The position paper “opposes the proposed cannabis law for multiple reasons, including but not limited to: A) its unconstitutional violation of our Aboriginal and Treaty rights on our unceded Indigenous lands, B.) the failure of Chief and Council to involve or consult with the people, C) the lack of transparency or accountability over the convoluted corporate structure created to monopolize the cannabis industry, and D) the way in which the law criminalizes Shawanaga members involved in the cannabis industry.”
Posts published in “Indigenous Cannabis Businesses”
A manager at Green Chief Naturals, licensed to operate by the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, confirms that they began carrying two varieties of dried cannabis from Seven Leaf on Friday, April 23. This appears to represent the first product from a federally licensed cannabis producer being sold in a retail location not authorized by a provincial cannabis authority, but instead by local First Nations authorities.
Pot shops are open in Akwesasne. Some say “peace and love.” Others say “not so fast.”
About two dozen people gathered at the Shawanaga Band Council office on Monday, March 22nd to rally against the March 11th, 2021 raid by Anishinabek Police Services on the High-Way 69 Medicinal dispensary. The group was led by Hereditary Chief Del Riley, a former head of the National Indian Brotherhood, and one of the main authors and negotiators for the sections of the Canadian constitution which are meant to safeguard Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.
Algonquin Amikwa Anishinaabek (Beaver People) living in Reserves #13 and #2 as described by the 1854 Rowan Proclamation and the 1850 Indians’ Protection Act are waging a legal battle to defend the Indigenous right to grow and trade cannabis.
Albert Sewell is facing some challenges in establishing his multi-million dollar, 30,000 square-foot commercial cannabis cultivation facility on the western edge of Rankin reserve.
"It's made it quite difficult for First Nations to actually do any business off-reserve, so I took it upon myself — once the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was tabled in B.C. — to step off-reserve and basically assert our rights within our territory, our practice, our rights within our territory."
At 9:30am on Monday, March 22nd, supporters of the High-Way 69 Medical Cannabis dispensary will gather in the parking lot of the store, and then travel in a convoy to the APS station in Wasauksing First Nation which launched the raid. The convoy will be led by Chief Del Riley and will demand that the APS return the stolen medicines and apologize for the raid. Supporters are asked to bring flags and signs and wear camo to show their support.
The High-Way 69 Medicinal Cannabis Shop was not deterred by the raid and has decided to re-open and will continue providing medicinal cannabis for their customers. According to one staff member, “Our rights have been violated, and I think we have to take a stand on it. By opening up again, we’re taking a stand.”
There is a growing push to set laws surrounding the sale of cannabis on reserves, especially as dozens of provincially-regulated stores are opening and eating into the market.