While I want to be clear that I do not consider anyone with FASD to be “less than” I still want to explain the thought of broken lives and shattered dreams. The fact is that while each and every individual is important and worthwhile no one should have to live with the issues that FASD does present. I know no one chooses to. Just like no one chooses to live with addictions.
So with that caveat out there I want to have people understand the thought behind our upcoming conference that is called Broken Lives. For years I have seen on so many fronts what the vultures of Whiteclay, NE have profited off of. They have profited off of breaking lives and shattering dreams. They still do. Many of us who have fostered in the state of Nebraska and South Dakota can attest to the many families that have been destroyed through their gluttony.
For over a hundred years the Pine Ridge reservation much better classified as the Oglala Lakota Nation has chosen to be dry. They knew that their people had been introduced to alcohol through white settlers and they also saw the way the fire water affected them and it went against everything they believed. So they decided to protect their way of life by banning alcohol. The Oglala Lakota Nation resides in South Dakota but one of the boundaries of their land at this time is the South Dakota/Nebraska state line. Forty years ago Sheridan county approved 4 liquor stores in the unincorporated street known as Whiteclay. There is a listed population of 14 according to the 2010 and sold 4.9 million cans according to the 2010 sales reports. That is a whole lot of beer for 14 people. Okay sorry that sarcastic comment comes to you based on the continued denial of the business owners that they are there to prey upon a people who are doing everything they can to curb the addictions rampant in their people. These beer owners placed FOUR stores in the middle of nowhere and say they are not there to sell to the residents of the dry reservation that is a mere 200 hundred yards away. So I ask who they are there for? When you think that the average price of a beer at this store is between 1 dollar and 1 and a half dollars. That is an averaged out sales amount of right around 6 million dollars. Not one of the store owners lives in Whiteclay or on the Oglala Lakota Nation. They live nowhere near the depravity they cause.
Broken Lives because the alcohol they sell is not the normal beer…it is malt liquor and has a higher alcohol content. They do not discriminate and I challenge any of you to go on a regular day and watch. They frequently break all laws selling to people who are obviously intoxicated, underage and pregnant. Bartering takes place to trade items and goods for beer and at times these items include baby formula and necessities. A person in the throws of addiction will do anything they must to feed that addiction.
We will continue to bring awareness to FASD and to fight for people with FASD. We will also continue to bring the issue of Whiteclay to the attention of everyone we can. Please visit our website at http://www.stopfasd.com and for more information on Sober Indian, Dangerous Indian visit soberindian.com for information on the upcoming FASD conference at Whiteclay, NE visit http://stopfasd.com/index.php/events/