note: this is about Mohawk Sovereignty; however, Jay's Treaty (which the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs references, see below) states, It is agreed that it shall at all times be free to His Majesty's subjects, and to the citizens of the United States, and also to the Indians dwelling on either side of the said boundary line, freely to pass and repass by land or inland navigation, into the respective territories and countries of the two parties, on the continent of America, (the country within the limits of the Hudson's Bay Company only excepted.) and to navigate all the lakes, rivers and waters thereof, and freely to carry on trade and commerce with each other.
I am forwarding the below call to support the Mohawk Nation. The authors ask that people forward it by email or post it to their websites.
URGENT CALL TO ACTION TO PREVENT MILITARY AND POLICE INCURSION ON MOHAWK TERRITORIES
March 2006 :: The Coalition in Support of Indigenous Sovereignty - Native Caucus is asking that you take some time to phone, email or fax the authorities below to register your objection to a potential incursion onto Mohawk Territories this spring and at any other time. This request comes as a result of warnings by community leaders in Akwesasne, Kahnawake, Kanehsatake and Tyendinega who are preparing for a joint Canadian Forces/RCMP raid on April 1, the latest in a series of actions designed to destroy the Mohawk tobacco trade.
Canada is being inundated with black market items, especially what the government considers to be illegally imported cigarettes. While there are numerous parties and individuals involved in the smuggling of cigarettes, the main focus of the government of Canada (GOC) is on the importers of the Mohawk Nation. Mohawks are able to buy cigarettes at one-quarter the cost in Canada, sell those cigarettes to non-natives who come to the Reserve, and make a considerable profit. The Akewesane Reserve "bridge" the U.S.-Canadian border, a border that the Mohawks do not acknowledge. As the governments of Canada and the United States do recognize that border, however, it can be argued that Mohawk traders are legally buying cigarettes in the U.S. and legally selling them in Canada within the boundaries of the Reserve. The GOC sees the actions as smuggling contraband across borders and is ready to take strong measures to curtail the activity.
Most of the cigarettes are allegedly being transported through the Akwesasne Reserve by Mohawks
The issue, to Mohawk traders, is one of trade and not of smuggling. The Mohawks view themselves as a nation within two nations, and Natives engaged in the cigarette trade view it as a matter of international trade. To many Mohawks, the cigarette issue is really another manifestation of the GOC's challenge to their national sovereignty. The Mohawks are also insisting that the GOC recognize the 1794 Jay Treaty that allows Mohawks to transport any goods the want across the U.S.-Canadian border without paying taxes. The Canadians maintain that they do not have to honor the treaty as it was signed by the Americans and the British. Fresh in the mind of many Mohawks is the 1990 Oka Crisis, in which Mohawk holy territory was taken by the GOC and used to build a golf course. The Crisis escalated into physical violence, in which several people were killed. Tensions are rising on Reserves throughout Canada, especially on those that are solely on Canadian soil. In October, 1992, a police raid and confiscation of cigarettes was responded to by a protest by 400 Manitoba Natives who blocked a U.S. border crossing in response to the "illegal" police raid. The cigarette trade issue has become an issue of self-determination.
Another important aspect of this dispute is the increasing violence accompanying the trade. Over the past five years, 75 members of the Mohawk nation have been killed in connection to the trade, an astounding number for a population of 7,000 people.
[+] Native American Free Passage Rights Under the 1794 Jay Treaty: Survival Under United States Statutory Law and Canadian Common Law
Abstract: Since 1794, Native American groups in both the United States (U.S.) and Canada have enjoyed the right of “free passage” across the U.S.-Canadian border per the provisions of the Jay Treaty. However, development and recognition of this right have taken decidedly different courses: while the U.S. has treated the right very liberally under statutory codification, the Canadian government has opted to develop, and restrict, the right under their courts’ common law. This Note discusses the origin and development of the “free passage” right under the Jay Treaty, and encourages both the continued recognition of the right, as well as a stronger Canadian common law effort to harmonize treatment of the right with U.S. jurisprudence.
[+] The Jay Treaty, 1794
The Jay Treaty is technically not an Aboriginal treaty as it was signed between the British government and the United States. However, it affected Aboriginals in Canada, particularly the Six Nations. Following the American Revolution, Aboriginals in the newly created United States began to be pushed further west by white settlement. The British also continued to post soldiers in garrisons in the west. American cavalry expeditions into the Ohio Valley in the early 1790s were met with fierce resistance and fighting from Aboriginals, which culminated in 1794 in the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The latter side lost this battle near current-day Toledo, Ohio, which resulted in the opening of white settlement further west.
To prevent war with the U.S. over Aboriginal land rights and the creation of a 'buffer' state between setters and Aboriginals, Britain negotiated a peace agreement. They agreed to remove all Crown officials from their posts south of the Great Lakes by June 1796. In return, the British obtained permission for Aboriginals to freely cross the Canada-U.S. border. This was done partly out of concern for Aboriginal allies, but also to ensure the continued success of the fur trade - as traders in Montréal relied on furs from Aboriginals in the upper Mississippi Valley.
In recent times, the U.S. government has seen the Jay Treaty as an agreement that gives status Indians the right to freely work and live across the border. However, the Canadian government does not. This difference in legal opinion has been frequently challenged in the courts by Six Nations tribes, whose ancestral lands have been cut in two by the U.S.-Canadian border.
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) have reached an agreement with Native Trading Associates (NTA) to make NTA the first manufacturer on the Saint Regis Mohawk Reservation in New York to come into compliance with Federal law. The settlement resolves issues related to NTA’s manufacture of tobacco products on an Indian reservation without the payment of Federal excise tax, manufacturing without a permit or bond, and the distribution of cigarettes in violation of the Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act (CCTA). NTA will pay taxes on all cigarettes it manufactures, and keep all required records under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and the CCTA. NTA is a member of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and manufactures tobacco products on its reservation in New York.
In 2002, ATF began an investigation into the manufacture of cigarettes on the Saint Regis Reservation. The settlement marks the culmination of efforts by TTB, ATF, NTA and the United States Attorney of the Northern District of New York to bring NTA into compliance with Federal laws and regulations.
For several years, NTA had asserted that it was exempt from Federal regulation of the manufacture of its cigarettes based upon a claim of tribal sovereignty. Under the terms of the agreement, NTA agrees to the administrative forfeiture of $2 million, to be split between TTB and ATF. Mary Ryan, Assistant Administrator for Field Operations (TTB), stated, “I believe this agreement represents a tremendous achievement in the administration of Federal tobacco tax laws and a considerable step forward in TTB’s relationship with manufacturers on Native American Reservations. We hope that the agreement will encourage other similarly-situated cigarette manufacturers to willingly come into compliance with the tobacco tax laws.”
“This settlement marks the culmination of many years of hard work by the ATF New York Field Division, TTB and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York,” said Michael Bouchard, ATF Assistant Director, Office of Field Operations. “It clearly shows what we can achieve when we combine our resources and utilize the collective expertise of our agencies to end illegal operations.”
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 split the former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms into two new agencies. ATF moved to the Department of Justice, was renamed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and ended its revenue collection and regulation of the alcohol and tobacco industries. Those functions were assumed by the new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which remained within the Treasury Department.
[+] Registration of Food Facilities Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002
DOCKET NUMBER: 2002N-0276
The Haudenosaunee Confederacy, also known as the Iroquois Confederacy, was formed when the Peacemaker brought the Great Law of Peace to the warring nations. At the founding, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy was composed of five nations: The Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. Around 1714, the Tuscarora joined the Confederacy making it six nations strong. Sometimes the Haudenosaunee are also referred to as the Six Nations Iroquois. Each nation within the Confederacy has a fire or capital. The Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs (MNCC) is the traditional government of the Mohawk people. The Haudenosaunee Confederacy recognizes and sanctions the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs as the official government of the Mohawk or Kahniakahake (People of the Flint). The fire or capital of the Mohawk Nation rests at Ahkwesahsne (also known as the St. Regis Indian Reservation).
The Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs file these comments in response to FDA’s notice requesting comments concerning the Registration of Food Facilities Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.
COMMENTS OF THE MOHAWK NATION COUNCIL OF CHIEFS
The Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs contends that the FDA’s newly promulgated rule, Docket Number: 2002N-0276: Registration of Food Facilities Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, should not apply to Ahkwesahsne (St. Regis Indian Reservation) or facilities within Ahkwesahsne based on the following reasons: 1.) Ahkwesahsne is a sovereign territory of the Mohawk Nation; and, 2.) The newly promulgated rule violates Haudenosaunee treaty rights.
Ahkwesahsne is geographically unique, for it straddles the St. Lawrence River and is bordered by the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Canada, and New York State. The Ahkwesahsne Mohawks have inhabited and governed this area since time immemorial. Today Ahkwesahsne has three government councils: The Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs, the Mohawk Council of Ahkwesahsne, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. The MNCC are the hereditary chiefs. The newly proposed FDA rule is viewed by the MNCC as an affront to the nation’s sovereignty, for it imposes another nation’s requirements within the territory of the Mohawk Nation. Such an imposition within the Mohawk Nation is a violation of treaty rights and obligations owed to the Ahkwesahsne Mohawks.
Haudenosaunee Treaty protocol requires that prior to entering into treaties and agreements the teachings of the Two Row Wampum be discussed and agreed upon. The Two Row Wampum is a 16th century treaty belt originally created to record an agreement between the Dutch and the Haudenosaunee. The belt consists of two rows of purple wampum separated by three white rows. The three white rows between the two vessels symbolize respect, Good Mind, and Peace and they help to keep the vessels connected. The two purple rows symbolize two distinct people traveling a river together, parallel to each other. One row symbolizes the Onkwehonweh people (The Original People) and his customs, religion, language, laws and culture traveling down the river of life in a canoe. The other row symbolizes the Europeans and their customs, religion, language, laws and culture traveling down the river of life in his ship with sails. The two agreed never to impede the path of the other vessel or try to sway it in another direction, or to make a law that would govern the other party or try to dictate rules to the other party. As one can plainly see, the newly promulgated rule would violate the teachings of the Two Row Wampum by dictating rules within the territory of the Ahkwesahsne Mohawks.
In addition, the newly promulgated rule violates Article 3 and 4 of the Jay Treaty Nov. 19, 1794, in that it impedes upon the Ahkwesahsne Mohawks right to “freely pass and repass by Land, or Inland Navigation, into the respective Territories and Countries of the Two Parties on the Continent of America (the Country within the Limits of the Hudson's Bay Company only excepted) and to navigate all the Lakes, Rivers, and waters thereof, and freely to carry on trade and commerce with each other.” As one can plainly see, the newly promulgated rule would violate the teachings of the Two Row Wampum, the Jay Treaty, and other Treaty rights, for it is an attempt by the United States to impede free passage and dictate rules within the territory of the Ahkwesahsne Mohawks.
[+] The Jay Treaty, 1794, Treaty of Amity Commerce and Navigation
Concluded November 19, 1794; ratification advised by the senate with amendment June 24, 1795; ratified by the President; ratifications exchanged October 28, 1795; proclaimed February 29, 1796.
[+] US, Implied Powers, Enumerated Powers, Jay's Treaty
Nov. 1794 Agreement between Lord Grenville and John Jay designed to reduce tensions and avert war with Britain. Secondary goal: to establish American neutrality in the wars surrounding French Revolution. British violations of Treaty of Paris (failure to evacuate Northwest), British seizure of American shipping, and the closure of British ports to American exports were the main sources of tension. Britain agreed to evacuate Northwest by 1796, provide compensation for losses inflicted on American shipping, end restrictions on American commerce, and grant American merchants trading rights in Britain and West Indies colonies. The Mississippi was to be open to navigation by both countries, and US was not to allow foreign powers to outfit privateers in American ports. Established joint commission to determine boundaries between US and British Canada (basis for modern international arbitration procedures). Most unpopular stipulation: commission established to oversee repayment of American prewar debts to British creditors. Treaty failed to resolve West Indies disputes and prevented US from placing restrictions on British shipping to strengthen American commerce. France interpreted treaty as violation1778 commercial treaty- French ships began to seize American ships trading in British ports (Quasi War). Treaty barely ratified by Senate; House of Representatives attempted to withold necessary funds to implement treaty. Despite failures, American neutrality was established and commerce flourished until Treaty expiration (1805).
[+] EMBARGO @ Library of Economics and Liberty
The articles in Jay's treaty, which related to neutral commerce, expired by limitation at the end of twelve years. The state of affairs at their expiration was even more unfortunate for the United States than in 1794. In 1805 almost the whole civilized world had been drawn into the whirlpool of the successive wars between Napoleon and Great Britain. Sweden, Denmark, the Hanse towns and the United States were the only neutral maritime powers, and were growing rich so rapidly by their almost complete absorption of the carrying trade that their prosperity was a constant eye-sore to British merchants and a temptation to belligerent cruisers + April 18, 1806, after a debate of two months, a "non-importation act" was passed, which prohibited, after the following November, the importation of certain specified articles, the productions of Great Britain and her colonies. This measure seems to have been designed to strengthen the hands of William Pinkney and James Monroe, who were appointed in April joint ministers to Great Britain no negotiate a new treaty to succeed those parts of Jay's treaty which were to expire with this year. Dec. 19, 1806, the non-importation act was suspended until July 1, 1807 + Monroe and Pinkney concluded a treaty Dec. 31, 1806, which confirmed the unexpired articles of Jay's treaty, secured the indirect neutral trade between a belligerent and its colonies by a landing in the neutral country, and exempted provisions from the list of contraband. It again yielded the rights of search and impressment, upon a verbal assurance that they would be exercised only under extraordinary circumstances; and for this reason President Jefferson declined to submit the treaty to the senate for confirmation, and ordered a continuance of the negotiation. This decision, not so much in itself as in the refusal to back it by the instant and industrious preparation of a strong naval force, laid the foundation for most of the difficulties of the following eight years. It confirmed the bent of the dominant party in the United States against the formation of a navy (see DEMOCRATIC PARTY, II., III.; GUNBOATSYSTEM), and it furnished fresh reasons and excuses for the growing anti-neutral disposition of the British government, which was not in the habit of paying any great attention to the remonstrances of arguments of a defenseless nation.