Law | National

Liquor from Whiteclay invades every aspect of reservation life

The Oglala Sioux Tribe hopes its federal lawsuit will stop the flow of alcohol from Whiteclay, Nebraska.

Liquor is outlawed on the Pine Ridge Reservation but residents can go to Whiteclay, a town only several hundred feet from the border. The tribe blames liquor stores there for high rates of crime, fetal alcohol syndrome, diabetes and unemployment.

"We believe we can’t get ahead, or function, without Whiteclay being addressed,” President John Yellow Bird Steele told The New York Times.

The lawsuit says liquor stores and major liquor distributors are knowingly violating federal and tribal law. The tribe is seeking $500 million to cover the costs of health care, law enforcement and social services related to the sale of liquor in Whiteclay.

Get the Story:
At Tribe’s Door, a Hub of Beer and Heartache (The New York Times 3/6)

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Lawmakers consider alcohol zone bill amid Whiteclay lawsuit (2/14)
Kevin Abourezk: Legal doubts in Oglala Sioux Whiteclay suit (2/13)
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