Press Release| Posted on: Jul. 09, 2018
On Wednesday June 28th, 2018 CBC reporter Elizabeth Chiu requested an interview with Just Us! on the
pretense of our acceptance and interpretation of Status Cards for Point of Sale Tax Exemptions at our two
coffee house locations. The article/TV news footage was not entirely a fair representation of what she initially
mentioned as her purpose of the interview.
Av Singh (worker/owner/volunteer) agreed to speak on behalf of Just Us! and was proud to highlight that Just
Us! employs a vibrant and visible sign to acknowledge the acceptance of Status Cards (something that is quite
rare in non-First Nation communities). Moreover, the intent behind the sign is multi-faceted. Singh pointed out
that despite the “Indian Act” being borne out of “patriarchy and colonialism” it is what we have to work within, but we can interpret differently. Just Us! recognizes that Mi’kma’ki territory is unceded land and by definition all
taxable purchases that are made regardless of where consumed or used in Mi’kma’ki should be tax exempt.
Secondly, we hope that the sign will initiate conversation around the rights and responsibilities of all Atlantic
Canadians (settlers and Indigenous Peoples) under the Peace and Friendship Treaties. It is our belief here that
if we are to make true progress in this world then there can be no “Us and Them”, just us.
Lastly, through proper training of our baristas, we hope that Indian Status Card holders will feel comfortable and
respected when making purchases.
- When asked regarding “Métis” rights, Singh discussed this issue from the perspective that it can have multiple understandings, as it refers to a distinct Nation from Western Canada, but is starting to be a term used by people whose historical lineage may be of mixed-ancestry.
- Singh, also commented that the term “Métis” may be inappropriate, as it refers to a distinct Nation from Western Canada that is represented by the Métis National Council.
- Just Us! recognizes the inherent rights of the Mi’kmaq in Mi’kmaki. Our alliance is with those who work to uphold these rights and support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – especially the right of Indigenous Peoples, not governments, to determine for themselves their Nationhood.
Just Us! has asked for a transcript of the interview from CBC so that we can share it with First Nations leaders.
Unfortunately, it is a lesson learned that we need to record interviews, to ensure proper citation is credited to the
interviewee and not just the opinions/ interpretation of the reporter.
Just Us! apologizes for the inconvenience of this article and truly hopes that positive dialogue about the
legitimate use of Status Cards in Mi’kma’ki occurs as a result.
Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op Ltd
Hortonville, NS B4P 2R3
Date: July 9, 2018