Whiteclay blockade gains support - KOTA Territory News

Whiteclay blockade gains support

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While people across the world celebrate the arrival of the New Year, those living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation expect to see a spike in alcohol use and smuggling alcohol on New Years Eve.

A number of law local enforcement and social activist groups will hold another Whiteclay blockade Monday. The blockade's are held every couple of months, often right before big holiday weekends like the 4th of July. 

The blockades target those buying liquor from the tiny town of Whiteclay, Nebraska and transporting it back onto Pine Ridge, where alcohol is prohibited.

Activists say they're receiving more support for the blockade and anti-alcohol initiative under the leadership of the newly elected Oglala Sioux tribal president Bryan Brewer as well as state politicians.

"The department of justice has intervened and there have been certain representatives from the governor's office, in Nebraska, and there has been a lot of awareness through the congressional delegations in both states," said Russell Black Smith, Oglala Sioux tribal attorney.

Black Smith says state leaders are working on providing rehabilitation assistance to those struggling with addiction on the reservation.

"As mothers, we're tired of the drinking and driving, we're tired of the abuse that comes from alcohol," said Autumn Two Bulls, a Lakota woman's rights activist.

Organizers say at the last blockade, five drunk drivers were apprehended within a few hours time. Each day approximately 13,000 cans of beer are sold in Whiteclay.

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