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Water Today Title July 18, 2019

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Max Ireland, Oneida First Nation

[00:00:02] Hi my name is Max Ireland. I'm from Oneida First Nation southwest of London Ontario. My real name is lily white. And I'm from the Bear Clan and the more I'm here and the more information that I'm listening to is that I have to take this back to my community because I see the possibility of a big conflict coming not only with. Our traditional people and our chief and council but also outside authorities coming in and and disrupting. Disrupting our retail situations. I would like to see. Laws put in. By our own people for our people and to keep those other authorities entities at arm's length. If at some point because of disregard for those laws that they can develop and put in place and establish. There's blatant disregard for those laws that collectively everybody can agree on then maybe the opportunity for law enforcement to come and deal with an individual or a group of individuals would arise but only then what if everybody can work within those specific laws that are going to be geared for this situation specifically there shouldn't be no need for any outside interference at all. I think the first practice would have to be our recognition of our sovereignty. That's the biggest thing for me is because when I addressed the Minister yesterday I expressed my opinion because we were told that you know this Cannabis Act. Canadian Cannabis Act is this and that and everything else and I said but it was a blanket act it covers everybody the same. And I said as sovereign people, there should have been dialogue and consultation regarding indigenous people of Canada specifically so we can have that opportunity to address the issues that are native specific. But there was no opportunity for that. So now we have to go back to the drawing board and have us included in that, not as Canadians but as sovereign nations. It probably boils down to each community whether they want it whether they don't want it, whether they want medical or whether they want recreational. So all of these have to be brought together. And like they say we have to come together in one mind, one peaceful mind do to that.

Ultimately our goal is to keep the peace. Sure the cannabis situation is going to be creating financial stability within our communities. And if the chief and council want to get involved then that goes to the nations, financial stability within that then that goes to the people. But if individuals want to do that and the chief and council want to stay away from it. But, that will create that individual's responsibility and they have to be protected by chief and council. We have to come to some sort of agreement such as in my situation where the majority of Oneida is represented in a traditional way, like traditional people and a smaller portion is represented by chief and council. And so now we're in a situation, they have to work together. They have to come to a resolution where that party is happy, this party is happy and it's acceptable because it's going to be all of us that are going to be involved and we have to have our voice heard and understood and accepted the licenses the background checks facilities the standards that have already been set up. I said you know you're looking at a million or two million dollars outlay before you get one plant in the ground. So that's a that's going to be a that's obviously going to be a deterrent for a lot of communities because you just don't have that money to even see to even begin with. It can be a thought right now. Something that they could look forward to but as as to say well it's going to be done, we'll do this tomorrow. It's not going to happen.

The laws and and the things that they need to see from us are restrictions and in that it's going to be the elites that have the money, that have the resources, they'll have all of those opportunities available to them. But the people that don't have those resources won't see those kind of opportunities just because of the way that situation is being presented. You have to have the money in order to reach this point. And once you reach that point you're going to have to have some more money to reach the next point. So if you can't even get to the first point there's no second point to reach. I think that's where the dialogue has to continue about. That's where the sovereignty has to take over. We're all on equal basis then whether you're an elite player within this situation where we all come back to mother earth and say we're all walking on the same ground. We should all have the same opportunities whether it's this way or this way that we're all equal. And once we get back to that mentality of being equal within Mother Earth and the ground that we walk on then I think those opportunities will present themselves equally to each and every one of us. [00:00:02][0.0]