Sioux Leaders Confiscate Beer At Roadblocks

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The New York Sun

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – In a desperate effort to fight the ravages of alcoholism on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, leaders of the Oglala Sioux tribe are threatening to set up roadblocks today and stop members from bringing in beer bought at four outlying stores.

Alcohol has long been banned on the 16,500-member reservation, where drinking has been a scourge for generations. But four stores in Whiteclay, Neb., a dusty village a few hundred feet outside the reservation, sell an estimated 4 million of cans of beer every year, mostly to American Indians.

Tribal members said from now on, they will confiscate beer bought in Whiteclay.

“We are the last line of defense when it comes to protecting our people,” said Duane Martin of the reservation’s Strong Heart Civil Rights Movement.

Alcoholism is frighteningly high on the reservation, though how high is unclear.


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