Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Call on the Federal Government to Remove Criminal Code Power Over Gaming Delegated to the Province of Manitoba as an Act of Reconciliation
June 12, 2017
Treaty One Territory (Brokenhead Ojibway Nation) – The Criminal Code gives the province of Manitoba regulatory powers over First Nations gaming (VLT’s, Casinos, etc.). This creates a conflict of interest in the province of Manitoba due to their involvement in both regulation and the monopolizing of Manitoba’s gaming market.
“The province has historically used its monopoly over gaming and regulation to determine market participation. The net effect of this policy and legislative regime in Manitoba is not only a conflict of interest but it creates two economies in gaming in Manitoba. On one hand, the province of Manitoba maintains for itself a vibrant, profitable and growing market while pushing First Nations gaming to a speculative and limited secondary market without access to the prime market spaces,” stated Chief Dennis Meeches of Long Plain First Nation and member of the AMC Chiefs Gaming Committee.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) fourth Principle of Reconciliation states:
Reconciliation requires constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Aboriginal peoples’ […] economic opportunities and prosperity. Additionally, The Path to Reconciliation Act reaffirms Manitoba’s commitment to reconciliation as guided by the principles articulated by the TRC.
“As contemplated by the TRC, amending the Criminal Code is the kind of constructive action we need to address the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on our economic opportunities and prosperity as Indigenous peoples,” concluded Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.
In 2015, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), following the direction of Chiefs in Assembly was mandated to advance the issue federally with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice. Although discussions have begun, including a federal review of laws and policies impacting Indigenous Peoples rights, no tangible steps have been initiated by the federal government at this time.
The AMC, by way of a long-standing mandate, holds the responsibility for advancing gaming interests collectively for First Nations communities in Manitoba.
For more information, please contact:
Derek McCorrister,AMC Communications firstname.lastname@example.org 204.232.6768