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Taxation ~ Off-Loading Threats ~ Crowe

Taxation and the Federal Policy of "Off Loading" Programs on the Provinces are the two most serious short term issues facing Saskatchewan Indians according to FSIN Chief Roland Crowe.

"If we don't get together on these two issues there will be real problems", Chief Crowe told delegates to the Chiefs spring Legislative Assembly held recently on the Sturgeon Lake Reserve.

"We had intended to get a report out to the Chiefs on the GST but the situation is changing daily."

The FSIN policy is that Indian people are exempt from taxation this conflicts with the Federal position that the GST (Goods and Services Tax) will be applied universally.

The "Off Loading" policy is seen as a dangerous practice. "It flies in the face of the Federal Treaty Obligation and dumps them instead on the Provinces", Chief Crowe told the assembled Chiefs.

The Treaty Commissioner was not present at the Assembly but instead his office released a Report with recommendations on Treaty Land Entitlement. The Commissioner was purposely not invited so the Chiefs could study and discuss the report.

"The report provides some suggestions to settle Land Entitlement. There are some areas where bands will be winners and losers," Chief Crowe stated. The report was tabled for the Chiefs information.

"I feel that the FSIN have filled their mandate; A procedure is in place and there is an alternative to the stalemate that has been in place for years by all levels of government to satisfy land entitlement."

Chief Crowe was also pleased with the level of activity by the FSIN in relation to the Indian Justice area.

"There is no difference between the way Indian people have been treated by the Saskatchewan Justice System than in other areas of Canada."

"Rather than hold an, inquiry I believe we should make certain that there are resources available so we can put together on our Judicial System."

"We cannot afford to go on with other laws that have no respect for us and don't understand our traditions and our customs."

"We must stand up and design our laws, our enforcement agencies and our judicial process so that it deals with our problems," Chief Crowe stated.