Seneca Nation defends tobacco sales on treaty anniversary

The Seneca Nation of New York commemorated the Treaty of Buffalo Creek of 1842 last week, using the occasion to criticize the state and federal government for trying to curb the sale of tobacco.

Gov. David Paterson (D) is proposing rules to require tribes to collect taxes on the sale of tobacco to non-Indians. Lawmakers are prepared to go further by imposing taxes on all sales on the reservation.

"As we commemorate this anniversary of the Treaty of Buffalo Creek, all people are reminded that a treaty is more than words, it is a sacred bond, and when you break a treaty, you break the law,” said Seneca President Barry Snyder Sr., Business First of Buffalo reported.

Meanwhile, the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act goes into effect on June 29. The law prohibits the U.S. Postal Service from delivering cigarettes and certain tobacco products, effectively killing the tribal tobacco industry.

The tribe says the law could impact 3,000 jobs on and off the reservation that are connected to the tobacco industry.

Get the Story:
Senecas Claim Feds Are Violating Treaties (WNED 5/21)
Senecas remind government of treaties (Business First of Buffalo 5/20)
Senecas defend right to sell tax-free tobacco (Buffalo News 5/20)

Relevant Documents:
ATF Letter on Tribal Consultation (May 19, 2010)

Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act.
H.R.1676 | S.1147

Related Stories:
ATF schedules tribal consultation on tobacco trafficking law (5/20)
Obama signs cigarette trafficking bill over tribal objections (4/1)
Seneca Nation asks Obama to veto cigarette mailing bill (03/19)
Cigarette trafficking bill sent to White House for review (3/18)
Editorial: PACT Act puts a halt to Internet tobacco sales (3/17)
White House weighs stance on cigarette trafficking bill (3/16)
Seneca Nation blasts passage of cigarette trafficking bill (3/15)
Lance Morgan: PACT Act a hidden power grab for states (3/12)
Seneca Nation lobbies against cigarette trafficking bill (3/8)
New York governor proposes tobacco tax regulations (02/24)
Seneca Nation targets Sen. Gillibrand for tobacco bill (01/25)
Seneca Nation prepares for battle over cigarette taxes (1/20)
New York governor puts Indian tobacco tax in new budget (1/19)
Seneca Nation aims to defeat cigarette trafficking bill (01/12)