Local community members and allies led by “American Indian Movement” flags marched from Pine Ridge reservation into Nebraska to protest the continued funneling of alcohol from the unincorporated town of Whiteclay.
Members of the Oglala Lakota tribe, which inhabit Pine Ridge, have stated to Unicorn Riot that Whiteclay is an illegal settlement. That’s because Lakota Elders and Indian Bureau agents had negotiated agreements with the federal government to not allow settlements within 50 miles of the reservation borders, specifically to stop alcohol boot legging.
You just have to look at a map and it’s pretty easy to see what the Lakota are talking about. There are no other towns as near to each other as Pine Ridge and Whiteclay.
In 1904, Theodore Roosevelt used an illegal executive order to create the town Whiteclay, Nebraska. The first thing to move in was an alcohol bootlegger.
The Lakota aren’t the only ones who believe that Whiteclay was created solely to funnel alcohol onto the reservation. The former chair of the US Commission on Civil Rights, Mary Frances Berry, said that Whiteclay, Nebrasaka “only exists to sell beer to the Oglala Lakota,” on Pine Ridge.
The settlement of Whiteclay has a population of just 14 people. There are 4 open bars in the settlement, which sells about 13,000 cans of beer a day according to Alcohol Justice, an advocacy group.
These type of marches continue as lists of atrocities which include, rapes and murders, that have occurred in the small unincorporated town continue to grow. The marchers hope to bring attention to this illegal settlement.