AIAI supports and advocates for our Member Nations to exercise their inherent right to practice trade for the economic prosperity of their communities.
Indigenous peoples have historically traded with each other and continue to do so in modern contexts today. Inter-nation trade can include a broad suite of activities from tobacco trade to hunting and fishing agreements. Our historical trading practices are a form of economic development which supports the growth and prosperity of our communities.
In some cases, our rights to trade have been infringed upon by the Federal and Provincial governments in Canada. As one example, Canada and Ontario have both recently imposed legislative and regulatory measures on the sale and trade of tobacco.
Among several complaints voiced by our communities and political organizations is the fact that Canada has no jurisdictional right to tax and regulate tobacco on reserves.
In addition to jurisdictional issues, Bill C-10 infringes on the inherent right of Indigenous peoples to trade. These trade relationships also extended between First Nations and settlers and was recognized and encouraged through the Royal Proclamation of 1763.
The right to trade was further protected in the Treaty of 1701. The treaty specifically refers to beaver hunting grounds and recognizes pelts as currency with regards to trade, commerce and economic rights for First Nations. This is a living treaty, and carries economic rights for First Nations today.
Today, tobacco trade has become a pillar of economic growth and stability for many First Nations.
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