Two virtual discussion forums were held in February for community members to discuss proposed changes to NFN’s business licensing law to approve select sales and manufacture of alcohol on reserve.
We sought additional input through a survey and received significant feedback from the community. This information was presented to Chief and Council at their regular meeting on April 5, 2022.
Based on the recommendation of the business licensing committee, Council decided to continue the prohibition on retail alcohol sales and manufacture on NFN.
Council recognizes that alcohol has had a significant and negative impact on our Nation throughout history. We also recognize our members lived experience with alcohol and have taken this into account when coming to a decision. While there was an overall positive response it was deemed not enough to overturn the existing prohibition.
We received proposals from NFN entrepreneurs to sell alcohol and NFN responded by initiating a process to better understand the community’s views before making a decision. This ensures that we hear from the members directly and are fair and respectful of the diverse range of perspectives on this issue.
In February and March 2022, Chief and Council sought input from NFN members regarding potential alcohol sales and manufacture on NFN lands.
Two virtual engagement sessions were held on February 16th and 23rd to provide an opportunity for the NFN entrepreneurs to present their proposals and to answer questions from community members.
A survey was also completed to gather additional input following the engagement sessions to ensure that all NFN members had an opportunity to share their thoughts confidentially.
Members were asked if they are in favour or opposed to each of the three areas that were being considered:
- Manufacturing Alcohol (i.e. craft brewery)
- Retail Sales of Alcohol in Restaurants
- Retail Sales of Alcohol in Stand Stores (i.e. LCBO, Brewer’s Retail)
The responses were compiled confidentially and shared with Chief and Council to support an informed decision on whether to proceed with amending the business licensing by-law to permit these activities or stay with the current prohibition on alcohol sales on reserve.