A judge found that White and Montour were exercising the rights of the Mohawk nation to direct its own economy.
The Two men won’t face criminal charges thanks to ancient treaties written in the 1600s and 1700s, a Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday.
In a much-anticipated and precedent-setting trial, Judge Sophie Bourque ruled that the Crown was wrong to charge Derek White and Hunter Montour with criminal charges related to smuggling tobacco.
The pair were among 60 people arrested as part of Operation Mygale on March 30, 2016, an investigation into alleged tobacco smuggling from the United States and evasion of millions of dollars in taxes that should have been paid to the provincial and federal governments.
Police alleged tobacco was traded between North Carolina, New Jersey and Canada. They claimed more than 20 shipments totalling nearly 2,300 tonnes of tobacco were shipped to warehouses in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and St-Rémi. White was charged with defrauding Quebec of $44 million in tobacco taxes.
In 2019, White, a former NASCAR driver, was acquitted on one of the two charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. However, he was found guilty of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and profiting from organized crime for not paying federal excise tax on the tobacco that was imported from the United States. Montour was found guilty of aiding organized crime.
White was facing up to 14 years in prison, while Montour was facing up to five years.
Tobacco is used to communicate with creation.
The pair launched a constitutional challenge to that ruling, arguing that Excise Tax Act tariffs on imports are not applicable to Mohawk people based on Section 35 Constitution Act rights as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and rights to trade tobacco tax-free.
They argued that the Mohawk nation has the right to control its economy based on ancient agreements with the British colonial powers.
To argue their case, the pair referred to 10 treaties drawn up in between 1664 and 1760, as well as the Covenant Chain, a 1764 agreement between the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy and the British colonies. The agreement states that Indigenous people have the right to control their economies and lawyers for White and Montour said that includes the tobacco trade.
On the other side, the Crown argued that the Covenant Chain was never considered to be a treaty that is protected under the rights of Indigenous people to self-government.In her 365-page judgement, however, Bourque found that the Covenant Chain was still valid, and that it superseded the other 10 treaties. The Covenant Chain concludes that the Mohawk nation has the right to freely develop its economy, she said. This right is inherent for all Indigenous people and it is protected by the Haudenosaunee traditional justice system. She found that White and Montour were exercising those rights, so the criminal charges against them were not valid.She also found that Article 42 of Canada’s excise law was an unjustified violation, giving the Ministry of Revenue a large discretionary power on issuing licences on the tobacco trade without considering ancestral rights.
Bourque said the trial served as an opportunity to re-evaluate ancient agreements with Indigenous communities in light of Canada’s adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The trial lasted from October 2021 to April 2022. It took Bourque an additional 18 months to render her judgement. The ruling is considered to be an important and precedent-setting one, and as such it may be appealed.
The Mothers gave the first statement before Justice Gregory Moore. Beginning with Mohawk Mother Kwetiio, the Mothers urged the court to enforce the settlement agreement, which, in Kwetiio’s interpretation, states that all parties are bound to the recommendations of the court-appointed expert archaeological panel. Kwetiio further alleged that McGill had sent contracts to the three members of the panel—which disbanded on Aug. 3—with three-month termination dates. The Mothers were not informed of these contracts until they had already been signed and were irreversible.
Kwetiio argued that Ethnoscop—the archaeological firm hired for the investigation—did not use appropriate methods to protect the forensic chain of custody of any potential evidence, as they were touching evidence with their bare hands and not using tamper-proof bags. She also stated that the defendants were strategically choosing which information they would share with the Mothers in order to continue the investigation without delays.
“There’s been a lot of cherry-picking of what [the defendants] are going to use to help themselves to further their construction, and not the investigation,” Kwetiio said in a press conference after the hearing.
The court then heard from Mohawk Mother Kahentinetha, who shared that potential anomalies were excavated on the site in rapid time which did not allow for proper significance and care to be given to each anomaly. She said that on one day, nine anomalies were excavated with a mere 45 minutes allotted to each anomaly. Kahentinetha claimed that the soil was not sifted properly, and any bone fragments found were immediately deemed to be of animal origin.
In a written statement to The Tribune, the SQI asserted that all excavation is being carried out in accordance with proper archaeological regulations by expert firms, with proper methods used to ensure soil is not mixed or contaminated.
Kahentinetha also shared that after facing verbal assault from SQI security guards on July 25, the Mothers had asked to be accompanied by Indigenous security personnel from T.D. Security while onsite. However, it took three weeks before the defendants complied with this request.
Kwetiio continued, asserting that the Mothers deserve to be treated with respect on the site and should not be subjected to “uncontrollable anger” from the defendants when they ask questions. She ended the Mothers’ statement by contending that the defendants had breached every part of the settlement agreement.
The court took a fifteen-minute break, after which Julian Falconer—the lawyer for the Office of the Independent Special Interlocutor, Kimberly Murray—gave his statement, alleging that the defendants were being denialistic. He stated that the Mothers already had an insurmountable burden placed on them throughout this case, and this burden had “quadrupled” the day the panel was disbanded. He condemned the disbandment of the panel and alleged that McGill and the SQI had replaced the panel with their own archaeological experts so that they could inform the public that they were relying on the advice of experts.
“Today was about bringing back the experts that know how to do this work, to find unmarked burials,” Murray said in a press conference after the hearing. “We have a lot of companies that can do scans. We don’t have a lot of people that have expertise in analyzing the data.”
Later, the court heard from the SQI. Their statement was delivered in French and translated for the Mothers by anthropologist and associate of the Mothers Philippe Blouin. Members of Take Back Tekanontak—an advocacy group in support of the Mohawk Mothers—were stationed outside of the courthouse after the hearing to show solidarity. In an interview with The Tribune, an organizer of Take Back Tekanontak, Diane, who chose not to give her last name, shared her belief that the lack of a court-provided English translation of the SQI’s statement for the Mothers was appalling and oppressively exclusionary.
“The Kanien’kehá:ka Kahnistensera come to court, and they speak Kanyen’kéha, their own language, and their colonial language is English,” Diane said. “It’s not okay to ask them to learn French as a second colonial language, and yet there is no translation provided for them. I cannot believe my eyes.”
McGill’s lawyer, Doug Mitchell, provided the next statement before Justice Moore. He stated that the university believes that it has abided by the settlement agreement wholly and respectfully, arguing the occasional disagreements between parties are not an indication that the agreement is being violated. He asserted that the defendants are bound by the recommendations of techniques by the panel, not to anything else.
Mitchell additionally claimed that Falconer had “theatricized” his speech to the court so that Justice Moore would rule in the favor of the Mothers. He stated that the Mothers needed to take the emotion out of the investigation, alleging that the Mothers and Murray only wanted to enforce their interpretation of the contract and were not suffering any irreparable harm by the way McGill was carrying out the investigation.
Falconer responded to Mitchell’s statement, saying that Mitchell should apologize for asking the Mothers to be less emotional about the investigation. He also argued that all parties should acknowledge that the panel’s recommendations have not been followed, as the panel itself believes its suggestions have not been entirely executed.
“It is absolutely essential that McGill, the Quebec government, [and the] SQI come to their senses and understand that it is very short-sighted to essentially terminate a panel they agreed to be bound by in order a further a development,” Falconer said in a press conference after the hearing. “I promise you, whatever few dollars [the defendants] make on their development, the [societal cost] and the [further erosion] of trust is absolutely innumerable in terms of the size of the expense.”
Kwetiio also replied to Mitchell’s statement, stating that Mitchell’s words were “deeply offensive,” and reiterating the fact that all parties would not be back in court if the recommendations of the panel had been respected.
“I think it was pretty disgusting that the defendant said ‘Oh, there’s no irreparable harm done here.’ […] There’s never a situation where any one of us is going to bargain without children of the past, present, and future,” Kwetiio said in response to Mitchell’s comment in a press conference after the hearing.
Justice Moore adjourned court with no decision made, explaining that he would need some time to review all submissions and testimonies. McGill media relations officer Frédérique Mazerolle told The Tribune in an email that McGill will provide a comment on the hearing once Justice Moore makes a decision. A tentative subsequent court date is set for Dec. 1, during which all parties will discuss the issue of archives and records related to the investigation.
“We demand that we have a proper best practice investigation for our children and for those that were disrespected on that site,” Kwetiio said. “I think our children are looking for us to find them, and this is what’s important, and I’m so glad that all these people are here today in support.”
Led Zeppelln knows the way of betrayal; “Lying, cheating, that’s all you seem to do. Messing around with every guy, putting me down for thinking of someone new . . . Your time is gonna come. Your time is gonna come. Your time is gonna come. Your time is gonna come. . . .
99 years ago on Oct. 25, 1924, the Indian Lands Act was enacted as part of the Indian Advancement Act called the “100 year business plan”. Next year is the 100th year when Canada plans to eliminate the Indian problem forever by killing us and taking our land. According to the “Admiralty Law of the Seas” we are supposed to be signed away. But it might be the perpetrators and their beneficiaries who will be eliminated. Not us.
Historically the slaughter of us was wholesale. Those laws passed by the colonists to genocide us are part of Canadian colonial law, which is legalized murder to take everything from us, particularly our lives. The formation of Canada is based on genocide, therefore Canada is illegal. The genocidal policies and laws are made to look legal, but they are not! They cannot be punished for squatting on our land, their ‘blood quantum” laws, stealing our land, creating POW camps called “reserves”, kidnapping our children, doing experiments on them and then murdering and burying them. Our languages and culture were outlawed.!
2024 will be the 100th year of their insidious plan for the corporation of Canada to be rid of the “Indian problem” to incorporate us into the Canadian body politic. Duncan Campbell Scott, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, called it the ‘final solution to the Indian problem’. it’s a corporate “business plan” disguised as law. The prime minister enforces that law on behalf of the people of Canada. The first remedy may be to have the body of John A. Macdonald disinterred from his grave and shipped back to Scotland where he belongs. All statues and monuments of him can be shipped back home. The onkwehonweh will take our proper seat at the table of nations.
Canada thought it was right on target with the “Framework Agreement” to finalize the annihilation of the indigenous people. With the stroke of their colonial pen, there would have been no more Indians. They think they can force us to become Canadians. But they did not factor in the internet in their planning. Now everyone in the world is watching while this colonial enterprise called “Canada” is coming to an end. The whole colonial system will be gone forever. Back to where they came from. The Dominion of Canada will end next year. All our land and resources will be returned to us. Canadians can make this right by becoming a model for the world by adopting the kaianerekowa, the great peace, as the basis for their constitution.
Canada is a Nazi project. 700 top Nazis were brought to Canada through “Operation Paperclip” and placed in high positions within the bureaucracy.
Canada recently showed its hand by presenting one of its Operation Paperclip heroes, Nazi war criminal Yaroslav Hunka Vet. of Waffen S.S. Every Member of Parliament stood up and gave him several rousing standing ovations, while the world watched. The applause was akin to giving the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute. Welcome to Canada! Parliamentarians showed their love and allegiance for the Nazis when the world watched them giving accolades to Hunka.
Department of Indian Affairs is a department of the army. Some of us have seen the “War Room” on the 14th floor of the DIA in Hull/Ottawa. Their job is to keep the indigenous as prisoners of war because the war for our land has never ended. We want them out of our land. We live under military law which is enforced by the army. The government hopes that we will die out. Our people continue to be disappeared.
Those who take an oath to the foreign autocrat King Charles and his corporations [Canada}, ancestors and heirs forever can either leave on the ship with their masters or they can rescind that oath and take a new one to the onkwehonweh. It is still legal for the government to kill indigenous people. Canadians need to follow the natural law also known as the great peace of this land. Their Admiralty Laws are enacted to protect them from their crimes so the perpetrators will never be held responsible.
Canadians want to celebrate the end of the Indian problem which is that they occupy Indian land free of indigenous occupation. They rely on the ‘Doctrine of Discovery ‘ for their false occupation of our land.
The first Prime Minister John A. Macdonald wanted to make us ‘white’. He failed so he set up the “Indian Plan”. Now it is in the hands of prime minister Trudeau and his gaggle and are now the biggest criminals in Canada. They have never condemned these criminal laws and policies. In 2024 they will do it.
Mr. Trudeau, I invite you to explain how is it possible to have these genocide laws on the books? You are just another prime minister criminal that we have to deal with. Aren’t you and everyone who gets a benefit from the murders of and theft from our people embarrassed by this legislation enacted to kill us? You and everyone who benefits from these murders is guilty.
And then to bring in and praise a Nazi to remind us of who owns the corporation/dominion of Canada. The Admiralty Law and all of their courts are no longer valid because they get their right to exist from the Doctrine of Discovery which never existed in the first place. Canadians got away with murder by classifying us as non human beings with only the rights of an animal.
We cannot reconcile with murderers. 2024 will be the best year for us and the worst year for the corporate entity called Canada.
Nobel Laureate, Bob Dylan, hammers the message home: “Come, you Masters of War. You that build the big guns. You that build the death planes. You that hide behind walls. You that hide behind deaths. I want you to know I can see through your masks… I hope that you die and your death will come soon. I’ll follow your casket in the pale afternoon. I’ll watch while you’re lowered onto your death bed and i’ll stand over your grave till i’m sure that your’re dead.
SQI SOCIETE QUEBECOISE DES INFRASTRUCTUES-and-ROYAL VICTORIA HOSPITAL-and-MCGILL UNIVERSITY HEALTH CENTER-and-MCGILL UNIVERSITY-and-CITY OF MONTREAL-and-ATTORNEY GENRAL OF CANADA Defendants
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF QUEBEC Mis-en-cause
OFFICE OF THE INDEPENDANT SPECIAL INTERLOCUTOR ON MISSING CHILDREN & UNMARKED GRAVES & BURIAL SITES ASSOCIATED WITH INDIAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS Third Party Intervenor
As the story goes, the first land out of the water was turtle island. All four races were created here on turtle island. All living things have the same mother. She is the earth. We all have the same source energy as father who shall survive and co-exist as brothers and sisters living on our mother. In each of our minds is a piece of the source energy which makes each of us a sovereign creator being. The peace comes when all of us put our minds together based on the good message that we are all earthlings. All you people who are just opening your eyes and seeing the true horror story called ‘Canada’ listen to Rod Stewart and Jeff Back sing “People Get Ready”.
MNN. Aug. 7, 2023. On the “Indigenous lead” site where the unmarked burial of indigenous children are being sought at the New Vic site, McGill and SQI Security are refusing to hire a professional Indigenous security firm. The “cultural monitors” and elders working alongside the archaeological work crew were attacked by SQI & McGill security and now the indigenous refuse to return to work until their safety is guaranteed. Also, SQI wants to interpret the GPR Report that found ‘anomalies’ of remains in the GEOSCAN Report, a private company. SQI & McGill have terminated the Tripartite Panel that was set up by Quebec Superior Court to oversee the search for the children, so they could start working on the Royal Vic Project. The court needs to uphold its orders.
Remembr, no guards wwre there when our children were being murdered and buried.
SQI & McGill do not have the expertise to interpret the findings, which needs to be done by trained archaeological forensic experts. One of the members of the Panel has quit and another states that the anomaly found by GEOSCAN is a burial site and SQI office technocrats cannot determine that. This could prejudice all GPR searches that are carried out in Canada by indigenous people.
SQI & McGill have given us no choice but to consider enforcing the Settlement Agreement that we signed in April.
Many experts find this extremely damaging to the whole investigation. Canada is allowing SQI to act above the law and above a court order. It appears that international human rights organizations will now be needed. Canada continues on its criminal path while Quebec acts as a cheerleader rooting for the colonizer.
Quebec spends public money in their fight against us the Mohawk Mothers. Once again they are trying to silence us about their murder of our children whose spirit is at our side right now. They reject professional expertise. The public has to now ask the question, “What the f… is really going on?”
The Mohawk security group in Kahnawake has a right and is qualified to work anywhere on turtle island. McGill University, Royal Victoria Hospital, Allan Memorial Hospital and the City of Montreal all squat on unceded Kanienkehaka Mohawk land, which they must acknowledge by law before every meeting so they never forget. They are rejecting an indigenous company from providing security to the “Indigenous lead” process taking place to find indigenous children that may be buried on Mohawk land. We wonder if this was part of Prime Minister Duncan Campbel Scott’s “100 year plan” to be rid of the “Indian problem” permanently. We are reminded of a song which Sinead O’Connor sang during the well known “Pope-incident” in Saturday Night Live in 1992, when she shouted, “Children, children. Fight! Fight!”.
SQI is our message to Quebec: It’s time for you to “STOP & QUIT IMMEDIATELY”
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