A native-run discount smoke shop in western Manitoba was raided by provincial authorities on Tuesday afternoon, who seized cigarettes from the illegal operation.
Manitoba Finance officials arrested the manager of the Dakota Chundee Smoke Shop near Pipestone, Man., and confiscated about $10,000 worth of Mohawk cigarettes, the province has confirmed.
Tuesday's raid is the fourth since the smoke shop opened on Nov. 9, but the first to take place this year.
The store was previously raided on Nov. 14, Nov. 28 and Dec. 20.
Located on off-reserve land, about 80 kilometres southwest of Brandon, the Dakota Chundee Smoke Shop is owned by leaders from the Dakota Plains and Canupawakpa First Nations.
The First Nations opened the shop — which does not have a licence — in part to generate revenue for their members, but also to draw attention to the Canupawakpa First Nation's court battle to get treaty status.
"What they want us to do is shut down the store while this plays out in court," Craig Blacksmith, a Dakota Plains band councillor, told CBC News on Tuesday.
"We're telling them we're not going to shut down. We're going to keep going."
Blacksmith said the smoke shop will reopen on Wednesday.
Dakota Chundee have sold untaxed cigarettes, which come from Mohawk distributors from Quebec, for $40 a carton or $5 a pack, less than half the regular price in Manitoba.