The sale of alcohol has been illegal on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation for more than 30 years.
Still, it's estimated that eight out of ten families who live there struggle with alcoholism.
Now, one tribal politician believes it's time to lift the ban.
Each day 13,000 cans of beer are sold in the tiny town of Whiteclay, NE.
And KC Willis sees the human toll outside her store every single day.
"They give up their families, they give up security, they freeze on the street. All to the be near alcohol. Whiteclay exists to fill that need,"said Willis, Director of the Light Shine Ministry.
Tribal leaders say it's time to take the power away from border towns like Whiteclay by lifting the ban on alcohol on the reservation.
"I stand on this line here because I'm not looking at the people who walk the streets in Whiteclay, I'm looking at our youth. We need to build a future around them. Otherwise they'll be here [in Whiteclay] someday," said James "Toby" Big Boy, Chairman of the tribal Law and Order committee.
If they lift the ban, tribal leaders say they could net upwards of $6 million dollars in the first two years alone. They say keeping that money on the reservation could help fund youth and substance abuse programs.
"The whole purpose of the revenue is to create after-school, summer recreation programs and prevention type programs," said Big Boy.
"They've been committing death by Budweiser for generations. This puts control back in their hands to some degree," said Willis.
Big Boy says the funds could also increase law enforcement capabilities and pay for heating and other services in impoverished districts.
But there are serious fears about some of the immediate consequences.
"People are afraid of recreating a lot of little Whiteclay's over in the reservation communities," said Bruce BonFleur, Director of the Lakota Hope Ministry in Whiteclay.
Many fear inaction will net no change, only certain, continued tragedy.
"All the surrounding border towns, will get richer. Twenty five years from now we'll still be the same as today," said Big Boy.
According to the American Indian Humanitarian Foundation, the death rate from alcohol-related problems on the Reservation is 300% higher than the remaining US population.
Big Boy says the proposal may be put to a vote by the end of the year.
He says if it were approved, the sale of alcohol would be closely regulated by a tribal commission so all profits were used as planned.