Story and photo by Karin Eagle, Native Sun News Staff Writer:
RAPID CITY – The Oglala Sioux Tribe, the center of many controversies involving the alcohol sales right across the state border, at White Clay, Neb., has taken a step to put a stop to the high rate of deaths due to impaired drivers on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Tribal members, along with the cooperation of the OST Tribal Police force, have created the newest Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, as it is nationally known, on the reservation.
On Dec. 30, 2011, the OST MADD chapter staged a march that ventured from the center of Pine Ridge Village toward the south, in the direction of White Clay, Neb. A quarter of the way to the border town, the march symbolically turned its back on the location of several million dollars of annual beer sales, and returned to the village.
Escorted and supported by the OST police department, the march was led by Lakota singers who offered songs of prayer and encouragement for the crowd of about 30 walkers. All ages were represented, from walkers as young as three years old to the very elderly, who were assisted by younger family members.
Once the march returned back to the village of Pine Ridge, the crowd was escorted into the Billy Mills Community Hall where a meal had been provided by various donors and supporters of the new MADD chapter.