clans and nations. Crown employees take an oath to uphold
the colonial way of life which is aimed at destroying us. They obviously want to stop us from having any means at all to look after each other and our
families. Most Ongwehonwe communities in Canada are so poor that people don’t have adequate nutrition. It really sticks in their craw to see that we
have found a way to feed our families and live decently.
On February 5 2009 our "smoke shops" and businesses in Six Nations and Tyendinaga came under fire. Canada decided to once again try to
illegally enforce its colonial jurisdiction on us and our territory. Squads of Six Nations Police and the Tyendinaga Mohawk Police, which are set up
by the Canadian government, acted under the direction of the colonial band councilors. They set out to remove all products from a smoke shop and even
tried to remove the building itself. Our men and women stopped them.
Marked and undercover police hid out in Caledonia behind Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire parking lots and elsewhere. An OPP cruiser that got “lost”
in Six Nations was turned back. In a former "dry run" the police would feign being lost in our community “accidentally”! The OPP were actually
testing our response so they could figure out the number, type of officers, weaponry and media required to attack us and make us look bad. They are
also testing their communications equipment in all these operations now. Martial law can’t be brought in until all the kinks are ironed out. The
band council police told us that if they can't "get the job done", outside authorities will be brought in. We wanted to see proof of their rights
to invade us and try to shut us down. The band council and its goons are part of the colonial “bankster” apparatus, no matter how dark their skin
is under their uniforms.
The same day, on February 5th, in Tyendinaga, six rez cops, with OPP SWAT Team backup 500 ft. down the road, went into a local bar claiming to
have a warrant which they refused to show. They seized some cases of beer and whisky. The owner is accused of not paying Ontario provincial taxes even
though there is no agreement for us to pay any taxes to foreigners. This is really a “protection racket”. At the other end of the community
towards the Trans Canada Highway 401 were parked SUVs, vans and a tactical team. They hesitate to come in as they know they have no jurisdiction over
us in any way. The murder at Ipperwash and the fiasco at Sharbot Lake still hang over their heads.
We have no agreement with the colony of Canada to pay any taxes to them. By international law we require a valid agreement contracted with our
full knowledge and consent, which does not exist. That can’t and will never happen.
It looks like Canada and big tobacco have made a deal to raise prices, collect the taxes and kill their biggest competitors, the Indigenous
people. It isn’t gonna work, guys. Unilaterally making laws, then forcing them down our throats by sending in your para-military death squads is
illegal. You know it!
Ia’koha:kowa & MNN Staff Mohawk Nation News www.m...
Authorities in British Columbia and Saskatchewan have recently seized thousands of cigarettes shipped by a Mohawk tobacco company in Kahnawake,
Que., aiming to establish a reserve-based distribution network throughout the Western provinces, APTN National News has learned.
Rainbow Tobacco president Robbie Dickson said provincial authorities had seized two separate shipments in British Columbia and one shipment in
Saskatchewan in the last few days.
The seizures signal an escalation in the confrontation between federally licensed Rainbow Tobacco and governments in three Western provinces.
Dickson is already in the midst of a legal battle with Alberta to recoup 14 million cigarettes seized Jan. 5 by provincial authorities from the
Montana First Nation.
Rainbow Tobacco had its federal license renewed on Jan. 11.
Rainbow Tobacco, which pays hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in federal tax, is aiming to cut provincial tax collectors out of cigarette
sales on reserves. The company argues that it doesn’t fall under provincial laws because tobacco trade between First Nations falls under federal
jurisdiction according to the Constitution.
“All these provincial tobacco (laws) have been passed without consulting First Nations people and any industry that directly affects First
Nations people has be go through consultation,” said Dickson. “(The provinces) went ahead and passed their tobacco (laws).”
The company’s position is gaining traction among First Nations leaders, including Assembly of First Nations national Chief Shawn Atleo who
recently called for provinces to respect First Nations jurisdiction.
“First Nations leaders and governments are legitimately asserting their authority and jurisdiction regarding tobacco sales and distribution in
their communities based on their authority over health, commercial activity and economics and trade,” said Atleo, in a recent statement.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Governor Andrew Cuomo has an ideal opportunity to create a new relationship with the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, one built on partnership,
mutual respect and an affirmation of the unique status of the region's native nations.
The governor can begin by appointing a permanent Native liaison to advise him on issues relevant to the Iroquois. This individual would be
nominated by the Iroquois and act as an ambassador, insuring that the governor has direct access to the leaders of the Confederacy and is given
accurate, reliable information as to those issues which affect state-Native relations.
This issue is a complex one, involving treaties and land claims as well as economic and environmental concerns. Periodic meetings between the
governor and the Iroquois are essential to establishing trust and reliability but Native leaders have not any substantial contact with the governor's
office since the Mario Cuomo's administration.
The result has been hostility and suspicion on both sides. Without effective communication the previous governors have stumbled about, unsure as
to how to act or even who to call during times of crisis. State policies involving Natives are drafted without the input of the Iroquois who naturally
resist any initiative by Albany to expand state authority or to qualify the economies on Native territory.
Governor Cuomo's father established the short lived Office of Indian Relations but made the fatal mistake of staffing it with former members of
the New York State Police. The Iroquois reacted by refusing to work with the Office since they were convinced it was an attempt to gather information
which was then used against them. The suspicions of the Iroquois were affirmed when they learned that Mario Cuomo's most important initiative was
to create a policy of trading casinos for land: the governor wanted the Natives to abandon their land claims in exchange for gambling compacts.
When the Confederacy rejected this proposal the former governor sought to deal directly with splinter groups among the Iroquois. He found one in
the Oneidas, by far the smallest Iroquois community and without a traditional governing council bound by the anti-gambling rules of the
Mario Cuomo's plan was that casino gambling would gradually introduce State taxes on Indian lands while eliminating Native criminal and civil
jurisdiction. He believed the Iroquois would become so addicted to the casino income they would surrender their lands.
This has come up before, but Cuomo’s budget plan assumes that the state will get $130 million from, finally, taxing cigarette sales on Indian
reservations to non-Indians.
From the budget’s revenue projections:
All Funds receipts are projected to be $1,786 million, an increase of $165 million, or
10.2 percent above 2010-11. This increase reflects the full year impact of the legislation
enacted in 2010-11, including $130 million in cigarette tax revenue from the
implementation of laws requiring the collection of tax on cigarettes sold on Indian
reservations to non-Native Americans.
News of the planned taxes was greeted warmly by an organization that has been pushing for that, the Enforce the Law, Collect the Tax Coalition
“The Enforce the Law Collect the Tax Coalition applauds Governor Cuomo for projecting real and significant increases in cigarette tax revenue in his
2011-2012 Executive budget. By projecting excise tax collections from the implementation of laws requiring the collection of tax on cigarettes sold
on Indian reservations to non-Native Americans, the Governor’s Executive budget proposal is yet another clear indication of the administration’s
commitment to rectifying this long standing inequity. We remain confident that the courts will soon conclude that the state is correct on these issues
and will clear the way to collect these much needed revenues.”
A reality check may be in order here, since the Indian tobacco tax has been on the books, unenforced, for years and it was supposed to happen last
year as the current budget was being finalized as well.
These are a few examples of what happens when tribes attempt to create a local sustainable economy. Non-tribal interests lose money and demand an end
to "special privileges" for Indians. States respond by trying to tax tribal income, something they have absolutely no right to do, anymore than New
York has the right to tax Rhode Island's economic activity, or Quebec that of Britsh Columbia's. I've seen this play out in many states the same
way: state police arriving to enforce a state's ruling that is usually, but not always, overturned as treaty violations after years of legal strife.
Meanwhile the tribal enterprise languishes and fails to prosper as it should, occasionally with deaths to mark the struggle.
This then is marked as a sign of the basic incompetence of Natives to either understand business or run one successfully. The end result has
historically been the appointment of a corrupt white businessman to "help", who diverts money, pays bribes, and controls contracts. This has been
changing slowly over the years, but still happens far too frequently: once is too much.
So simply saying that people "choose" this or that isn't as cut and dried as some would like to think.