The Oglala Sioux Tribe Election Commission has announced that a referendum vote on the issue of legalizing alcohol on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota will be held on August 13, 2013.
Supporters believe that legalizing alcohol will provide millions of dollars in revenue for the tribe. Opponents fear that legalizing alcohol will exacerbate existing problems for tribal members and families. Except for a short period in 1970, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has been dry since it was set aside in 1889.
The vote follows years of controversy surrounding the sale of alcohol in White Clay, NE, just two miles south of Pine Ridge, SD, the reservation’s largest town. The tiny community of fourteen sells approximately five millions cans of beer of year, primarily to Native Americans.