Native Sun News: Statement from Oglala Sioux Tribe president

Bryan Brewer, the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, confronts a police officer in Whiteclay, Nebraska. June 17, 2013. Photo Native Sun News

Bryan Brewer, the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, issued a statement exclusively to the Native Sun News following his arrest in Nebraska.

Brewer was arrested on Monday while taking part in a protest in Whiteclay, a border town that sells millions of cans of beer every year to tribal members. In his statement, he said he was opposed to the sale of liquor on the Pine Ridge Reservation, an issue that will be the subject of an upcoming referendum.

"Yes, I was arrested but the real focus needs to be on the effects of alcohol on our people, on our families, and on our reservation. With this pending referendum vote on the legalization of alcohol, we as Oglalas need to take a hard look at what alcohol has done and is doing to our community," Brewer said in the statement to Native Sun News that was posted on Facebook.

"We need to really think about what our communities will be like if alcohol is legalized on this reservation.The arrest does not deter me from continuing protesting in Whiteclay, why should I stop?" Brewer added. "Alcohol doesn't stop! My arrest only helps bring to light these issues and helps all of us Oglalas to begin talking about the referendum vote, effects of alcohol and what we really want for our people."

According to the Associated Press, Brewer was arrested on an outstanding warrant. He allegedly wrote a bad check in 2012.

Following his arrest in Whiteclay, Brewer was held in Rushville. Tribal officials went there and secured his release -- the AP said he paid $191 for the bad check.

The tribal council has not scheduled a date for the referendum on liquor sales.

YouTube: Oglala Lakota Nation President VS Nebraska State Police June 17, 2013

Related Stories
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux president arrested in Whiteclay (6/17)
Oglala Sioux Tribe prepares for referendum on alcohol sales (6/14)
Kevin Abourezk: Oglala Sioux Tribe approves vote on alcohol (6/12)

Join the Conversation