Supreme Court nixes Mohawk trade claim

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OTTAWA, Ont. — Canada’s Supreme Court citing at total lack of evidence in rejecting Akwesasne Mohawk claims that First Nations should enjoy the right to import U.S. goods without paying duty.

Yesterday’s 7-0 ruling from this country’s top court denies the right exists and sets back First Nations mounting similar challenges.

The court was quick to point out to the rest of Canada’s judges that while historic evidence should not be dismissed for simply being a little unorthodox, neither should it be given undue weight in claims cases.

Akwesasne Mohawks living near Cornwall had argued that south-north trade with those living in what is now the U.S. before European contact they should be exempt from duties on international trade. They failed to prove their case, the court said in overturning two lower court judgments.

Michael Mitchell, grand chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, says he will remember the ruling as when he, “…lost faith in the Canadian system.”

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