There was a time when my Tribe didn’t sell alcohol. There was even a resolution passed by the tribal council which stated the Tribe would make every effort to have an alcohol and drug free reservation by the year 2000. I don’t think that resolution was ever rescinded so basically it is still in effect. Today, the sale of alcohol continues to be a very lucrative economic development venture of my Tribe.
Even though my Tribe enjoys cash profits from their off-sale alcohol stores, the money will never offset the number of lives alcohol has affected. Last week Parmelee residents walked to remember residents who have died from alcohol abuse. Elders, adults and children walked the streets to make a statement that they were tired of people dying needlessly.
We all have free will. Alcohol is still a legal drug and my words probably won’t change the minds of those who are addicted or bootlegging. Still, some of the people who have died from drinking in Parmelee left behind small children. Who is caring for children who have lost a parent to alcohol?
The walk in Parmelee was also held to bring attention to the fact that there are numerous bootleggers in the community. One time I asked my Facebook friends to inbox me names of people who were bootlegging vodka in Parmelee. I was provided with at least thirty names. I turned all those names over to the Rosebud Police Department but I am not sure what action was taken.
I know some of you believe an addict will find and use their drug of choice no matter what. But the sale of vodka in Parmelee has to stop. The vodka sold by many bootleggers in Parmelee is often mixed with other products to make it go further. Some bootleggers will mix alcohol based hand sanitizer into the vodka they buy. Then the mixture is put into smaller containers to be sold to the people who want to drink.
This is wrong. When I think about the number of people who have died in Parmelee because of their drinking, I wonder how many of them bought vodka from bootleggers. I bet all of them did. I’d like to see voluntary manslaughter cases built against the bootleggers in Parmelee. After all, they are the dealing the poisonous mixture which is killing people.
Bootleggers! If you push your deadly vodka mixture in Parmelee, you definitely have blood on your hands because you knowingly sold a poisonous drink to a person suffering from an addiction. The last bottle of vodka you sold them, which you mixed with whatever, cost them their life.