Posts Tagged ‘economic justice’

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.)


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…)

Alcohol drives Oglala Sioux Tribe’s lawsuit

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

By Alan Neville (American News columnist) / ABERDEEN (SD) NEWS

Whiteclay, Neb., has a population of 14 people. It is in northwest Nebraska, bordering the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, only two miles from the city of Pine Ridge. Whiteclay has four off-sale beer stores that, according to numerous sources, sell approximately 4.5 million cans of beer annually. So who could be buying all that beer?

The Oglala Sioux Tribe has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the four beer stores in Whiteclay in addition to the beer distributors and manufacturers that supply those stores. It is illegal to consume or possess alcohol on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. But the tribe says these stores are undermining that law by providing the alcohol just beyond the border, knowing full well who they are selling it to and where it is going.

One might characterize this as a frivolous lawsuit, wondering “Why don’t the Indians just stop buying beer?” But this simplistic response ignores the reality of the situation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, as well as the role alcohol has playing in the lives of American Indians for the past 160 years. (more…)

Native advocate speaks about ‘ongoing Indian wars’

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011


Chuck Trimble doesn’t like Indian casinos – not because he opposes them morally, but because he’s not very lucky.

He never witnessed abuse at the Native boarding school he attended.

And he didn’t wear a breast plate and choker to his presentation Tuesday, because he wanted to wear the tie his wife bought him for his birthday.

All of which is to say Native people and their history are complicated and not easily explained, he said.

“What I have to say is not a nice story,” he said. “There is no other way to present it than as what it is.” (more…)

Merchant puts down roots, hopes village can grow

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Published Sunday July 18, 2010

WHITECLAY, Neb. – While beer sales get most of the attention, some Whiteclay businesses survive and even prosper without selling alcohol.

Firmly rooted in Whiteclay, Lewis Abold and his son, Lou, opened their general merchandise store, Abe’s New and Used, about three years ago on Halloween. “This is our third summer,” Lewis Abold said. (more…)

Thoughts from White Clay … by Lance Morgan

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Published Thursday April 15, 2010

I recently sat on a panel discussing White Clay, Nebraska, which is tiny town just a mile from the Pine Ridge Reservation. The town of White Clay only has four full time residents, but it’s claim to fame is that it sells over 4 million cans of beer a year. Obviously, the beer is sold to members of the local tribe, which is technically a dry reservation. (more…)