Local singer/songwriter Roxanne Tellier posted this clarification on Facebook. As she so correctly pointed out, it is a not so subtle form of racism when people spout off about the free ride native people are receiving regarding income and sales taxes in this country.
We've all encountered these comments, mostly in social situations. The comments I've heard on more than one occasion are pretty much as Roxanne described them. They usually include the phrase, "free ride". In my experience, it's been privileged white/anglo expressing these misinformed sentiments. What strikes me about this when it happens is how easily these words leave their mouths...fully expecting others in the conversation echoing their beliefs.
Upon further investigation, I soon learn that these beige racists have never been near a reserve other than to drive through on the Trans Canada Highway. They've never spoken to an aboriginal and know virtually nothing about their culture or their history.
What in the hell is being taught in the schools in this country?
I get nuts when people spout racist misinformation.
quote: "It's an income tax free-for-all
This one drives a lot of indigenous people crazy. Yes, some of us don't pay income taxes. (I'm not one of them, unfortunately.) In order to benefit from this, you have to live and work on reserve.
There is one exception where "status Indians" are tax-exempt on the income they've earned while living off reserve. They have to work at a registered First Nations government organization; that organization has to have its head office on reserve land, which can be an urban reserve. The organization's main objective has to be the "social, cultural, educational or economic development of Indians who for the most part live on reserves. If the duties of employment are in connection with non-commercial activities carried out exclusively for the benefit of Indians who for the most part live on reserves," according to a Law Now article.
We pay GST, PST and the HST. Except when we present our status card to on-reserve gas stations. Except when goods are purchased and delivered on-reserve. Except when we purchase cigarette and tobacco products on-reserve. Except in Ontario, where we are exempt from paying the PST portion of the HST. Then we are tax-exempt. There may be a few other examples, but these are the biggies."