Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe takes on Whiteclay stores

The following story appears in the latest issue of the Native Sun News. All content © Native Sun News.

Alex White Plume

OST President vows to shut down border town liquor stores

PINE RIDGE - Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan V. Brewer, Sr. joined more than 100 tribal members and allies for a peaceful round dance on the South Dakota/Nebraska border near the infamous border town called Whiteclay an unincorporated hamlet in Nebraska. Whiteclay consists of 4 liquor stores that profit from the residents of the dry reservation next door.

Nebraska law enforcement, including Sheridan County Sheriff’s Department and Nebraska State Troopers, attempted to contain the peaceful protesters within, what they believe to be, the legal boundaries of the reservation. President Brewer was compelled to inform the Sheridan County Sheriff Terry Robbins of the Tribe’s position on the issue of the so-called “legal” boundaries, citing the 1851/1868 Ft. Laramie Treaties.

The protestors, led by Alex White Plume, spokesman for the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, proceeded to each of the four liquor stores and conducted a 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. All four stores were closed during the protest.

Brewer said, “The Federal Government implemented a 10 mile buffer zone around the exterior boundaries of the reservation where there was to be no liquor sales. The State of Nebraska is violating its own laws. Federal law, and more important Treaty law, supersedes your county and state laws.”

Brewer peacefully passed through a Nebraska police line and entered the first liquor store on the north side of White Clay. He exited a short time later and the liquor store owner turned his lights off and closed for the night.

Brewer informed Robbins that he intends to personally ask the four liquor stores to shut down their establishments. “I will continue to march with my relatives on Whiteclay and Lincoln, Nebraska until then. Alcohol affects so many of our families on the reservation. These liquor stores have profited long enough on our misery!”

Future peaceful round dances are planned for the future. For further information, contact: Toni Red Cloud – OST Public Relations at (605) 407-9909.

Copyright permission by Native Sun News

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