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~ Corey Flood

Dear Editor: My name is Corey Flood. I

am a registered member of the Rosebud

Sioux Tribe. I have never forgotten my

roots. I have been in prison on four

different occasions. I have spent

considerable time in my life paying for

mistakes made from allowing alcohol to dominate me. I know we are not perfect nor are we wise at times. I have substantial sobriety today because I want more of life. I admit that my life has to be alcohol free to move ahead.

I write this not to judge but to share. My father and I stopped at an establishment in Mission and went in to see what they had for art supplies, crafts, etc. A couple entered and begged money from the owner. It was obvious that they were intoxicated. She gave them $20.00 and told them to get something to eat and not to spend it on alcohol.

What is the solution? Is there one? Do we continue to allow this dominating alcohol to continue to destroy us? There will be many who will question my right to say these things. I have a right because of my shortcomings.

If the reservation would legalize alcohol, look at the money the tribe would be generating. The Lakota people could benefit from the very issue that is destroying them. The money generated could be used for rehab centers, programs for the youth and elderly. This would not be condoning alcohol use but using the money spent for the good of the Sicangu.

There is no difference between Pine Ridge and Rosebud with this issue. If the people could see the amount of money generated from alcohol sales off the res or from sales to establishments that are not tribal owned, they would realize that alcohol will continue to be the number one product that generates money and figure out a way to benefit it from a business aspect.

Why not allow tribal alcohol sales? This will allow this money to stay in Mission. The only people who are benefitting from our drinking problem are non-natives and people who have no concern for the welfare of the Lakota people. You have to try different ideas from all directions before giving up in defeat.

There are powerful men and women who walk the spiritual path. What happened to the days when we sought these ones out, to respect ourselves, and to find our path to aiding our people? Why is this very valuable source not in more demand? Why do we not eagerly seek these special ones out and their advice? What would the great leaders of our grandfathers and their grandfathers say about the way the Great Lakota Nation allows something in our power to eliminate, dominate us and make us less than we are capable of? Can it be done? It is easier than you think. I wanted to ask the people why we have lost the Warrior Spirit to clear the way.

Pilamaya, Corey Flood