Store owner plans to challenge tribe's tobacco tax

The owner of a store on the Rocky Boy's Reservation in Montana is planning a legal challenge the Chippewa Cree Tribe's new 55-cent tobacco tax.

Debbie St. Pierre, the only private seller of tobacco products on the reservation, says her rights are being violated by the tribal government. "As an Indian woman, holding all the rights of creation and personal sovereignty intact, I am fighting this battle alone because I am alone," she wrote in a letter to tribal chairman John "Chance" Houle that was quoted by The Havre Daily News.

St. Pierre refused to pay the new tax, saying it was never approved by the Interior Department. So tribal police officers raided her store last week and seized her cigarettes.

Get the Story:
Tribe seizes cigarettes from store (The Havre Daily News 4/27)