PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) — Members of a South Dakota-based American Indian tribe are set to decide whether to give up the fight against bootlegging by allowing the sale of alcohol on their reservation.
Ogala Sioux Tribe members head to the polls Tuesday to decode whether to make Pine Ridge the last reservation in the state to end prohibition. Critics say legalization would only exacerbate the reservation's troubles. Alcohol is blamed for some of the highest rates of domestic abuse, suicide, infant mortality, unemployment and violent crime in Indian Country.
But others say alcohol is reaching the reservation anyway from a nearby Nebraska town, so the tribe might as well enjoy the profits. Proceeds from the sales would be used for education, detoxification and treatment centers, for which there is currently little to no funding.