Pine Ridge Reservation hopeful after alcohol cut off in Whiteclay

Posted at 4:45 PM, May 01, 2017

Four beer stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska can no longer sell alcohol. The stores lost their liquor licenses after an appeal was filed by the Nebraska Attorney General’s office that suspended a judge’s ruling to let the stores stay open.


SEE RELATED: Whiteclay beer stores to halt sales after all

“It is a good thing to keep people away from it, it will take them longer to get way over there for the alcohol,” said James Wright who lives on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Monday morning trucks pulled into town and case after case of beer was loaded onto it and taken away.

The liquor store owners said they are worried about the roads now that people have to drive to get their alcohol. 

SEE RELATED: Whiteclay liquor stores close Sunday, nearby towns worried

But the Oglala Sioux Tribe President Scott Weston doesn’t see it that way, “First thing we hear is they are going to get it from somewhere else, yeah sure, but it is going to be harder.”

Weston said stopping the liquor in Whiteclay was just the first step. 

“We have to find out what is in here,” he said pointing to his heart, “We are third world country in America.”

Numerous people told 3 News Now they feel the reservation wasn’t doing enough to help their people. 

“We improve our law enforcement, we improve our technique, we look at rehabilitation,” said Weston.

He said up to 40,000 people can live on the reservation, and many suffer from extreme poverty and addiction. 

SEE RELATED: Activists commemorate Whiteclay liquor stores closing

“Do people want to be saved? Alcohol is a choice, these people, they have homes to go back to, we are trying to help them.”

Weston said they have plans to build safe homes and a rehabilitation center but they need help with money. He said he plans to talk to government officials within the next week.