Whiteclay liquor stores ordered to shut down after losing licenses

A 2013 protest against liquor sales in Whiteclay, Nebraska. Photo: Unedited Media

A day many Native people thought would never come arrived with the cancellation of liquor licenses in a small town near the Pine Ridge Reservation.

By a 3-0 vote, members of the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission revoked the licenses of four stores in Whiteclay. They took action on Wednesday in response to the longstanding complaints of Native activists, who said the sale of beer in the town exploited citizens of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

“I think today that the Oglala Lakota people won. I think Nebraskans won. We’ll be better for it in this state,” activist Frank LaMere, who is a citizen of the Winnebago Tribe, told The Omaha World-Herald.

The four stores in Whiteclay were ordered to shut down but they are expected to stay open while they pursue an appeal, the paper reported. Separately, they are facing complaints about illegal bootlegging.

Whiteclay is only a few miles from the Pine Ridge border, where liquor is outlawed. It is home to less than a dozen people.

Read More on the Story:
'Appalled' liquor commissioners vote to deny licenses for Whiteclay beer stores (The Omaha World-Herald 4/20)
Whiteclay beer stores ordered to close, but appeal planned (The Lincoln Journal Star 4/19)
End of beer sales won't solve all Whiteclay problems, locals say (The Lincoln Journal Star 4/19)
Photos: Whiteclay beer stores declined licenses (The Lincoln Journal Star 4/19)
Nebraska Liquor Stores Near Pine Ridge Reservation Lose Licenses (The New York Times 4/19)
Nebraska beer stores near reservation lose liquor licenses (AP 4/19)

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