Omaha Tribe of Nebraska

In 1998, Capital Consultants assisted the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and its Washington, DC based law firm, Monteau Peebles, to develop a sales and marketing strategy for the manufacture and export of Omaha brand cigarettes.  The production and sale of cigarettes on Indian-owned lands by the Omaha was the first of its kind.  Although somewhat controversial, one must keep in mind tobacco is considered sacred among Native Americans and, in fact, it was Native Americans who first introduced tobacco to western travelers such as Christopher Columbus and the early Pilgrims more than 500 years ago.  Tobacco continues to be used today by Native American tribes in religious ceremonies and many Native Americans continue to be prolific smokers.  However, it is the general consensus of most Native Americans that it is the White Man who is responsible for contaminating natural, tobacco products with chemicals and additives to make cigarettes more addictive and more profitable, which is why Native Americans began making their own cigarettes in the late 1990s.  Unfortunately, not long after the Omaha brand of cigarettes made its debut, the preferential language and special treatment of large tobacco companies in the Tobacco Settlement made it all but impossible for the Omaha tribe or any other tribe for that matter to produce their own cigarettes.  The Tobacco Settlement requires ALL tobacco companies – even new start-up companies – to pay into the multi-billion dollar tobacco settlement, which brought the plans of the Omaha as well as other tribes to an end.

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