Kahnawake Tobacco Association: Why bully the Mohawks since "the people responsible for organized crime are neither Mohawks nor Natives"?

    MONTREAL, April 2 /CNW Telbec/ - During an urgent meeting held this last
Tuesday in Kahnawa:ke, the members of the KTA which regroups more than 95
manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of the tobacco industry gave clear
mandate to the board of directors to take action in order to counteract the
allegations that tarnish the image and reputation of the Native population of
Kahnawake; written in The Gazette (Montreal) in the last few days.
Furthermore, the board of directors was asked to retain the services of a Law
Firm that will determine if or not there is matter for legal suit and the case
being to start the necessary procedures against: reporter William Marsden and
The Gazette of Montreal.
    "It is a fact" said Chairman of the Board, Mr. Peter Thomas, "that there
is tobacco trading on our territory but first and foremost, we need to
establish that tobacco commerce and organized crime are two different spheres,
whereas the people responsible for organized crime are neither Mohawks nor
Natives. "However" said the Chairman, "if there is cigarette contraband in our
community, the blame should fall on the bad faith and incompetence of certain
civil servants of the Quebec Ministry of Revenue".
    Sitting in the debates as well, the KTA spokesperson also member of the
Board of Administrators, Mr. Louis Stacey, denounced the lack of collaboration
and the incompetence of the Quebec Revenue Ministry in treating the
manufacturing license applications submitted by those legitimate federally
licensed tobacco manufacturers of Kahnawa:ke. "It makes no doubt in our minds
that the Quebec Government favours Major tobacco Manufacturers to the
detriment of small legitimate entrepreneurs whether they be Natives or
non-Natives. Unfortunately, our Mohawk Nation which prides itself in
auto-government, which prides itself in the aspiration of auto-sufficiency by
creating local employment, sponsoring elders and children as is well
demonstrated by the recent KTA actions, is suffering Indian Bashing again and
is being bullied by some reporters in search of sensationalism at the risk of
igniting a powder keg that is already overheated". The real crisis, we are
living it very strongly within, why should outside newspapers risk the peace
and lives of our children that attend schools off reserve; as it has been the
case lately"?
    "To conclude" said spokesman Stacey, "it is the right and duty of the
Mohawk tobacco manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to defend their
industry and rights. And to this effect, we, the Board of Directors of the
Kahnawa:ke Tobacco Association await the setting up of a joint conference of
the Mohawk Government, the Federal Government as well as the Quebec Government
and all other concerned parties, to settle once and for all the tobacco trade
in Kahnawa:ke; with all due respect of our ancestral rights. For this, we will
give mandate to our lawyers to communicate with all concerned so that this
Parley sees day in the shortest of delays.

For further information:

For further information: Louis Stacey, Kahnawake Tobacco Association,
(450) 638-3682

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