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The effects of alcohol use on Pine Ridge are epidemic and have had a devastating impact on the current status of the residents. The historic effect of u.s. colonial relations with the Lakota has engendered a system of dependency, making the transition from an independent trading economy to capitalism difficult. This paper is an attempt to investigate the current life of Pine Ridge residents and relate how the past has shaped the present through a successful attempt by the u.s. to bring an end to the life-ways of the Lakota. This analysis will include a detailed statement of the economic and social impacts occurring at Pine Ridge, and also interactions between the Lakota and Whiteclay, NE.