John Red Shirt, the "mayor of Whiteclay," sleeps on a sidewalk in Whiteclay in 2007. (Lincoln Journal Star, William Lauer)

Activists today are blockading the road into the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation just north of Whiteclay, the town on the South Dakota-Nebraska line, according to this story in the Rapid City Journal.

If you’ve ever been to Whiteclay, you know why – the “town” is little more than a collection of stores that sells beer, mostly to people who live on the dry reservation. “So many mournful Oglala stories have White Clay at their end,” writer Ian Frazier wrote in his book, “On the Rez,” about Pine Ridge.

To go to Whiteclay, even to drive through as fast as the speed limit allows, is to saturate oneself in misery. Yeah, what the stores are doing is perfectly legal, as several store owners told me in quite strenuous terms the last time I was there. But is it moral?

By their actions, the members of the Tenza Strong Heart Civil Rights Movement and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety, who are conducting today’s blockade, would seem to answer that it’s not.

Gwen Florio

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 at 1:57 pm and is filed under Health, native news, Neb., Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Whiteclay. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One comment


It is time to bring justice to my kin out there all the unsolved murders must be solved. Closure must be attained for my people out there.White clay Nebraska,police,Nebraska government it is time to ensure closure for my people out there.I am asking politely,this i ask with respect i will be monitoring events out there in the coming year.Justice and respect is all that is asked of you.In return good tidings good weather good luck for your entire state,and peace between our powerful ancestors and you the living.

October 13th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

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