Mohawks say they caught Mikinak member buying car with ‘fraudulent’ tax-exempt card at reserve!
Mikinak Chief Lise Brisebois, who goes by the name Canard Blanc, said none of her members have reported a run-in with Mohawk Peacekeepers.
Guillaume Carle, national grand chief of the Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada, in July 2016.
Jocelyn Simoneau et Guillaume Carle
Mohawks say they caught Mikinak member buying car with ‘fraudulent’ tax-exempt card at reserve
October 28, 2016
MONTREAL — The suburban gas bar was a strange place to have a new Audi delivered, but police say the buyer had chosen it for a reason. It was on the edge of the Kahnawake Mohawk reserve and he held a card attesting to his aboriginal status – a ticket, he thought, to saving about $5,000 in taxes.
But staff at the Country Peddler Gas Bar grew suspicious as they saw purchase papers being signed Thursday afternoon, and called the reserve police, the Mohawk Peacekeepers. Friday, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake said a “Mikinak fraud” had been thwarted.
Chief Peacekeeper Dwayne Zacharie said the card the buyer used to prove his tax-exempt status was issued by the 10-month-old Mikinak aboriginal community.
Based in Beauharnois, west of Kahnawake on Montreal’s South Shore, the Mikinaks welcome as members anyone who can show through a family tree or a DNA test they have a single aboriginal ancestor. For $80, Mikinaks get a card declaring the holder is “an aboriginal within the meaning of the article 35 of the Constitution Act of Canada.”
Zacharie said status Indians can avoid paying taxes on items delivered to a reserve, and occasionally non-resident aboriginals arrange to have new cars delivered to Kahnawake. The Peacek
The buyer and dealer were told if the Audi A5 was not put back on the tow truck, there would be fraud charges.
The buyer “said a number of things that were strange,” Zacharie said. “He said, ‘I went there, and they even did a blood test for me, and they said I’m native, so I’m allowed.’ The man “really and truly believed” he had the right to avoid taxes.
The Mohawk Council said it has been told the federal Indigenous Affairs Department sent letters this month warning Mikinak Chief Lise Brisebois and Guillaume Carle, head of the Mikinaks’ parent group, not to issue membership cards purporting to exempt members from paying taxes.
“We want them to stop altogether misrepresenting that they are First Nations people,” Kahnawake Grand Chief Joe Norton said, adding there is a risk of violence if Mikinaks continue trying to assert their rights in Kahnawake’s backyard.
“There are community members who say, ‘What you need is a good punch in the nose.’ ” Brisebois, who goes by the name Canard Blanc, accused Kahnawake of concocting the car story to discredit her group. “It’s not true,” she said, adding none of her members had reported a run-in with the Peacekeepers.
She added she has received no letter from Indigenous Affairs on membership cards.
The office of Indigenous Affairs Minister Caroline Bennett contradicted Brisebois.
“A letter was sent asking Guillaume Carle and Lise Brisebois to cease the production and distribution of their cards,” it said in a statement. “Departmental officials have met and are in discussions with the Mikinak community to find a solution.” MORE >>>