The Myth of Taxation

I looked into the myth of taxation. Growing up and still to this day I always hear lots of discussion about how indigenous people do you not have to pay tax. Along with not paying taxes they also when working they don’t get taxed on their income. This was something I was I was curious about because like most people you’re curious to why and how indigenous people may not have to pay taxation where everyone else has to. As I begin reading the chapter The Myth of Taxation from Chelsea Vowel, she goes into great detail breaking down the taxation rules that so many others seem to know so much about. The one point in the book she kind of called out majority of the people and first asked if they ever not claimed money to avoid paying taxes on. Such as tips from waitresses, people who offer services from their house or side jobs such as cutting grass. That was a topic I never even thought to address because I know many who have picked up side jobs or do something for a little extra cash and I’m assuming they don’t add tax on it to give to the government. Yet no one makes a big stink about those people not paying taxes on that money.
So to break it down only status Indians are eligible for the Indian act exemption, Nonstatus Indian, Métis in anyway it or not covered.
Status Indians who are not living on reserve land are not eligible for this exemption unless they purchase goods and service on reserved.
This exemption also extends to federal taxes on goods purchased off reserve,if they are delivered to the reserve by the retailers. If the status Indian wants to transport goods back to the reserve, they are not exempt.
Services provided on reserve are tax-exempt. Where services provided off reserves are not exempt, unless under section 90 of the Indian act.
If you’re working off reserved the tax exemption does not apply and you’re paying income tax even if your employer is situated on the reserve. (Vowel). Pg. 138.
Although I just broke down some of the many different highly confusing and technical situations on the taxation situations. I have learned that this myth about indigenous people never pay tax is definitely not true as well as completely confusing, there are many different scenarios as well as laws they have to follow up regarding whether or not they pay tax on land, goods and services. “Only the Mohawk Kahnawake have signed an agreement with the provincial government that includes a waiver of provincial tax sales. This is not an Indian act exemption, it is a contract between the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and the government of Quebec. (Vowel pg.139).” Here is another situation where many people would not know of that agreement between the two parties but yet would gladly tell people false information. After reading about these missed and how clearly Chelsea breaks down this highly confusing topic I feel people should not speak to something that is clearly not just black-and-white.

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#3 Treaty as a spiritual covenant

I understand the spirituality of the Indigenous peoples very sentimental and caring, they expressed it towards everything on this earth. Nothing is ever taken for granted from having from the birds in sky to the dirt we walk on everything is has sentimental value to Indigenous peoples. I feel I have learned to have a deeper understanding of where I see myself on this earth and everything I interact with from people, animals and even the grass I walk on. Everything is living it has a purpose. The dirt and rocks beneath us help the tree stand tall and let the trees grow from it, as it provides the tree with nutrients. I know I was not taking the time to be respectful and appreciate all of the small things I have in this life and what mother earth has to offer me as well as friends and family. If we start living each day and being very appreciative and thankful for all we have even the shortcomings. “The Elders stated that the circle symbolized the oneness of First Nations people with the Creator and the spiritual, social, and political institutions of the First Nations. It is at once a statement of allegiance, of loyalty, fidelity, and unity by both the nation and its peoples. This act/statement is rooted in the doctrine of wahkotowin (the laws governing all relations) and miyo-wicehtowin (the laws governing good relations)” (Treaty Elders of Saskatchewan, pg.14.).  I believe humanity would be more at peace as well as it would greatly benefit our animals and our environment. By having people be more thankful for each living thing and not be looking at the environments resources or animals as a profitable market for human gains and profit.

Blog 2 miskâsowin and Treaty Relationships

I grew up in a small town called Wadena, a little over two hours north east from Regina. It is a small community which had a few different reserves, the closet being Fishing Lake First Nation being 10-15 minutes (17km) from Wadena. Majority of indigenous people lived on the reserve, but they came to school in town with myself. Growing up I never knew the difference between the different types of reserves across Saskatchewan, I just assumed they were all the same. I took a few years off after high school to explore different job opportunities in that time me and my boyfriend moved way up north to Meadow Lake which is another five hours (490 kms) north west from Wadena.While living there I experience living in the forest, Wadena was just bushes, I was fortunate to have a job where I travelled far out of Meadow Lake and got to experience many amazing things and met many people along the way and seen their culture. I did some research and Meadow Lake has Cree, Plains Cree, Woods Cree, Dene, Michif Indigenous people living there as to Statistic Canada. I know while I lived there for a year I got to know many people who lived there as well as the Cree lady I worked with loved her culture and knew people everywhere we went. After visiting with people on our lunch breaks she would always fill me in where they live, how she knew them, which after meeting a few people she would say they are Blackfoot, which then to me never really meant much. I worked on many different reserves such as Makwa Lake which is attached to a town called Loon Lake which Makwa in Cree is Loon, something I learned while working there. Flying Dust was a few minutes outside Meadow Lake. The lady I worked with she was from Flying Dust she was. She told me how they had a community deep-freeze of all their hunting where if someone was sick or elders could go and take food that others hunted if they were not able to hunt anymore, which I thought was a wonderful idea. Still while living there I got to experience seeing many different reserves. It wasn’t till university where I learned about the different treaty territories on the map. In my map I included all the different treaty’s I have lived on including their city and towns names. I marked Fishing Lake Reserve on my map, i have not lived their but I wanted to show how close it was to Wadena.

Blog #1 My miskâsowin

My name is Heather Snell I was born and raised in a small town of Wadena, Saskatchewan. Both my parents were born in Canada, both my dad’s parents came from Iceland in the 1900’s when they were small with their parents. I know my dad said they had to leave Iceland because there was no food and everyone was starving, so they moved somewhere where they were promised land and settled outside of Wadena. I’m not sure of my mom’s story how her grandparents immigrated to Canada, but I know she is German, Scottish and Austrian. It wasn’t till I came to university that I heard the term we are all treaty people. In the last 4 years I have learned a lot as to what it means to be a treaty person, but I am still finding a way to tie it in with my ‘old’ identity. Each day, the more I learn I am becoming more comfortable how I fit in with this new role being a treaty person. I fell the more I learn about myself as a treaty person the more I’ll be able to help others learn becoming or being a treaty person. I know learning about myself being a treaty person has helped me be able to teach treaty Ed in my internship. Although I am not 100% comfortable nor feel I’m doing the best job I know each time we would talk about it I felt more comfortable. It was interesting to learn I also live on treaty 4 territory, I never heard or thought about where I live before like that. Looking back I wanted to see where else I have lived and not just by the name of the town. Wadena is on Treaty 4 territory, Meadow Lake is on Treaty 10 and Tisdale is Treaty 6. Continuing I want to learn with others how they are adapting to identify with their new identity. I defiantly see the world and where I live in a different ‘lense’. My name is Heather Snell, I am middle-class, able-bodied, heterosexual women, white settler or “not- Indigenous-to-this-place- called Canada” (Vowel, pg. 10) still learning about becoming a treaty person.