Focus on Whiteclay is beginning

Published Saturday February 6, 2010
THE PUBLIC PULSE (Letters to the Editor)

I’d like to express my appreciation for The World-Herald’s focus on the problematic issue of alcohol sales at Whiteclay, Neb.

A Jan. 14 editorial, “A sensible path forward,” and recent news stories reflect an increased awareness of the need to do something about the social problems on the Pine Ridge Reservation, to which alcohol sales at Whiteclay contribute.

For those who have been to Whiteclay, the images of the problem remain with them. “Skid Row of the Plains” is an apt description. I encourage those who haven’t been to Whiteclay to watch the locally produced documentary, “The Battle for Whiteclay,” which examines the problem at length.

While I agree that the proposed legislation won’t cure the problems at Whiteclay, it is reaffirming to learn that the issue is being discussed by our elected officials and that funds may soon be available for much-needed services.

Nebraskans certainly need to start somewhere to address this issue. I hope continued news coverage will further raise awareness and prompt others to take an active interest in this issue, as well as support efforts to improve conditions on Pine Ridge.

Kerry L. Beldin, Lincoln

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