Tag Archives: Pine Ridge Reservation

Four Beer Stores Near Pine Ridge Reservation Must Stop Sales After April 30th

Whiteclay | omaha.com

  • By Black Powder | RPM Staff – April 28. 2017

Due to an appeal by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission of a district judge’s decision on Thursday, four beer stores in Whiteclay must stop selling alcohol on Monday.

The stoppage will go forward despite the stores winning an appeal with a Lancaster County judge, after the LCC refused to renew their licenses last week, citing a lack of adequate law enforcement in the area.

The judge said the LCC did not show that the stores had failed to qualify for renewals, but the state Attorney General filed an appeal of the decision late Thursday. That means the original ruling will stand until the court can issue another one as early as next week.

The unincorporated saloon town of Whiteclay has a population of 14 people and sits on the Nebraska-South Dakota border next to Pine Ridge home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Pine Ridge is a dry reservation struggling with alcoholism.

The four beer stores sell millions of cans annually to Native Americans from the reservation, where Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) has reached epidemic proportions. 1 in 4 babies are born with FAS.

The status of Whiteclay’s beer stores has been a constant political issue in the region, prompting waves of activism to end the alcohol sales.

As of right now, the four beer stores will have to stop sales April 30th at midnight.

WATCH: WARRIOR The Life of Leonard Peltier

Warrior: The Life of Leonard Peltier, produced and directed by Suzie Baer.

WARRIOR – The shocking, true story of Leonard Peltier, the American Indian leader locked away for life in Leavenworth Penitentiary, convicted of the alleged murder of two FBI agents during a bloody shoot-out on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. To understand Peltier’s story, a man who has come to symbolize the continued oppression of America’s indigenous peoples, Warrior takes us back to a look at his life, then role with the American Indian Movement and the violent confrontations at Pine Ridge and Wounded Knee in the Seventies, and today’s Indian reservations where the government’s plans for uranium mining and waste dumping are still being heatedly resisted by Indian activists. The heart of the documentary, is a detailed painstaking account of Peltier’s harrowing odyssey through the American justice system.

Peltier’s case has been shrouded in controversy and he is considered by Amnesty International, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Congress of American Indians, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rev. Jesse Jackson, among many others, to be a political prisoner who should be immediately released.

As of 2016, Leonard Peltier is housed at Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Florida.

This video is officially endorsed by Leonard Peltier and the L.P.D.C.

Pine Ridge Marchers Step Forward Against Meth

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Kevin Woster reports: March 25, 2016 

Parents and tribal officials on the Pine Ridge Reservation are facing a worrisome surge in methamphetamine use among tribal youth.

Friday in Pine Ridge Village, family members of meth users and their supporters marched to the front of the meth fight, proclaiming a grassroots campaign to rid the reservation of the potentially deadly drug.

They began at noon in light rain and chill winds, marching from the hill where the old Indian Health Service Hospital used to stand and down U.S. Highway 18 into town.

Their goal is for tribal members, and in particular the young, to withstand the storm of methamphetamine use that has been sweeping across their reservation.

Nineteen-year-old Jerica Dreamer, a former user, brought hard personal experience to Friday’s march against meth.

“It’s a bad thing. It’s really bad,” she said. “It hurts you. And it makes your body feel real ugly and sick.”

Dreamer said her addicted sister was recently jailed for meth use. She said other friends and relatives have the same problem.

“A lot of people my age and younger are starting to do meth,” she said. “And it’s not OK. It’s not good. It’s poisoning our people.”

Dreamer’s mother, Julie Richards, leads the Mothers Against Meth Alliance on the reservation. Richards began working on the meth problem when she recognized that another daughter was a user. She also developed a Mothers Against Meth Alliance Facebook page, where she gets contacts from people seeking information on meth or help with meth problems and loved ones who are addicted.

Richards organized Friday’s march, which attracted Susan Shockey from the Red Shirt Community 55 miles away.

“I come to support Julie’s effort on our reservation,” she said. “We want to get the message out to the people, to the youth, that meth isn’t Lakota.”

The Lakota culture relies on spirituality, not chemicals, Shockey said. She hopes more public awareness and grassroots marches and rallies and education campaigns can prevent and help reduce meth use.

Marchers Friday said every step forward in an event like the march and rally takes them closer to their goal of ridding the reservation of meth. But they know also it’s a big job.

Babe Poor Bear said she has “a cousin who’s hooked on meth,” and a niece who is also addicted. The problem is immense, and has overwhelmed the government system, she said.

“We have a system that’s not working here,” she said. “We no longer can rely on the system that is not working. We’re now working collaboratively, from a grassroots effort, which is what’s going on here today.”

“We understand it’s a very difficult time for our leaders,” said Babe Poor Bear of Pine Ridge. “We understand it’s a difficult time for our families. They’re at a loss. Nobody knows what to do with this meth epidemic.”

But they know enough to organize and fight it, one step at a time.

Marchers said it’s important for tribal government, law enforcement and treatment programs to increase work against meth. But they said grassroots events and outreach will have the greatest impact.

http://www.keloland.com/news/article/news/pine-ridge-marcher-step-forward-against-meth

The Case For Releasing Leonard Peltier

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By teleSUR, Feb 5 2016

Leonard Peltier has always maintained his innocence and has emphatically maintained that his continued persecution by the U.S. government is politically motivated.

Even Amnesty International, which is cautious about cases it champions, has taken up Peltier’s cause, questioning the fairness of his trial and backs assertions that political considerations likely factored into his treatment by the U.S. justice system.

So why would U.S. authorities single out Peltier and seek his unjust imprisonment?

Peltier was a leading figure within the American Indian Movement (AIM) during its peak in political activity in the 1970’s. Active in defense of his people’s interests and lands from a young age, Peltier rose quickly to occupy a prominent role within the movement.

In 1975, responding to a request by local indigenous people from the Pine Ridge reservation, Peltier traveled to South Dakota. There he worked with the community helping provide security amidst political tensions and violence between rival groups on the reservation.

FBI officials, on a deliberate mission to weaken or destroy leftist organizations, believed that AIM activists were conspiring at Pine Ridge.

“It was not an armed military camp hatching terrorist plans … It was a spiritual camp,” said Peltier.

On June 26, 1975 a massive shootout erupted, which included participants from AIM, the FBI, and paramilitaries hired by the tribal chairman who was opposed to AIM.

When the bullets stopped, two FBI agents and one indigenous man by the name of Joseph Stuntz were dead.

Despite the participation of dozens of people, only AIM members Bob Robideau, Darrell Butler, and Leonard Peltier were brought up on charges related to the deaths of the FBI officials. Robideau and Butler were arrested and charged but ultimately acquitted.

Peltier, fearing that he would not receive a fair trial, fled to Canada. He would eventually be extradited back to the United States based on the testimony of Myrtle Poor Bear, who said she saw Peltier shoot the agents.

Ms. Poor Bear would eventually recant her statements. It is alleged she was not even present at Pine Ridge on the day in question.

Peltier’s trial was held in North Dakota in 1977 and was presided over by Judge Paul Benson, an appointee of conservative President Richard Nixon.

Myrtle Poor Bear was not allowed to testify and submit to the jury that her previous statements were false. Other witnesses would later claim the FBI coerced them into testifying against Peltier. Key evidence that helped exonerate Robideau and Butler was not allowed to be introduced.

The jury found Peltier guilty and he was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.

It would later be revealed that the prosecution hid thousands of documents related to the case, documents that could have helped prove Peltier’s innocence.

Despite all this, Peltier was denied a retrial in 1986. The judge who presided over that trial, Gerald Heaney, even expressed concern about the administration of justice

He has also been consistently denied parole, most recently in 2009, due to his insistence that he is innocent.

Peltier is now 71-years-old and is not eligible for another parole hearing until 2024. This is why his supporters, who include many notable figures and celebrities, have called for U.S. authorities to release him on humanitarian grounds. Other have specifically called on President Obama to commute Peltier’s sentence before the end of his term.

This content was originally published by teleSUR:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/analysis/-The-Case-for-Releasing-Leonard-Peltier-20160205-0023.html

It’s Time: Call for Clemency for Leonard Peltier

Jack Healey | The Huffington Post

Not many blog posts start off with a listing of the deceased, but in Leonard Peltier’s clemency request to President Obama, he will say the following:

After 40 years in prison, it is with sadness that I write the names of some of my dearest friends and strongest supporters who have passed on: My friend, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii who was my great champion is one. My dear friend, writer Peter Matthiessen along with Bill and Rose Styron, and Kurt Vonnegut were some of the writers who cared about me and stayed in contact with me. Marlon Brando and Steve Allen were my friends. Looking back so many members of my family and so many friends and many of my lawyers have gone on. I miss them all.

Today on YouTube we are releasing a second request for citizens to join the long list of Nobel laureates, civil and human rights leaders, religious and political leaders and scholars calling for clemency for Leonard Peltier. Bonnie Raitt and Robbie Robertson are featured in the new edition of our PSA.

Is it not time for you to join this effort? Clemency is a request any citizen can make of our government, and all our voices need to be heard. We just want Leonard to go to his home on the northern plains and be able to spend what remains of his life with his family and be able to rest and be at ease with his people of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, his relatives in Indian country, and with us.

Pope Francis recently said that “long prison sentences are death sentences.” We believe Peltier is innocent, but we are not arguing that anymore. What happened on that bitter day in 1975 was part of an ongoing conflict, and we may never know what really happened. Forty years is long enough, in any case. Another life has been taken for all practical purposes.

Today, with the passage of four decades, Peltier’s supporters have included the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand and Pete Seeger. The late Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa spoke and wrote for him. Civil rights giants Coretta Scott King, Congressman John Lewis and many members of the Congressional Black Caucus stood up for him in very meaningful ways that included helping him get some badly needed medical care. The late, wrongly convicted boxer Ruben “Hurricane” Carter spoke strongly for Peltier’s release and shared his own story of years behind bars without the benefit of a fair trial.

Sixty members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed an amicus brief calling for a new trial. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called for his release, as did 55 members of Canada’s Parliament.

Nobel laureates including Rigaberta Menchu Tum of Guatamala, Mairaid Maguire and Betty Williams of Northern Ireland, Jose Ramos Horta and others have come to his aid. Yet he still wastes away in a super-max prison 2,000 miles from his home on the northern plains.

On human rights day of last year, Leonard’s supporters called for his release. Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Carlos Santana, Harry Belafonte, Robbie Robertson, Pam Anderson, UK’s Peter Gabriel, Michael Moore, Wes Studie, Irene Bedard, the National Congress of American Indians (representing 566 tribes), The Assembly of First Nations Chiefs of Canada, the Oglala Sioux Tribe of Pine Ridge (South Dakota) and more then 500 other tribes in the U.S. and Canada, award-winning Native American film director Chris Eyre and many Native actors and musicians are part of his support groups. Human Rights Action Center, the UN Commission on Human Rights and Amnesty International have all called for clemency.

Names like Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte and Steve Allen seem from a long-ago era. Only Mr. Belafonte survives to this day. As a longtime singer, actor, artist and human rights activist, Belafonte received a special lifetime Humanitarian Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards. He has supported the efforts to secure the freedom of Leonard Peltier from the beginning and calls it one of the most important issues of his time.

Jack Healey is the Director of the Human Rights Action Center.

Related:

See what others have to say in the “I WILL” video:

Readers can make the difference.

I WILL… call the White House to request clemency.

Leave comment when you have contacted the White House.

Follow Jack Healey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/HRAC