Underage Drinking: Success Stories



Drinking: Success Stories



Oklahoma – May 30, 2003



of Problem










With support from the OJJDP

Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws Initiative, community organizations, enforcement agencies, youth, and other concerned citizens are working collaboratively to

change local ordinances and enforcement practices.


Pawnee Nation Tribal Council Takes Stand on Underage Drinking

The Pawnee Nation Tribal Council passed an ?Underage Drinking

Policy? at their February 21, 2003 Tribal Council Meeting, which is the

first ever for their tribe.

The Pawnee Nation is a tribe with more than 2500 members. The Pawnee

Nation Reservation is located one mile east of the town of Pawnee,


Like rural areas everywhere else, the Nation faces a growing underage

drinking problem. ?They?re drinking because there?s not a lot else to do,?

says Stephen Wall, Tribal Justice Consultant for American Indian

Development Associates. Wall points to a lack of activities and

opportunities for youth as a prime factor in the prevalence of underage

drinking. The alcohol, he says, comes primarily from family members,

including parents and adult siblings.

Until recently, underage drinking was not considered cause for alarm by

the Nation?s leaders. Alcohol is completely banned in the Pawnee Nation,

which was considered sufficient policy to address underage drinking.

However, that attitude began to change after number of alcohol-related car

crashes claimed the lives of youth and adults in the community. Concerned,

the Nation applied for and received Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL)

funding that had been earmarked specifically for the Native American


To help them direct their efforts, American Indian Development Associates

(AIDA) representative, Stephen Wall began providing the Nation with

training and technical assistance. He encouraged tribal leaders to make a

formal statement of policy regarding underage drinking, and helped them

draft an appropriate resolution. The Pawnee Nation Task Force was formed

to assist in the effort. The Task Force consists of the City of Pawnee

Police Chief, the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma (PNO) Police Chief and staff,

Pawnee High School Peace Makers, CASA, CHR Program, PNO SAP, PNO ICW, PNO

Education, Title VI, PNO Chairman.

The new underage drinking policy gives the Pawnee National Tribal Court

the authority to impose rules, laws and regulations to help implement the

much needed policy for the Pawnee Nation to address youth and adult

providers of alcohol.

According to team member June Hamilton, ?The Pawnee Nation Task Force team

takes a strong stand to continue combating underage drinking.? Tribal and

local law enforcement are working together to change and update juvenile

codes, as well as to raise awareness within the tribal community. All of

this working together as a community and a tribal reservation will help

save the lives of our Pawnee Nation?, says June Hamilton.

For more information, contact

June Hamilton at 918-762-3676, or Stephen Wall

American Indian Development Associates at (505)842-1122




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Underage Drinking: Success Stories
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