WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Chiefs are coming out in full support of the Dakota Nation.
In a statement issued today, the Manitoba Chiefs, led by Derek Nepinak said, “Dakota people are a sovereign nation and are in a court battle with the provincial and federal governments to protect their Indigenous sovereign rights to trade tobacco. This is about economic apartheid built into provincial and federal policy & law against sovereign Indigenous peoples. However, this is nothing new!”
Author Sarah Carter – Lost Harvests: Prairie Indian Reserve Farmers and Government Policy – talks about this kind of economic apartheid in the late 1880’s as First Nations farmers enjoyed bountiful harvests with their crops. However, settler farmers in 1888 took issue with their success and pled with the government to intervene saying, “Indians are raising too much grain and farm produce that they are taking away the market from the white settlers” (p. 188). The government then imposed limits on Indian productivity, restricting families and communities from producing as much as they were able to.
To protect Indigenous Sovereignty Chiefs and Grassroots people are asked add their voices in support of Dakota tobacco trade in Manitoba and meet the Dakota Leaders, GC Nepinak at the BRANDON COURTHOUSE room 104. The media is welcome meet the Chiefs and Grand Chief Nepinak at 945 am outside the courthouse for comments before they enter the courthouse.