Press Releases

Native American Youth Stage Pine Ridge, South Dakota Alcohol Blockade

Media Advisory for Events Occurring
May 1-3, 2013
Contact: Nathalie Hand 605/441-0605
Jorge Castillo  213/840-3336


New Action Targets Alcohol Smuggling from White Clay Nebraska

PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION, SD, USA (May 2, 2013) According to Alcohol Justice, a group of 7th generation Oglala Lakota, known as the Oglala Native Youth Movement, have erected a tipi on the South Dakota/Nebraska border to protest the continued sale of alcohol in the Nebraska border town of White Clay.

The group intends to remain on the border and block the transport of alcohol into the dry reservation for the next few days.  In response, the Oglala Sioux Tribe Public Safety Department has agreed to conduct nightly checkpoints on the border from May 1st thru May 3rd from 6 p.m. until 12:00 a.m.

Oglala Sioux Tribe Chief of Police, Ron Duke, informed the young warriors that he supports the closure of White Clay and will assign officers to assist with this blockade for the next few days.

Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan Brewer Sr. has pledged to support the peaceful blockade. He stated, "I am supportive of the Oglala Native Youth Movement and their efforts to bring awareness to the detrimental effects of alcohol and the illegal transport of alcohol onto the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.”

Brewer participated in a nighttime march last evening into the tiny unincorporated hamlet of White Clay to confront a liquor store owner who remained open.  As President Brewer and the warriors approached the Stateline Liquor Store, the owner quickly closed his steel gated door and turned his lights off.

Similar demonstrations have taken place over the last few months and liquor stores have seen a significant drop in alcohol sales during this period.

Anheuser-Busch should really take notice that a new generation of Oglala Sioux leaders are taking action,” stated Jorge Castillo, Advocacy Director at Alcohol Justice. “We call again upon the beer industry and the four retail outlets in White Clay to stop exploitative alcohol sales on the border in Nebraska.”

Activists claim illegal alcohol activity at White Clay, Nebraska includes:     

  • Retailer participation in alcohol smuggling into the Pine Ridge Reservation
  • Trade of alcohol for sex
  • Loitering at the premises of alcohol retailers with open containers
  • The inability of Nebraska Liquor Commission to stop illegal retailer activity
  • Recent homicides and physical violence
  • Alcohol sales to minors
  • Alcohol sales to intoxicated people

As many as two-thirds of adults on the Pine Ridge Reservation may be alcoholics, and one out of four children is born with fetal alcohol syndrome.

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