Mar 3/98: Mainstream clipping on violence at Onondaga


The focus of the dispute has been over the figures and profits of smoke shops

The Post-Standard
Tuesday, March 3, 1998
John Grau

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only. It may contain biased and distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts and/or context.]

The destruction of four smoke shops on the Onondaga Nation Monday was the latest episode in a saga of strife that has torn at a society.

The framework for the conflict is the Onondagas' status as a sovereign nation and its bearing on commercial sales, which are exempt from taxes that would apply to goods sold elsewhere in the state.

Shops selling cigarettes and fuel, which are heavily taxed elsewhere, have been particularly lucrative. The chiefs wants to open businesses to use profits for the welfare of the nation people.

But almost since 1983, when the Council of Chiefs decided to permit cigarette sales on the nation, there have been disputes between the council and retailers about sales figures, profits and regulation of commerce on the reservation.

Both sides would say they were using profits to benefit the nation and demand an accounting for those profits from the other. Neither side would comply with the other.

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