St. Regis Mohawks eyeing draft ordinance to keep out scammers who prey on elders
Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 5:23 pm

AKWESASNE -- The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Compliance Department is drafting a law to prevent scammers from coming onto the territory and targeting elders.

Tribal officials are in the process of holding public meetings to present and gain feedback from tribal members on the development of a General Business Ordinance. Two previous public meetings were held on June 14 and June 21, and a third will be held on Wednesday, July 12.

“Tribal Council is aware that over the past several years, non-member vendors and peddlers have entered our community for the purpose of targeting our elders with various scams,” said Chief Eric Thompson. “The General Business Ordinance will expressly give the Tribe authority to prohibit these businesses from selling on our territory, while protecting the business owners who operate in good faith.” The draft General Business Ordinance’s intent is to ensure the Tribe is aware of both members and non-members conducting business within the Tribal jurisdiction.

The draft ordinance sets forth a fee for general business licenses and peddler’s permits, including vendors, to provide information on the type businesses and the identity of business owners and their salespeople. Those seeking to sell goods or services within the tribe’s jurisdiction will be required to obtain a business license within 90 days of the ordinance being enacted. Existing member-owned businesses shall have one year to obtain a license.

The SRMT Compliance Department is responsible for enforcing certain tribal laws and regulations and has the authority to collect fees associated with regulating tribally licensed business activity. Fees collected are used to for community support programs, including the Elders Electricity Assistance Pilot Project, Alcohol/Chemical Dependency Program, Child Care and Head Start and the fire and police departments.

Tribal members can attend the third public meeting on July 12 at 5 p.m. at the Community Building to provide comments on the proposed ordinance, or people may submit written comments to the Tribal Clerk’s Office, located in the Community Building, or mail them to: Tribal Clerk’s Office; 412 State Route 37; Akwesasne, NY 13655.

Following the third public meeting, the Tribal Council will have 30 days to consider comments and provide responses in developing a final draft ordinance. The proposed ordinance will then be submitted to the Tribal Clerk, who shall issue a notice of the legislation being presented for enactment through a tribal council resolution.

The draft may be downloaded from the tribe’s website at underneath “Publication.”