Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition. Discussion »
PINE RIDGE, SOUTH DAKOTA As the Native News Network reported yesterday, the Sioux Nation Shopping Center was closed down last Friday "due to health and safety issues" by the Oglala Sioux Tribe's court as the result the Oglala Sioux Tribe President John Yellow Bird Steele seeking the order.
At issue was the numerous Lakota people who became sick as the result of the Sioux Nation Shopping Center selling outdated meat that was repackaged with some fresh meat with a new expiration date. Meat sold under fraudulent pretenses.
The Sioux Nation Superstore at the Shopping Center is owned by the Oglala Sioux Tribe, but operated by Cohn Wholesale Fruit and Grocery Inc., based in San Diego, California. It leases the store from the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
It has failed a group of consumers, many with limited access to cars, depend on them to buy their monthly food to put on their families' tables. Cohn Wholesale Fruit and Grocery Inc. deserves an F for failure.
Mixing outdated meat with new meat to make hamburger to sell to the Lakota people can be likened to unscrupulous predatory lenders who trap disenfranchised into high interest rates loans with high penalties.
In both cases it is clearly taking advantage of those already disadvantaged. In both cases, it is fraud.
One has to wonder if the operators of the Sioux Nation Shopping Center take the stance:
"They are just a bunch of Indians, so it does not matter what we sell them."
President John Yellow Bird Steele should be complimented on his action to seek a temporary restraining order to have the store closed this past Friday. Further, the Oglala Sioux Tribe's court deserves to recognition for its decisive action.
One Lakota tribal citizen told me a gallon of orange juice sells for $6 a gallon. Another Lakota woman told me that a can of Spam is double the price at the Sioux Nation Shopping Center than she can buy it in Rapid City.
Some of our readers indicate the fraudulent action of putting new dates on old meat by the Sioux Nation Shopping Center has been going on for years. If so, it is now time for the Oglala Sioux Tribe's Tribal Council to exercise its authority as a sovereign nation to close Cohn Wholesale Fruit and Grocery, Inc. down forever and send them packing back to San Diego.
Let's see how long the people of southern California puts up with such fraudulent behavior.
posted May 14, 2012 11:50 am edt