Posts Tagged ‘prohibition’

Oglala Sioux tribe ponders options in alcohol lawsuit

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR / Associated Press / October 4, 2012

Omaha, Nebraska (AP) – The Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, whose federal lawsuit against four Nebraska beer sellers and some of the nation’s biggest breweries was dismissed this week, may refile in state court, the tribe’s attorney said.

Tom White, an Omaha-based attorney for the tribe, said he’d urge the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation’s council to continue with its lawsuit against the alcohol manufacturers and distributors and four retailers in Whiteclay. The town of about a dozen residents on the reservation’s border sold the equivalent of 4.3 million 12-ounce cans of beer last year. (more…)

Lawsuit against Whiteclay beer stores dismissed

Monday, October 1st, 2012

The Associated Press / LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR / October 1, 2012

A federal judge on Monday dismissed the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s lawsuit that blamed beer makers and stores in Whiteclay for chronic alcoholism on the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, saying the case belonged in state court and giving a subtle nod to the tribe’s claims. (more…)

Beer Profiteers Fight Oglala Lawsuit That Seeks Control of Alcohol Sales

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012


The Oglala Lakota elder spread out the map on her kitchen table. It showed the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, where possessing, consuming or selling booze can land you in jail. “People living in the western part of the reservation can get alcohol in the border town of Oelrichs, South Dakota, where carryout is available, and I hear a second bar has just been built,” she said, sweeping her hand across the left side of the map. “If you live on the eastern side, around Allen, for example, you can drive over to Martin to drink or buy carryout. In the northern part of the reservation, you can go to [the town of] Interior. And of course, there’s Whiteclay, to the south of us in Nebraska.” (more…)

Whiteclay: Oglala Lakota Lawsuit Keeps Alcohol Problem on Front Burner

Tuesday, June 5th, 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…)

Authorities Place Safety Checks Near Pine Ridge to Combat Alcohol Woes

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012


Just south of Pine Ridge village on prom night for Pine Ridge High School, the blue and red swirling lights of Oglala Lakota tribal cop cars lit up the two-lane road, blocking the way to Whiteclay and its four liquor stores for any dancegoers who thought they’d swing by and pick up some booze for parties later in the evening. Sergeant Ken Franks, who was commanding the safety check, said there was a chance high school kids might try to buy some celebration libations and bring them back illegally onto the dry reservation.

“There’s a long history of prom night drunkenness,” agreed an elder, who asked not to be named. “When my kids were in school, they’d rent a limo for the prom and ask it to drive down to Whiteclay so they could stock up on beer.” Isn’t selling to anyone under 21 illegal in Nebraska? Sure thing, said a 30-something tribal member, who also asked to remain anonymous, but he’d bought beer in Whiteclay since he was a young teen and never heard of other kids having problems doing so. He described his prom nights: “We’d stay at the dance for just a short time, then me and my buddies would gather all our money, load up the truck with as much alcohol as we could and drive around all night getting drunk.” (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


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…)

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.)


‘Beer Sniffing’ reporters invade Pine Ridge

Sunday, May 13th, 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…)

Banning Beer on the Reservation? How Prohibition Harms the Alcohol-Addicted Oglala Sioux

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

By TONY NEWMAN / AlterNet / May 8, 2012

For the second time in a year, the New York Times has covered the devastation of alcohol abuse on the Native American tribe of Oglala Sioux, as well as their efforts to prohibit alcohol consumption.  On Sunday, Times columnist Nicolas Kristof painted a heartbreaking picture of the harms of alcohol in the Oglala Sioux community:

“Alcohol fuels stunning rates of domestic violence, suicide and crime on the reservation. I [Kristof] spoke to one family that first lost a father to cirrhosis, then a son, killed in a knife fight with his own cousin over a bottle of beer. A few weeks later, the dead man’s younger sister killed herself at age 16.”John Yellow Bird Steele, the tribe president is quoted in the piece, “Every person on this reservation has personally seen the negative effects of alcohol, with loved ones or themselves.”

While alcohol is illegal on the reservation, Whiteclay, a small town close to the reservation, sells incredible amounts of alcohol to the Oglala Sioux who visit the town for the sole purpose of buying the legal alcohol. Kristof rails against Anheuser-Busch for exploiting the Pine Ridge alcohol ban by selling beer to Whiteclay, and calls for a boycott on the company. (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…)