Urban PBCN Members Up in Arms Over Smoke Shop

Friday, August 01, 2003 at 14:10




A tobacco store on the Prince Albert reserve of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is at the centre of a dispute.


An urban band member say the business was given the green light to begin operations this summer without the consent or consultation of its off-reserve membership.


Donald Morin also says the store is only paying four percent of its profits to urban members, well below the retail standard for a business on reserve land. He says that’s too low and needs to be adjusted.


Morin says because the band council resolution that let the store begin operations was passed without the blessing of urban members, it may not even be valid, and that’s why he might pursue legal action.


Morin says urban band members are often forgotten by their bands, even though a recent Supreme Court decision affirmed their rights as registered members of First Nations.


He is calling on Chief Ron Michel to address the situation as soon as possible.