FORT WILLIAM FN, June 10 /CNW/ - Chiefs of 40 First Nations in Ontario are prepared to impose toll fees on all traffic passing through their territories.
Delegates at the Annual General Assembly of the Anishinabek Nation unanimously endorsed a resolution directing the Union of Ontario Indians to erect toll booth signs at their offices and escalate a direct action campaign against the illegal imposition of the 13% Canada-Ontario Harmonized Sales Tax.
"We have told other governments that they cannot treat First Nations like subjects or slaves to their will," said Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee. "We have told them they cannot ignore our treaty and inherent rights and the decisions of their own courts. We have told them they cannot impose their taxes on our Nation.
"We have drawn our line in the sand."
Chiefs gave Madahbee a strong mandate to coordinate a program of direct action if Canada and Ontario do not agree to continue a point-of-sale tax exemption after the July 1st implementation of the HST.
Several First Nations have already staged roadblocks and erected toll booths on major highways in Ontario and have announced plans to block railway traffic.
"This is a watershed issue for our people," said Madahbee. "Leadership is responding to a groundswell of opinion from our 55,000 citizens who will do what it takes to defend their rights."
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 40 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.
SOURCE Anishinabek Nation
For further information: For further information: Maurice Switzer, Communications Director, Union of Ontario Indians, Phone: (705) 497-9127 (ext. 2272), Cell: (705) 494-0687, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Marci Becking, Communications Officer, Phone: (705) 497-9127, (ext. 2290), Cell: (705) 494-0735, E-mail: email@example.com