Law | National

Activists seek closure of liquor stores in reservation border town






A view of Whiteclay, Nebraska. Photo by Ammodramus

Activists called on the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission to shut down four establishments in Whiteclay, a town near the border of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Citing long response times and a large volume of calls to law enforcement, activists said the establishments contribute to public safety problems in the small community. They want the commission to stop renewing liquor licenses for the stores, which are responsible for selling an estimated 3.5 million cans of beer a year.

“We don’t allow this in Lincoln. Why is it OK in Whiteclay?” Dennis Carlson said at a public meeting on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

The commission did not take action on the requests, according to news reports. One official suggested that it would be up to Sheridan County to cancel existing licenses for the stores.

Liquor sales are banned on the reservation, home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, whose leaders also have pressed Nebraska to address the situation in Whiteclay.

Get the Story:
Activists decry crime calls to Whiteclay, demand beer stores be closed (The Lincoln Journal Star 6/8)
Heated exchange follows activists' presentation to liquor commission over Whiteclay (The Omaha World-Herald 6/8)
Critics highlight violence, response times in Whiteclay (KETV 6/7)
Critics cite violence in town near Indian reservation (AP 6/7)

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Lakota Country Times: Activists continue battle to close Whiteclay (03/04)
Native activists ask Obama to help with liquor sales in Whiteclay (02/11)
Mary Annette Pember: Oglala man runs grocery store in Whiteclay (02/01)
Kevin Abourezk: 'Christmas in Whiteclay' tackles liquor problems (12/14)
Editorial: Nebraska must do more to address liquor in Whiteclay (10/13)
Maia Szalavitz: Stereotypes about Native Americans and alcohol (10/2)
Ivan Star: Ignoring alcoholism leads to destruction of the Lakota (01/29)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Alcohol is the most devastating weapon (12/5)