Activist Frank LaMere honored for work in Whiteclay, NE
It has been roughly one month since the Nebraska Supreme Court denied an effort to resume beer sales in the small Nebraska town of Whiteclay.
Thursday night in Omaha, many of those who were instrumental in that fight were honored by Project Extra Mile.
Winnebago Tribal Member Frank LaMere was one of those recognized due to his 20 year battle against alcoholism in Whiteclay and neighboring Pine Ridge Reservation.
"Really, what it is, after 20 years you prevail and I would ask all of us, how would you feel? After 20 years of your life, you've given time, energy, what you have and then all of a sudden you've prevailed and somebody says, well, how do you feel? Well, I don't know," said LaMere.
LaMere said that even though this effort has taken 20 years to get to this point, the real work for the community of Whiteclay and the people of Pine Ridge is only just beginning.
"Believe me, we didn't come 20 years to get to a point where we say 'oh we feel good, we prevailed, we did something,' we did nothing. Now the work begins. It may not do any good but it certainly is not going to do any harm," he said.
LaMere says visible progress is already being made in and around the reservation since the decision with some of those who once lived on the street, now returning home to their families.