Law | National

Oglala Sioux Tribe could pursue Whiteclay lawsuit in state court

An attorney is advising the Oglala Sioux Tribe to pursue its Whiteclay lawsuit in state court after a federal judge dismissed the case.

The tribe blames liquor companies, liquor distributors and liquor stores in the border town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, for health, law enforcement and social problems on the reservation. Tribal activists and their supporters have long said the state has neglected or ignored the issue.

“It’s for the listeners (and readers) to decide why we tolerate something like Whiteclay next to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, but we would never tolerate it in any of the cities or other areas of the state,” attorney Tom White told KVNO News.

Alcohol is outlawed on the reservation but it pervades many aspects of tribal life. That has drawn national and international media attention, much to the chagrin of tribal members and leaders.

"Why don't you guys write anything good about us," Vice President Tom Poor Bear, who was recently arrested for an alcohol-related incident, told Al Jazeera, the Associated Press reported.

Get the Story:
Judge dismisses Whiteclay lawsuit (KVNO 10/2)
SD reservation sees barrage of media attention (AP 10/2)

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Tim Giago: 'Beer sniffing' reporters descend upon Pine Ridge (05/14)
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