Archive for April, 2012

Are beer firms to blame for Native American drink woe?

Friday, April 27th, 2012

By Pia Gadkari / April 27, 2012 / BBC News

White Clay, Nebraska – After years of failed efforts to address chronic alcoholism, can a $500m (£308m) dollar lawsuit against the beer supply-chain put an end to one tribe’s deadly struggle with alcohol? (more…)

Whiteclay Burn Victim Begins Long Medical—and Legal—Journey

Friday, April 13th, 2012

By Stephanie Woodard / April 13, 2012 / INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY

“He may never have full use of his hands again,” said Patricia White Bear Claws, of her longtime companion, Bryan Blue Bird Jr., who was severely injured in an early-March prescribed burn in Whiteclay, Nebraska. Set by the volunteer fire department from nearby Rushville, the blaze flared out of control and engulfed Blue Bird, a bystander. Both he and White Bear Claws are Oglala Lakota, from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which straddles the Nebraska–South Dakota border and adjoins the town of Whiteclay. (more…)

Indian beer bill stalls; industry money flows

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

By Timothy Willams / April 11, 2012 / NEW YORK TIMES

Legislation in Nebraska that would curtail alcohol purchases to residents of a dry Indian reservation has stalled in a key committee whose members have received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the alcohol industry, according to state records.

The bill, which would allow the authorities to establish “alcohol impact zones” in areas prone to alcohol-related crime, appears doomed, with the legislative session scheduled to end Wednesday. (more…)

Brendan Johnson on Bootlegging Indictments and More

Monday, April 9th, 2012


A federal grand jury has indicted five individuals for possessing and selling alcohol on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, says the U.S. Attorney’s Office for South Dakota, an arm of the Department of Justice. According to U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, the indictments resulted from a cooperative operation targeting bootlegging by his office, the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety and the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Justice Services. (more…)

Oglala Sioux Tribe updates lawsuit

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012


A lawsuit the Oglala Sioux Tribe filed against several Nebraska liquor stores has legal precedent in old English complaints from landowners against rowdy tavern neighbors, according to the tribe’s attorney.

The argument for recovery of damages in public and private nuisance cases goes back hundreds of years, to when English landowners would sue tavern neighbors for creating loud noises, drunken neighbors and objectionable behavior, attorney Thomas White said Monday. (more…)

Oglala Sioux Tribe Files Second Amended Complaint Against Whiteclay Retailers, Distributors and Retailers

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Alleges Defendants Have Created Public and Private Nuisances Inside the Pine Ridge

LINCOLN, Neb. – (NEWS RELEASE: Apr. 2, 2012) – Attorney Tom White, legal counsel for the Oglala Sioux Tribe, has filed a second amended complaint in the Tribe’s lawsuit against the brewers, retailers and distributors of beer sold in Whiteclay, Nebraska.

The second amended complaint, filed Friday March 23 in Federal Court in Lincoln, adds to previous allegations that actions of the defendants have created public and private nuisances inside the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation “by endangering and injuring the property, health, safety and comfort of a considerable number of individual members of the OST” and seeks injunctive relief and money damages. The sale, possession and consumption of alcohol is illegal on the Pine Ridge, where many tribal members suffer from crippling poverty and alcoholism. (more…)