A recent news article by the CBC was posted on October 19th 2018, on a police investigation into the ‘’use of fake Indian status cards for tax breaks’’. The article lists the Native Alliance of Quebec (NAQ), an affiliate organization of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP).
For over 47 years, CAP has worked as the national voice of off-reserve status and non-status Indians, Métis, and Southern Labrador Inuit, through its provincial affiliates, including the NAQ. In 1971, the NAQ was also formed to promote and represent the interests of Aboriginal people (Indians, Inuit and Métis) who live off-reserve in Quebec. NAQ is the only organization to do so and be recognized by the federal government.
The NAQ issues membership cards to their constituency, not for tax purposes. These cards are used primarily to demonstrate a sense of belonging and secondly to access services offered through NAQ, for example their employment and court services. On their website, the Alliance specifically notes that one must be a registered Indian with the federal government and have principal residence on a reserve, to have certain rights of exemption from taxes. It also states that ‘‘you must pay your income taxes and pay taxes on your purchases’’. NAQ Grand Chief, Danielle Bédard explains that they ‘‘use every sort of communication to make sure our members are well aware that their cards are not for tax purposes’’. The NAQ has no control over individuals misusing the cards.
‘‘We will continue to give our affiliates the full strength of our support in providing services to their members’’ say National Chief Robert Bertrand. ‘‘It has been a practice for many of our PTOs to issue membership cards for their activities. As made clear by the NAQ, these are not cards intended for tax purposes’’.
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