Inside, employees of the Oneida Indian Nation dump the shredded tobacco leaves into rolling machines and fashion them into cigarettes to be sold at a dozen tribal convenience stores midway between Syracuse and Utica.
The cigarettes, branded with names like Niagara’s and Bishop, sell for as little as $39.95 for a 10-pack carton — much cheaper than those at non-Indian retailers — and bring in millions of dollars a year to the tribe, which also has a resort casino, five golf courses and a multimedia production house.
“We tried poverty for 200 years,” the Oneidas’ leader, Ray Halbritter, said in an interview. “We decided to try something different.”
Thanks to T.W.