I really must respond to Coun. Richard Carpenter’s typical broad brush remarks published in Friday’s Expositor relative to taxation, specifically on two Six Nations properties in Brantford.
He states: “There is not a separate tax law if you’re First Nations and another if you’re not.... We have to have the same rule of law for everyone - if you own property, you pay taxes like everyone else.”
The Royal Proclamation of 1763, British North America Act 1867, the Indian Act, and the 1982 Canadian Constitution Act and many others legal documents clearly declare that there are two laws.
By the way, the Indian Act is the only legislation left in the world today designed for a particular race of people since the fall of apartheid in South Africa. It’s purpose is to systematically erase First Nations inherent rights.
In 1914, Liberal MP Frank Oliver is quoted: “But there are bands of the Six Nations Indians located on the Grand River in Ontario who, I maintain, are in a different legal position from any other Indian bands who are native to the country ... and were given lands under a special treaty, not as subjects of Great Britain, but as allies of Great Britain, and I maintain that the holding of these Six Nations Indians on the Grand River is of such a kind that this parliament has no right to interfere with it.”
Oliver also advised that Canada should always keep this special status in mind when dealing with Six Nations in particular.
So you see Mr. Carpenter, whether you like it or not, there is in fact a great deal of difference between Canada and Six Nations under Canada’s own rule of law.