Trump Signs Bill Into Law Allowing Distilleries in Indian Country



There goes that pesky racist President Trump making it easier for Native Americans to do business and provide their communities with a sustainable source of consistent revenue while manufacturing a product that consistently has large demand. Interesting how literally no one reported on this other than a few business journals focused on Native American business interests - a small niche.

This week, President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill into law, overthrowing a prohibition of distilleries on tribal land.

H.R. 5317 repeals a section of the Trade and Intercourse Act of 1834. The 200-year-old ban barred the manufacture of certain liquor on tribal lands.

“For nearly 200 years this archaic law has been a barrier for tribal nations pursing economic freedom,” said U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington).

Enactment of the bill paves way for the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation to develop its planned stand-alone brewery and separate distillery on-reservation in Washington State. Both will be 100 percent owned and operated by the tribe.

The tribe began planning a brewpub restaurant featuring a brewery and distillery earlier this year. During the permit process, they discovered through the Bureau of Indian Affairs the federal law preventing them from opening a distillery.

“Today, I join the Chehalis Tribe and all others across the country as we celebrate the repeal of a law that strives to bring more equality and sovereignty to Indian tribes,” said Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Washington), who sponsored the bill, said on December 11. “This is a good day for tribal members who can now expand economically in the distillery business and bring new skills training and jobs to our region.”

The Chehalis-owned operation stands to create about 100 construction jobs, and 30 to 40 full-time positions once open. Chehalis Tribal Chairman Harry Pickernell, Sr., sees the new law as opening economic development opportunities for tribal nations across the country.

The Penobscot Indian Nation in Maine, for one, is similarly considering a distilling operation, reported PEW Trusts.

“Tribes around the country will now have the ability to move forward with projects to build and operate distilleries on their own lands,” Chairman Pickernell said in a statement. “This is a great victory for the Chehalis Tribe and tribes nationwide that seek to expand economic development opportunities on their own land.”


That’s actually pretty crazy. They can open casinos all day long but a microbrewery - nope. Glad to see this get eliminated.


That goes back to the days when our benevolent government disarmed the Native Americans and took away their fire water, lest the get drunk and obnoxious.

Indians have been far more mistreated in this country than the blacks.


Establishments on the reservations by me are prohibited by tribal law from selling alcohol. Just past their borders are convenience and liquor stores that residents will use to purchase their booze and then drive back into the reservation to consume. So I don’t know what good the laws did in the first place when they are easily circumvented.


Good - happy to see the President actually getting rid of stupid regulations that don’t help anyone.


Pocahontas Warren of the Forked Tongue Cherokee must be ecstatic.