This new Indigenous group wants to harness the healing powers of weed

By Tom Keefer | Vice.com | March 29, 2017 The National Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association is helping First Nations grow and sell their own. Last weekend, a few dozen people gathered in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory to formally launch a national Indigenous organization to promote and defend the Indigenous relationship to the cannabis plant. Named NIMCA—the National Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association—the association is aiming to have branches in every province in Canada. With Canadian legalization expected to begin on July 1, 2018, NIMCA is expressing concern that Indigenous people not be ignored or excluded by the Liberal’s legal weed regime framework. As Kevin Daniels, national Read More …

Indigenous people speak out at 420 rally in Ottawa

  OTTAWA – Representatives for the National Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association (NIMCA) were invited speakers at the Ottawa 420 event on April 20th, 2017. In this video by Clifton Nicholas, NIMCA members speak about the newly proposed Canadian Cannabis laws and the need to include indigenous people in the process. For more information about NIMCA check their Facebook page.

Not a pipe dream: Aboriginals set sights on selling marijuana

By Christopher Curtis | Montreal Gazette | March 28 With the federal government on the verge of creating a multi-billion dollar legal marijuana industry, Brian Marquis worries aboriginal people will be left high and dry. Marquis, 57, is a patient at the Legacy 420 dispensary on the Tyendinaga Mohawk territory near Kingston, Ont. And after nearly three years of frequenting the business, he says he has seen the financial potential and medical benefits of cannabis. Now he wants to see storefront dispensaries sprout up in reserves across Canada: providing an economic engine that will help lift indigenous people out of poverty and, he says, provide Read More …

National Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association is launched

By Tom Keefer TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY – On Saturday, March 25th, over 30 Indigenous people gathered in Tyendinaga to formally launch a national Indigenous organization to promote and defend the Indigenous relationship to the cannabis plant. Named NIMCA – the National Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association – the association is aiming to have branches in every province in Canada. Saturday’s meeting was a followup to an initial meeting held in Tyendinaga on January 28th, 2017. At the meeting an interim National Executive was selected and sworn in. The national organization is comprised of representatives from each province and a President, Secretary Read More …

Mario and Buzzy Baptiste: rights, responsibilities, and knowing who you are

TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY – Mario and Buzzy Baptiste are two Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) men who have long been involved in the cannabis industry. They were both in attendance at the January 28th meeting of the Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association in Tyendinaga where this interview was recorded. Mario Baptiste provides his understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Onkwehon:we people and the distinction between “Indians” and “natives”. Mario cautions people to know who they really are and to act accordingly. Buzzy and his brother are opening up a new medical cannabis dispensary called Peacemaker 420. Buzzy explains a bit of the background to Read More …

Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association holds inaugural meeting

By Tom Keefer Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory – Over 40 people attended the inaugural meeting of the Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association on Saturday, January 28th. Attendees came from a number of different communities including Tyendinaga, Kanehsatake, Kahnawake, Oneida, Alderville, Pikwakanagan, Golden Lake, Toronto, and from as far away as Calgary, Alberta. The meeting began with a workshop on traditional indigenous governance. The workshop focussed on traditional knowledge, clan structure, and traditional indigenous forms of organization and decision-making. After the presentation, those at the meeting introduced themselves and explained their reasons for attending the meeting. In the go around, a number of Read More …

‘A bundle of arrows doesn’t break’: The formation of the Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association

  By Tom Keefer TYENDINAGA MOHAWK TERRITORY  – ’The times they are a changin’. 10 or 20 years ago it would have seemed quite implausible that a group of Native growers and retailers of marijuana would openly hold a public meeting to discuss the formation of an Indigenous Medical Cannabis Association. But with decades worth of court rulings advancing the constitutional rights of Canadians to self medicate with the Cannabis Sativa plant, popular perceptions of marijuana are changing, and the medicinal value of the plant is being embraced. Add to this an indigenous population going through a demographic rebound, and politically Read More …