Tribe suing beer companies for alcohol problems

Posted By Paul G February 9th, 2012 Last Updated on: December 6th, 2012

An American Indian tribe sued some of the world's largest beer makers Thursday, claiming they knowingly contributed to devastating alcohol-related problems on South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota said it is demanding $500 million in damages for the cost of health care, social services and child rehabilitation caused by chronic alcoholism on the reservation.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court of Nebraska also targets four off-site beer stores in Whiteclay, a Nebraska Panhandle town that, despite having only about a dozen residents, sold nearly 5 million cans of beer in 2010. Most of its customers come from the Pine Ridge reservation on the town's border.

Tribal leaders and activists blame the Whiteclay businesses for chronic alcohol abuse and bootlegging on the reservation, where all alcohol is banned.

If you have problems with alcohol look for help from a Florida alcohol rehab before it’s too late.

Read more from the AP.

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When I heard this on the NBC news, I thought to myself. It is about time and I hope they get theit case taken care of and get the town closed down. More power to them.

Janis Libby

It always seems like the more racist replies come from a reactionary response and the more open minded replies come from people who have done their homework! Come on people get your basic history lessons down. Watch the Canary Effect on YouTube. Google US history from the native American perspective. Ask questions….. Go back to school and THEN comment.

Dave Hughes

The persecption that $500 million will fix all of the problems with alcohol, drugs and abusive behavior is as best whimsical.

Somehow a suggestion of earned prosperity got turned into a racial comment. If I may ask a question of certain ridicule: what is there to do for young people where there are no jobs, towns or chance of employment except move off the reservation? I understand the need to save ones way of life and to live free from outside bad influances. I dont understand that thought that everyone is out to change or harm you.

You assume I have no knowlege of history or perspectives.
Idle hands make idle minds and idle minds need stimulation. Hence the abuse .
No-one that I know harbors any bad wishes/feelings towards American Indians any more than people do towards Irish or Norwegans. Sorry for all of the years of bad deals and lies the Indians have endured but I am not part of the problem.
I meant my writings with the best intentions.

Jaye La Vallee

Dave Hughes
Dave Hughes you appear to be genuine in your sharing as to your present understanding and perspective about what you are seeing IN this aspect of an injustice to Native Americans… even though these situations are extremely hard to fully fathom. It is so difficult to look through historical clouded / tainted glasses… especially at another race of people who are shown and painted and who act “hard, tough and mean” in response to long standing injustice… this is usually reasoning NOT to care about or dtand for truth and justice.
I hear you. I hear your energy given to being heard as well.
The understanding of why “mistrust” is so strong is more than why it exists at all… then there is the WHY for “refusal” of Native Americans to take part in “programs” – whether these programs are 12 step or other recovery / healing change programs. This is another “tuff” question or issue to understand or comprehend.
I hear your heart David and even though others – Native Americans” – may not listen well enough to hear your real message… you must still speak it. Loud and clear.
I too am sorry for all the years of mistreatment and injustice and genocide and extermination… I am sad and angry and afraid and ashamed and all that… yet, I
truly keep my conscientious eyes and brain and emotional reaction and my “power and control” over my “sometimes irresponsible reaction done in a bad way.”

I hear you David and I applaud your will and energy to qualify and clarify your meaning AND to get a more precise understanding of how you got your way in life and how we got our way in life AND how and WHY we choose to stay or leave old ways of dealing or reacting or inter-acting.
I personally had to learn how to listen and hear my own distortion and my own disturbances of my thinking and feeling and reacting and behaving…
In life we are imperfect and in reaching out to end the wars or the fighting or the race ways or the prejudices or the bigotry – we must know in our hearts and minds who we are AND be aware and conscious of who is around us.

The truth will set us free – first it will make life for us and those around us – MISERABLE. Keep in mind too that TRUTH without COMPASSION is CRUELTY.
Posting here for this human venture is a good start – perhaps we will save our life and demonstrate to another how to care for themselves and perhaps they will be inspired to live truer… I pray this. If you pray or wish or hope or dream – may you find more strength and self-love.
Pilamaya Mitakuyape.
visit me at spirit-warrior.ca Humbly I share with you. Be strong young man.

Paul ShadowCat

We as warrior’s need to step up, and stand up. I can not say from experience what it takes to stop drinking. I have a violent temper and intense military training and so was always afraid of what I would do as a drunk. But we need to get our honor back for and by ourselves. Yes, the whites have stolen, murdered, raped, and broken every promise they have ever made. We can NOT let them win. I also have not lived on my family Rez having been sent to a white orphan home after my parents were killed by a drunk driver. I have been there (White Mountain Apache) though and it was not pretty. The problems are many but I think the solutions are in us as a people not in waiting for the white race to honor their promises.

Jaye La Vallee

I am supportive of this step and the people who had the courage to do this movement. I know personally that alcohol is a poison to us (all people). And too that the addiction to it is not dealt with in a realistic manner.
No matter how many steps or programs adopted to us or for us or by us “indains” (my intentional wrong spelling) we will not deal with the core of our destructive behaviors and lifestyle. I speak from experience of going thru treatment at sierra Tucson and then becoming the head therapist of the oldest treatment center in Canada… that we must deal with our core emotions and our belief and value system of a repressed – oppressed and suppressed people.
We are living in a system which is emotionally disturbed and distorted… PLUS we have not caught up to the dominant society’s disturbed state. We “indains” largely refuse to deal with our emotional disturbance – BECAUSE – we have learned strong lessons of mistrust – from the dominant society AND from many of our OWN leaders and quasi-professionals – even many of the “so-called medicine peoples. After all how many times can you burn the hope and faith of a people – especially from ones who look, sound and smell like you.
This case is courageous! The people initiating it are courageous! I only hope and pray that they understand that WE need to see the real intimate – utterly personal reasons for our wholesale destruction from elements like alcohol or other substances or other medicators or behaviors. One such destructive attitude is that we must fear or ne ashamed of learning or re-learning how to be “emotionally together” – notice I did not say “mature”. We must develop the capacity to be open to understanding and living with and within this dominant society’s way of doing justice and doing right… AND we must do this within our self and our family and our tribes and our environment.
There is a definite solution beyond the conventional “recovery programs” and the “step shops” and the contemporary “holier-than-thou” professional psychological propaganda purveyors who keep-on-a-comin’N’hawkin’ their same old wares.
When we develop the means to be fully expressible for our feelings and thoughts and our behaviors included – we will fight the real fight and finally stop fighting our embedded conditioning of shame and hopelessness OR “I’m-too-tuff act”.
Let’s see the real problem and for sure stop the “alcohol and money focused” businesses around Pineridge and anywhere else in our country!
Let’s all walk our talk. Never mind the detractors we will deal with them with StrongHearts and minds when we stop the ignorance of what has gone wrong for us tribal peoples.
Humbly, Jaye spirit-warrior.ca

hummingbird naha

thank you jaye for puting the situation in prospective in a gracious manner. wish i had that gift,

thank you for careing for all our relationsin the north and else where and helping them win their battle against addiction. hopefully they will win the war inside the sprit and body and be rid of the enemy drink and drugs for ever.

dave hughes

I didnt have any idea what to expect my opinion would open up discussion on. Is no employment the a cause of drinking or having the time to drink? You think putting back borders to whatt year? When 200 years ago? I agree the American Indians got lands stolen from them. If you get the lands back will that solve the drinking/drug problem? Taking personal responsability would do much more.

If all of the tribes in the United States would pool their money there would be little or no poverty on the reservations. Many tribes are very rich from oil, cattle and casinos. There are also lots of very poor reservations due to location, industry and to some extent the lack of wanting more.
Personally I dont drink by choice even though I used to 25 years ago. I wasnt a good drunk so I am still alive and happily married.
How about the reservation leasing land for a couple of oil refineries? Good paying jobs, roads maintained, housing brought up to date, running water, natural gas to homes… If you want to go back to the way of like of your ancestors which I doubt many of of Native people do where do you feel comfortable turning the clock back to?
I have great respect for all native americans and the rich culture they have. Thank you for your response.

hummingbird naha

hi dave, you really need to edgucate yourself about the conditions on the rez. there are no jobs. there are jubs in towns of rez. try driving 300 miles a day roundtrip to get to work and back. try renting a decent place to lile in the towns. try wailing down the streets in these towns without being haradded by white bigots aand the cops. try working for below minnum wadge because you are an indian.
you speak of personal pride and responcibility will you take that to heart? will you take responcibility for the genocide of millons of people your ancestors slaughtered, and the thousands of little children riped from thier familes to try to make them white> but inreality to provide fresh meat for the sadistic pedoohiles who ran the bording schools and rather work and starve them to death and molest and rape them than to provide a useable edgucayion?

qill you thake note of the children who are stolen yearly by your crooked werfare system to be exploited by foster homes? or the non indian stalkers who rape and murder women and gorls on the resorvations with impunity and are rarely prosicuted. rez police and judicial systems are forbidden to prosicute them and the feds pat them on the back and turn them lose to come back and reoffend.

how about living on the rez for a year. try to farm and grow food? this land is non productive. the lakata were inprisoned her to starve to death. pineridge is a prisonor of war camp incase you did not know every nation (bit tribe) who n develope buisnesses get slapped down by white buinesses because the are envious and do not like compitition. they think that their state goverments deserve to be compensated with rax money form sales of indian produced goods. sports hunters and fishermen who take game and fish for fun and games have attacked indian people for exercizing their treaty rights to hunt and fish for subsustance . do you know hat subsistance is mr,?.

the boootleggers from white clay get rich on beer sales that is their subsistance. do they derserve to distroy lives for a living while indian people can not subside on their rightfull food and means of life. you can talk all the trash you wishm but that is all it amounts to trash . you havve no idea untill you have live the noghtmare your ancestors brought here and procreated. people like you.

as far as going back to the old way of life. it was better than your way. millions lived comfortacly for thousands of years here living acording to our traditions of respect for mother earth and the Creator who made all. it took your kins just a few hunderd years to pollute and distroy the enviroment to the point where soon there will be nothing left for your unsatable greed and disregard for the earth.

you say some are rich from oil mony? well tellme where all that money is? the blackfoot get a mear 6 dollars a barral for their oil. want to check and see what the standered price is per barral?

the lokota are dieing from radioactive polluton. the chyanne
river is dead due to uranium runoff waste from mines in the bad lands the navajo ore dining from blacklung in arizona from coal dust .and coal burning power plants. they hae to drive up to sisty miles to carry water because the mines hhave used up their water. hay guess what they were promissed electic power to their homes. thiirty years ago and still do not have it. all they have is coal dust to beath. the mineing people even poison their live stock they live from.

i could go on and on but i will say only this before you didrespect narive people for not haveing jobs and say this is their own fault reemer who put them in this possion and who keeps them there. ignorant white people like you.

best way to help indians? go away. go far far away. let the land and the people heal.

Dave Hughes

Sorry you think I am the problem with all that is wrong. To pick and choose points to agrue about seems pointless as your set in your ways and found nothing in my statements that we can see eye to eye on. Jaye spirit-warrior shows great vision and I am thankfull he took the time to share his wisdom.
A life run by hatred of someones ancestry is indeed a waste. Lets hope someone can resolve the habitual lifestyles we all lead.

hummingbird naha

i do not hate you for your ancestory. i hate what your ancestors did here and i hate the fact that this ans all the generations of colonist since the invasion of ouur lamd are still doing.

like i saud you need to edgucate yourself on the real facts form our point of view. you folks are always so certain you know it all and that your oppenion is correct when it comes to a people you know nothing about. nor do you know the real truth about your ancestors, you have been lied to and decived and misled your whole life . you were told your ancestors had thr right ti this land . they had the right to murder millions of people. we were made from the same dust by the same hand . you still do not get it do you. ?

we have the right to live as who we are. you redicule the way we lived . why not look up the way your ancestors lived in the centuries befre and after they came here.you may learn something. do you not ever wounder why there were so many deadly plegs in europe? do you not know the injustice common people endured? and they wanted ro escape all that. but they brought the filthy life styles here and the sicknesses here and the injustuce here. and you are the ones who brought the beer and wiskey abd rum and used it to distroy people. and your ancestors did this delibrately.

and you still try to distroy lives with it. you think we have no right to live. you say that is not true. but look inside your heart and be honest to yourself. this has been feed to you from infantcy. you were the ones taught to hate. not us. you like to put us down for any and every thing you can think of. but when we tell you like it really is you say we are hateful to you. you are the ones who brought about this hell we endure. we did not did do this to ourselves.

you need to get serious and take a closer look. that is all. we are human beings like you and we hae huma rights like you. all human rights comefrom the CREATOR not some man or some government. they are for all. not a privlaged few of a certain race. so stop trying to pay this supeior white man game who has all the answers to the indians problems. whyclay got away with trasspassing on indian terff and getting rich of the suffering of the people there. and now it is time for them to pay and get out. end of conversation.


mr.hughes..the question is how did you get inthe door to add your opinion it sounds like you dont realize that your people has 1000 years or better to get use to alcohol ..the native didnt.its not about unemployment on the reservation ,and yes your right its gambling that was allow on the reservations that is killing everyone. i agree,that part.and you cant pay the native enough back pay for the land the white stole but you could give back 50% at least.
but as the native knows that will never happen..the white man is to dam greedy to allow this to happen.the white american laws ruined the native way of life.the native cant hunt ,fish or live as they wish,why well there are
military bases set up still to hender the movement of the native.the white american culture is not made to help the native ,it only helps the white american ,,not the native.
the constitution does not cover the native only the non native.if you would like to do something mr. hughes work to get 50% of the land back to the legal owners the native american.help move the squators ,now if your really interested in helping then reach out and work your magic.
this will help the native regain their homes and life as they use to have ..work your magic mr.hughes..its time to stop disrespecting the native and return the land to him..and take your beer companies off the land.thank you.

Dave Hughes

My wife read my response to the artical and made a very eye opening observation. Does this open the door for everyone to sue every Casino nationwide for financial hardships caused by legal gambling? I have known several families and major companies that have been ruined by the results of gambling.
Lets all get going on permenent cures to the unreal unemployment on the reservation. With gainfull employment and personal pride along with some good police work lets raise the reservations so the elders will be proud again.

This is America and the American Indians have the spirit to overcome all. Getting some huge settlement will cause more hardship than it will ever heal.

Dave Hughes

While I am sympathetic to the American indians alcohol problems the real culprit is the lack of jobs and self control. How many industries do you have on the reservation and how many people do they employ? Going after the liquor producers is convenient because they have the most wealth.
Where does it stop? Are the Navajo’s going to sue the canned paint manufacturers because some of the tribe decides to leave the reservation and sniff paint in Albuquerque? What ever happened to personal and tribal responsablilty?
Close the roads leading to the liquor stores, detox the tribal members coming back to the reservation. Doo something before it looks like the turquoise bar on hwy 550. If you have ever seen the 20-30 passed out indians in the feild in the morning you would know how pittyfull it really is.

Jina Red Nest

Thats what the bootleggers have been doing since they (white people)no offense intended, came to America. Those businesses are making all the money they can and they’re not going to give it up, they dont care who is buying it. Even during prohibition era, and even that area of White Clay was part of Pine Ridge but as long as non-Native has control they are not going to shut down for as long as they can get money. The people who are making the money (Nebraska) thats their revenue OmGosh – Are you kidding? Make them take their million dollar business somewhere else? Yes, people now a days!They’re laughing their A**** off all the way to the bank.


Omg ppl now of days lmfao

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