Posts Tagged ‘legislation’

Nebraska lawsuit latest in fight over Whiteclay

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Robyn Wisch, KVNO News / NET Radio / July 19, 2012

WHITECLAY, NE (NET RADIO) - Whiteclay, Neb. sits on the border of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The town is located a few miles from a sign that welcomes visitors to “The Good Life.” But some describe it as “hell.”

Whiteclay, population around 11, is a visible outpost of the alcoholism that runs rampant on the reservation. But how did this small Nebraska town become such a scene of devastation? Why does it fester, and whose responsibility is it to clean it up? (more…)

For Native American Women, Scourge of Rape, Rare Justice

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012


EMMONAK, Alaska — She was 19, a young Alaska Native woman in this icebound fishing village of 800 in the Yukon River delta, when an intruder broke into her home and raped her. The man left. Shaking, the woman called the tribal police, a force of three. It was late at night. No one answered. She left a message on the department’s voice mail system. Her call was never returned. She was left to recover on her own.

“I drank a lot,” she said this spring, three years later. “You get to a certain point, it hits a wall.”

One in three American Indian women have been raped or have experienced an attempted rape, according to the Justice Department. Their rate of sexual assault is more than twice the national average. And no place, women’s advocates say, is more dangerous than Alaska’s isolated villages, where there are no roads in or out, and where people are further cut off by undependable telephone, electrical and Internet service. (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.)


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…)

Can a Bud boycott help the Pine Ridge Reservation?

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

By  MICHAEL YUDELL (associate professor at Drexel University School of Public Health)/ May 8, 2012 / THE PUBLIC’S HEALTH (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

In Sunday’s New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof called for a boycott of Anheuser-Busch (maker of beers like Budweiser, Rolling Rock, and, for the fancier among you, Stella Artois) for its role in selling alcohol in the tiny Nebraska town of Whiteclay. According to Kristof, the stores in Whiteclay (population: about 10) sell more than four million cans of beer and malt liquor annually, most of it by Anheuser-Busch. (more…)

OPINION: Journalism loves Whiteclay

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012


Journalism loves Whiteclay.

Not Whiteclay, the border city in Nebraska, but “Whiteclay” the metaphor — the serial melodrama about modern-day snake oil peddlers who sell an ocean of firewater to innocent Indians. (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…)

The $500 million Whiteclay lawsuit and a wide spot on the road called Swett

Monday, March 5th, 2012

By Stew Magnuson / BUFFALO’S FIRE

I won’t presume to know what the true intentions of the Oglala Nation’s tribal leaders were when they filed the $500 million lawsuit seeking damages from the beer sellers in Whiteclay, Nebr., along with the distributors and brewers.

If they wanted to bring attention to the problem of chronic alcoholism on Pine Ridge where alcohol is prohibited, and the lack of resources being put toward the problem, then kudos!

In that respect, the lawsuit has already been a resounding success. I opened up the print edition of the Washington Post last week, and found the AP lawsuit story on page 2. USA Today, and other media outlets have picked up on the story. More importantly, eastern Nebraska newspapers have Whiteclay on their front pages again. (more…)

Nebraska bill targeting Whiteclay faces scrutiny

Thursday, February 16th, 2012


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – A proposal to allow for stricter alcohol rules in certain parts of Nebraska would give local governments the tools they need to fight public drunkenness, a state lawmaker said Monday.

But the bill faced skepticism from some state lawmakers and industry leaders, who questioned whether the measure unfairly singled out certain areas. Critics also said they doubted the measure would solve persistent alcohol abuse in problem areas. (more…)

‘But we don’t do that at Whiteclay’: Health equity and social justice on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

by PAMELA MEJIA / bmsg blog / Feb. 15, 2012

The numbers are eye-catching: A town of 11 people sold 4.9 million cans of beer in one year. But the story of the Oglala Sioux tribe’s recent lawsuit against the country’s largest brewers is about more than a startling statistic. It’s another chapter in the tumultuous history of South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (the setting of the 1973 Wounded Knee Incident and the shootout that lead to the arrest of Native American activist Leonard Peltier), which is again the site of tension between United States and Native authority. It’s yet another shameful example, too long ignored by the media, of how companies target communities of color for the sale of harmful products — in this case, alcohol. And it’s the story of the most highly publicized event in more than 10 years of a community’s efforts to combat this exploitation.

Last Thursday the Reservation’s Oglala Sioux tribe filed a lawsuit against beer manufacturers, distributors and retailers, who they claim have knowingly promoted alcohol abuse on the Reservation, where alcohol is illegal. The tribe is seeking half a million dollars in damages to offset the social and health costs of growing alcoholism – estimated at $8-9 million dollars a year. (more…)