Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert
Published April 20, 2017
PINE RIDGE INDIAN RESERVATION – On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, the Nebraska Liquor Commission voted to deny the renewals for the four retail stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska.
Tribal leaders have for several years tried to stop the flow of alcoholic beverages onto the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Whiteclay is located one mile south of the reservation across the state line. It is a town with less than 10 people; yet the four stores sell almost four million cans of beer annually. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is dry reservation where the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
“This is the first step in the direction of rebuilding our tribal nation,” stated President Scott Weston of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. “It has been the intent for generations to reclaim and rebuild and give that positive identity back to our tribal community.”
The Nebraska Liquor Commission is comprised of three members. All three voted against renewing the licenses. The commission cited inadequate law enforcement in Whiteclay that has no police force.
The four stores will be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages until their current licences expire in May 2017.