The Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke and the Six Nations of the Grand River have entered a mutual cooperation agreement, which they affirm will “strengthen our joint efforts in defending our interests”.
This, both parties assert, will “defend, by any means possible, our indigenous jurisdiction over gaming,” as well as the socio-economic benefits communities would derive therein.
It is added that this partnership facilitates a memorandum of understanding between each community’s gaming regulatory bodies, and creates a space where discussions on potential mutually beneficial opportunities in the igaming industry can occur.
“Today’s agreement signifies an important milestone as our communities come together to address our collective concerns,” said Six Nations Chief Mark Hill.
“This type of partnership is the first step in demonstrating the possibilities of what we can achieve as Iroquois communities if we work together.
“We are much stronger not as individuals, but as a collective, and these relationships will strengthen us as we assert our rights and jurisdiction within the gaming industry and beyond.”
Both communities state that they “have been frustrated by recent changes to Canada’s Criminal Code,” which it is added has “effectively shut out First Nations by willfully ignoring the legitimate interests of indigenous peoples in the gaming industry”.
This, the Six Nations and Kahnawake note, is “being clearly demonstrated” in Ontario, whose new model “will not benefit SNGR or Kahnawà:ke’s socio-economic business, Mohawk Online, as it closes off access to one of its largest local markets”.
Subsequently, the pair are to begin collaborative work on legal, political and public relation strategies to defend their respective jurisdictions and interests in the gaming industry.
They will also extend the opportunity for other indigenous communities to join the collaboration, and will also begin development on a national body of indigenous gaming regulators.
“We are pleased to revitalse relations and strengthen our alliance with our brothers and sisters,” said Ohén:ton Í:iente ne Ratitsénhaienhs Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer.
“Renewal of this longstanding relationship founded on nationhood is the first step needed to strengthen our joint efforts in defending our interests and maintaining a stronghold in the gaming industry and other key areas we identify in the future.”