Organizers and participants were pleased by a day-long summit Saturday in Whiteclay on the future of the unincorporated Sheridan County border community next to the Pine Ridge Reservation.
The mood was upbeat thanks to a Nebraska Supreme Court ruling on Friday upholding the denial of beer licenses held by 4 Whiteclay stores. Alcohol sales in Whiteclay have long been blamed for a wide range of social and economic problems both in the community and on the reservation.
The summit was organized by the Whiteclay Task Force created earlier this year and co- chair Patty Pansing Brooks told KNEB affiliate KCSR afterwards that the 50 people that turned out, the discussion, and ideas were all tremendous.
Among the items discussed were a detox-recovery center and counseling, a light industrial zone of Native American-made goods, technical skills training, and a clinic that would double as a training site for students in the nursing program at Oglala Lakota College.
Pansing-Brooks, who co-chairs the Task Force with Senator Tom Brewer of Gordon, said funding will be a major issue, given tight government budgets.