The Battle for Whiteclay: A Screening and Discussion with the Director and the Film’s Lead Activist

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.


New School President Bob Kerrey welcomes filmmaker Mark Vasina and Native American activist Frank LaMere, who invite you to a screening and discussion of their documentary, The Battle for Whiteclay. The film provides an in-depth look at a century-old problem: the State of Nebraska’s refusal to halt alcohol sales to the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from the neighboring town of Whiteclay.

Struggling with crippling poverty and epidemic alcohol abuse that afflicts four out of five families, Pine Ridge’s Oglala Sioux have for decades banned the sale and possession of alcohol on their reservation. Still, four off-sale beer stores in the 14-person hamlet of Whiteclay sell more than 11,000 cans of beer a day to tribe members, though there is virtually no lawful place in Whiteclay to drink alcohol.

The Battle for Whiteclay follows Indian activists Frank LaMere, Duane Martin, Sr., and Russell Means through the streets of Whiteclay to the halls of Nebraska’s State Capitol as they battle to end alcohol sales in the place many have dubbed “skid row on the prairie.” The film includes a reading of a letter President Kerrey wrote to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission in support of the community’s cause.

President Kerrey will offer opening remarks. After the screening, Vasina and LaMere will discuss the film with audience members.

The Battle for Whiteclay
Directed and produced by Mark Vasina
Edited by Alex Moscu and Mark Vasina
Original music by Canupa Gluha Mani and Michael Murphy
2008; 113 minutes; color


Tishman Auditorium, Alvin Johnson/J. M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street

Free admission. Open to all New School community members with valid New School ID. All guests outside of the New School are asked to register online at:

Contact Information:

For additional program information, please contact Stephen Kimmerling ( or Lindsey Jochets ( in the Office of the President at The New School.

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