The Oglala Sioux Tribe has amended its lawsuit against four beer
stores in Whiteclay and the brewers and distributors that serve
them to include an injunction to limit beer sales in the small
The tribe’s attorney, former state senator Tom White of Omaha,
amended the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Lincoln. The
amendment asks the court to limit beer sales in Whiteclay to an
amount “that can reasonably be consumed in accordance with the laws
of the State of Nebraska and the (tribe).”
“The defendants have failed to make reasonable efforts to ensure
their products are distributed and sold in obedience to the laws of
the State of Nebraska and the Oglala Sioux Tribe,” White said in a
The amended lawsuit alleges Nebraska Attorney General Jon
Bruning said the state is not likely to enforce laws regulating
beer sales in Whiteclay. The lawsuit claims the tribe has “no
adequate remedies at law to protect its federally granted rights”
to protect its sovereignty or enforce its laws banning alcohol.
The tribe is seeking $500 million from more than a dozen
defendants for damages caused by alcohol sales, including babies
born with fetal alcohol syndrome and teenagers who commit suicide.
The tribe alleges the breweries and distributors provided alcohol
to the four stores on the Nebraska border, which in turn sold it to
residents of the officially dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
It alleges the defendants violated the tribe’s alcohol ban as
well as Nebraska law by providing alcohol to the reservation’s
residents, knowing those residents would resell much of that beer
to other residents on the reservation.
“Virtually all of this beer is sold to a population that has no
legal place to drink it,” said Mark Vasina, president of Nebraskans
for Peace. “Much of the beer is bootlegged onto the Pine Ridge for
Reach Kevin Abourezk at 402-473-7225 or