Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Broken Promises

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

By BYRON L. DORGAN / NEW YORK TIMES / July 10,2013

Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, served in the House from 1981 to 1992 and in the Senate from 1992 to 2011. He is a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

WASHINGTON — WHEN I retired in 2011 after serving 30 years in Congress, there was one set of issues I knew I could not leave behind. I donated $1 million of unused campaign funds to create the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, because our country has left a trail of broken promises to American Indians.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, I once toured a school near an Indian reservation where I encountered a teacher who told me that when she asked a young Indian student what she wanted for Christmas, she said she wanted the electricity turned on in her house so she could study at night.

That type of story is all too familiar. I believe that American Indian children are the country’s most at-risk population. Too many live in third-world conditions. A few weeks ago, I traveled to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It’s hard just to get there. A two-hour drive from Rapid City brings you to Shannon County, the second poorest county in the United States. (more…)

Chris Hedges on Capitalism’s ‘Sacrifice Zones’

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Moyers & Company / July 20 , 2012

There are forgotten corners of this country where Americans are trapped in endless cycles of poverty, powerlessness, and despair as a direct result of capitalistic greed. Journalist Chris Hedges, co-author of Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt (Nation Books, 2012), calls these places “sacrifice zones,” and joins Bill this week on Moyers & Company to explore how areas like Camden, New Jersey; Pine Ridge, South Dakota; Immokalee, Florida; and parts of West Virginia suffer while the corporations that plundered them thrive. (more…)

Whiteclay: Oglala Lakota Lawsuit Keeps Alcohol Problem on Front Burner

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

By MARY ANNETTE PEMBER / INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY / June 5, 2012

As a Native American woman and recovering alcoholic I am grateful for Whiteclay, Nebraska for the simple reason that it keeps the disease of alcoholism and addiction right where it needs to be for our people: front and center.

Having seen many failures and successes in sobriety, I am convinced that the message in the often-quoted recovery phrase willingness to do whatever it takes is the key to successful sobriety. (more…)

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is drowning in beer

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

The Oglala Sioux Tribe takes a stand for alcohol responsibility by fighting against illegal bootlegging on its reservation

By LISA WIRTHMAN / THE DENVER POST / May 27, 2012

Just six hours from Denver is the town of Whiteclay, Neb. Its population: about 12. Yet in 2010, this tiny town sold 465,000 gallons of beer, enough for nearly 5 million 12-ounce servings.

There’s no place in Whiteclay to legally consume beer, and state law prohibits its resale. So where is all that beer going? (more…)

Oglala Sioux tribal members are proud of Pine Ridge Reservation

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

By LISA WIRTHMAN / THE DENVER POST / May 27, 2012

Dana Lone Hill is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. While poverty and alcoholism are critical issues on the reservation, she says it’s also a place of hope and pride in this e-mailed interview. Lone Hill is author of an upcoming book, “Pointing with Lips.” (more…)

Blood on Their Hands

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

By FRANK LaMERE / THE NEW YORK TIMES / May 16, 2012

Frank LaMere is an activist and a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

Frank LaMere

Any action short of shutting down Whiteclay and crippling the enterprise that peddles alcohol among the Lakota people is unacceptable. The death toll exacted on the Lakota people by Anheuser-Busch and its partners continues to rise, and the sooner the Sheridan County hell-hole can be leveled the better off Nebraska will be.

County, state and liquor industry officials have long known of the lawlessness and illegal activities that go on there, but they have been allowed to run from their responsibilities as public trustees by reducing the sad reality to a discussion about personal responsibility and market demand. (more…)

How to Address Alcoholism on Indian Reservations

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

THE NEW YORK TIMES / Room for Debate / May 16, 2012

Whiteclay, Neb., outside the Pine Ridge Indian ReservationWhiteclay, Neb., just across the state line from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. (Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times)

In The New York Times earlier this month, Nicholas D. Kristof called for a boycott of Anheuser-Busch because of how the company’s products are affecting residents of an Indian reservation that has been decimated by alcoholism. The reservation is dry, but the nearby town of Whiteclay, Neb., (with a population of about 10 people) “sells more than four million cans of beer and malt liquor annually” and “is the main channel through which alcohol illegally enters the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.”

How can tribes, states, the federal government and local communities deal with alcoholism on and around reservations? If the beer companies and liquor stores are following the law, do they have a further responsibility to their communities?

These questions are discussed by Frank LaMere (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska), Aneel Karnani (University of Michigan), Waheed Hussain (University of Pennsylvania), and Richard B. Luarkie (Governor, Pueblo of Laguna, N.M.)

READ THE DISCUSSION »

Anheuser-Busch, drunk on greed

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

By JIM HIGHTOWER / May 16, 2012 / NATION OF CHANGE [for audio]

Big brewers like Anheuser-Busch frequently admonish us imbibers of their grain products to “drink responsibly.” Well, I say back to them: Lobby responsibly.

In particular, I point to a disgusting binge of besotted lobbying by Anheuser-Busch (now owned by the Belgian beer conglomerate InBev) and other beer barons this year in the Nebraska legislature. (more…)

‘Beer Sniffing’ reporters invade Pine Ridge

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

By TOM GIAGO / THE HUFFINGTON POST / May 13, 2012

The “beer sniffing” reporters from across the country, particularly those of The New York Times, descended upon the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

First came Diane Sawyer from ABC Television immediately followed by a Tim Williams and Nicholas Kristoff from The New York Times and Arthur Sulzberger,The New York Times‘ Bureau Chief for Kansas City, and then Tony Newman, listed as Director of Media Relations for the Drug Policy Alliance. (more…)

Poverty’s Poster Child

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

By  / May 9, 2012 / THE NEW YORK TIMES

PINE RIDGE, S.D. – This sprawling Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is a Connecticut-sized zone of prairie and poverty, where the have-nots are defined less by the money they lack than by suffocating hopelessness.

In the national number line of inequality, people here represent the “other 1 percent,” the bottom of the national heap. (more…)