Pine Ridge protesters "counting coup" to shut down liquor stores at Whiteclay, Nebraska on third day of alcohol-related showdown
Treaty Council resolution states Nebraska and U.S. government are violating treaty agreements with alcohol sales
PINE RIDGE, S.D., March 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alcohol Justice is reporting that yesterday, for the third day in a row, over 100 Oglala Lakota Sioux tribal members and allies rallied to raise awareness about illegal alcohol activity taking place in the Nebraska border town of Whiteclay. The unincorporated hamlet has 14 residents and four liquor stores which sell nearly 5 million cans of beer per year next door to the "dry" Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. (pic.twitter.com/QSwAP9pvE5)
Activists, led by Alex White Plume, Spokesman for the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, proceeded to each of the four liquor stores and conducted the Lakota tradition of "counting coup" on each establishment by touching it with their hand, or eagle feather staff. Lakota believe that when you "count coup" on an enemy, death soon follows. They believe that this act will essentially kill the liquor stores. (http://youtu.be/8xVrlPgRZDc)
"State and Federal law is violated daily in Whiteclay when it comes to alcohol," stated Jorge Castillo, Advocacy Director at Alcohol Justice. "Neither the County Sheriff nor the Department of Justice seem interested in investigating the illegal alcohol-related activities of the liquor stores and the Highplains Budweiser distributor who is supplying alcohol knowing very well that is being smuggled illegally onto Pine Ridge."
Oglala Sioux Tribal President, Bryan Brewer, served the Nebraska State Patrol and local County Sheriff Terry Robbins with a copy of a resolution from Traditional Headsman Floyd Hand of the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council which sites the 1851/1868 Ft. Laramie Treaties, an active, legally-binding agreement between the United States of America and the Great Sioux Nation. Within this agreement, a 10-mile buffer zone on the exterior boundaries of the reservation was established, in which no liquor was to be sold. The State of Nebraska, with the assistance of the U.S. government, has ignored the buffer-zone clause. (pic.twitter.com/GzLn1p0BUs)
25% of Pine Ridge Reservation youth suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
2/3 of Pine Ridge Reservation adults suffer from alcoholism.
Activists want to stop the illegal alcohol activity at Whiteclay, Nebraska such as:
- Retailer and beer distributor participation in alcohol smuggling into the Pine Ridge Reservation
- Trading of alcohol for sex
- Loitering at the premises of alcohol retailers with open containers
- The inability of Nebraska Liquor Commission to stop illegal retailer activity
- Recent homicides and physical violence
- Alcohol sales to minors
- Alcohol sales to intoxicated people
"The Oglala Lakota Sioux are admirably standing up to secure a better future for their children and families" added Castillo. "Their actions are also inspiring other communities across the country that face similar problems to push back against problematic alcohol producers and retailers."
Media Availability: For more info or to schedule interviews, contact Jorge Castillo, Advocacy Director, Alcohol Justice 213 840-3336.
Contact: Olowan Martinez 605 899-0044
Natalie Hand 605 441-0605
Jorge Castillo 213 840-3336
SOURCE Alcohol Justice