After years of a somewhat strained relationship, it appeared this week that representatives of the Mohawk First Nation enclave of Kahnawake and the Canadian provincial government of Quebec have opened a hopefully positive dialogue on internet gambling.
Kahnawake has long asserted its First Nation sovereignty rights to set up an ultra-modern, high security and technically advanced internet hosting service on its lands, only 20 miles from downtown Montreal.
Complementing the high technology centre, the Mohawks have for years operated the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which licenses and regulates online gambling operations through a framework of rules established in consultation with legal expert and former senior US Justice Department executive Frank Catania.
The KGC currently licenses a large number of online gambling operations, many of them owned by top internet companies and groups.
The detailed content of the discussions taking place this week is not yet known, but with Loto Quebec's stated intention to move into the commercial online gambling market there is obviously common ground and undoubtedly significant synergy if the two parties can agree to work together.
The statement today (Wednesday) from the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke announces that representatives from the Government of Québec will be in Kahnawà:ke to participate in the first formal meeting specifically on gaming in over a decade. The representatives are part of the province’s negotiating team for Québec/Kahnawake Relations.
The meeting will be prefaced by a tour of the facilities of Mohawk Internet Technologies, which administers and operates the hosting centre.
“This is an exciting time to be involved with the gaming portfolio,” said Kahnawake Chief John Dee Delormier. “This is a positive step forward for Québec. We’re confident that this will be the start of some productive discussions.”