MNN. Mohawk Nation. 5-Jun-98. The agreement negotiated by Joe Norton and signed by Byron Horne to pay taxes to the Quebec provincial government on sales of cigarettes on Kahnawake Mohawk Territory is illegal according to Iroquois law as well as Canadian law.
The Mohawk Nation and the Iroquois Confederacy have always held that neither the Quebec nor the Canadian government have the right to enforce their laws on Mohawk Territory. Back in 1921 Chief Deskaheh presented a petition from the Six Nations to King George V to defend Iroquois sovereignty. According to a memo he gave to the Colonial office with the petition, the British North America Act, which is considered to be the beginning of the constitution of Canada, "was neither intended nor understood at the time of its enactment to make the slightest change in the relation of the Crown to our people."
The independence of the Iroquois people was recognized many times from the signing of the first Treaty 1664. In 1796 the Attorney-General reported that "the British government could not wish to enforce its laws on a separate people" and in 1860 Sir Francis Head consulted the Imperial government to make sure a new law he was proposing made "no change whatsoever in the rights of Indian Tribes."
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peopels has also recognized our right to self-government without interference by Canadian federal or provincial authorities.
Any kind of agreement negotiated by Norton on behalf of Club Rez and the Quebec provincial government has to be done on a nation to nation basis. Norton is negotiating away sovereignty that Mohawk people have fought for since long before Canada became a country. Norton has no authority to negotiate away Mohawk sovereignty.
He is paid by the Canadian Government. He has betrayed our people over and over again. How can the few people who do take part in the Canadian Government band council system overlook this?
As Deskaheh said, we are an independent people. We are not subjects of Canada or Quebec. This is why we don't vote in Canadian elections.
Canadians don't vote in US elections. Canadians don't let Americans apply their law in Canada. Why should they expect us to apply their laws on in our territory? That's why Mohawk should not vote in the Canadian band council elections and, most certainly, the people should not let Norton apply Canadian and Quebec law on Mohawk territory.
Mohawk Nation News (MNN)
P.O. Box 991, Kahnawake Mohawk Territory (Quebec, Canada) J0L 1B0