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Oglala Sioux Tribe set for referendum on legal sales of alcohol

The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota is headed for a controversial vote to legalize alcohol on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Some tribal leaders, including President Bryan Brewer, oppose the sale of alcohol. Vice President Tom Poor Bear is also troubled by the idea of an election in a little over two weeks.

"I don't feel we're ready for it. I feel there's a lot of questions to be asked," Poor Bear told KSFY News. "We need to regulate it right to begin with. We need to change a lot of laws within our tribal code that surround alcohol."

Tribal activists like Olowan Martinez are outright opposed to the availability of alcohol on the reservation "It's committing slow genocide on our people," he told KSFY.

Supporters say the sale of alcohol will generate revenues for the tribe. The money will be used for treatment programs, according to supporters.

The referendum will be held August 13.

Get the Story:
Oglala Sioux will decide on reservation alcohol sales (KSFY 7/30)

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