World’s First Indigenous Cannabis Cup - By Native People, For Native People

By Aaron M.
For the first time, First Nation Peoples from all over North America will gather to celebrate cannabis in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory this May 18-21. Many tribes will be present for the world’s first Indigenous Cannabis Cup, and yes, there will be a peace pipe; the world’s biggest.

First Nation Cannabis Cup

The event takes place in Mohawk territory, just across the border into Canada, about halfway between Toronto and Montreal. Native Americans have used cannabis as a medicine for eons, but this will be the first formal festival and cannabis competition held on native people’s land. And yes, they intend to pass the world’s biggest peace pipe.

Patrons and judges can expect live music and art to accompany the bonfires, dancing, camping, cannabis vendors and a competitive ganja competition.

2018 Cannabis Cup | Event Costs & Cup Categories

A VIP Judge’s pass or vendor’s booth is, of course, $420. A weekend pass is $120 and a day passes are only $42. The festival takes place from the 18th to the 21st of May, 2018, so you should probably get those tickets and passes ASAP. 

The event is not only a celebration of cannabis and indigenous peoples, but it’s also a legit cannabis cup competition. There are twelve different entry categories that will be judged including:

  • Indoor flower
  • Outdoor flower
  • Indoor organic flower
  • Outdoor organic flower
  • Hash
  • Oil
  • Shatter
  • Rosin/wax/honeycomb/
  • Distillate
  • Tincture/salve/capsule
  • CBD products
  • Edibles

Cannabis Cup Entry

2018 Indigenous Cannabis Cup

Thinking of getting in on the action? At 1.5 pounds for flower entry, it’s a bit steep to have your strain in on the competition. For other products or items, you have to submit at least 700 grams/items to be considered in the competition. Hurry. Entries are only open until April 1. 

According to the festival website, Tyendinaga territory is at the forefront of the indigenous cannabis movement. The festival is organized by Jamie Kunkel, the owner of Smoke Signals Tyendinaga, a medical marijuana dispensary. 

According to Jamie, this festival could be the largest gathering of indigenous peoples related to cannabis in the history of the world.

His hope is to empower and improve the native community. Cannabis could help bring healing to indigenous peoples, as well as provide an alternative economic model for their impoverished communities.

Native Americans across the continent have suffered greatly due to colonization. First nation communities today are enduring a pandemic of difficult socioeconomic situations, depression, and drug and alcohol addiction.

Festivals like this are treated ceremoniously, and the elders feel that cannabis is a plant medicine which native people can use again, as they once were free to do. The plant’s economic power as an industrial crop is a powerful tool that can help impoverished communities to escape generational poverty. 

About The Cup

2018 Indigenous Mohawk Cannabis Cup

There are over 20 dispensaries operating in Tyendinaga territory and over 30 indigenous cannabis dispensaries open in Ontario alone. Festival organizers are currently accepting proposals for cannabis workshops focusing on, 

  • Self-determination
  • Community safety
  • Combating addiction
  • Quality control/safety/consistency in cannabis production
  • Consumer education
  • Fair wages/worker benefits
  • Public health/spiritual/ and social well being

Don’t be mistaken though, this festival isn’t about getting messed up with your friends and passing the peace pipe around the sacred flames. There are strict rules against alcohol or hard drugs at the event.

Free camping is available for anyone with a pass. Remember to respect the land and leave only your footprints. There is great reverence to mother Earth and nature on native land. The setting of this cannabis cup is also what makes it so appealing.

The beauty of nature, the water, the air, and the earth mix with the energy of the people, supercharging the cannabis. While Canada and others may have held many cannabis cups, they are typically held in a city setting. This will be unique not only for being held in nature but also for being held by natives on native land.

Follow the rules and move with respect thru Mohawk territory. Vendors and patrons can buy, sell, and smoke, as much marijuana as they like all weekend long, participate in the many workshops, and blaze some of the finest cannabis the region has to offer.

2018 Indigenous Mohawk Canadians Cannabis Cup

What could be better than getting back to the roots with first nations peoples? Ditch the glam of the big city cannabis festivals and take it to the bush for some camping and fire time. What’s the biggest attraction of the festival for me? 

That would be the world’s biggest peace pipe. Native Americans hold unique ceremonies, utilizing herbs to facilitate prayer and ritual. With intentions of peace, kindness, compassion, and community, the prayers will be blazing like a fire at the indigenous cannabis cup. I have a feeling this is going to be one for the history books folks, go check it out!

Learn More

Want to learn more about cannabis, medical marijuana, and community events? Check out our other articles linked below.

Thanks for reading and be sure to share this article with friends who you might think would like it and stay tuned to Slyng for all your cannabis content needs.


1. About the Smoke Signals Indigenous Cannabis Cup. Retrieved March 09, 2018 from

2.Vincent Schilling 11 Things You Should Know About Mohawks. Retrieved March 09, 2018 from

3. WAKONDAうまい!!!. Retrieved March 09, 2018 from

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About the author: Aaron M.

Aaron is a freelance cannabis writer for Slyng, covering medical marijuana, cultivation and other cannabis culture topics. He's also an independent musician and songwriter releasing his debut album one single at a time.