Third South Dakota tribe bans Gov. Noem from reservation following Mexican drug cartel comments

Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is unable to step foot on 10 percent of the state she governs.

On Wednesday, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe became the third tribal nation to ban Noem from tribal lands for “racially charged” comments regarding tribal leaders and Mexican drug cartels.

According to the South Dakota Searchlight, Noem alleged that “some tribal leaders are ‘personally benefitting’ from Mexican drug cartel activity on reservations.”

“We’ve got some tribal leaders that I believe are personally benefitting from the cartels being here, and that’s why they attack me every day,” Noem said, according to the Daily Mail.

“My next step would be to do what I can to get a tribe to participate with me to help their kids be more successful,” she continued. “Because they live with 80% to 90% unemployment. Their kids don’t have any hope. They don’t have parents who show up and help them. They have a tribal council or a president who focuses on a political agenda more than they care about actually helping somebody’s life look better.”

“Governor Kristi Noem’s wild and irresponsible attempt to connect tribal leaders and parents with Mexican drug cartels is a sad reflection of her fear-based politics that do nothing to bring people together to solve problems,” Tribal Chairwoman Janet Alkire stated in a news release, according to the Searchlight. “Rather than make uninformed and unsubstantiated claims, Noem should work with tribal leaders to increase funding and resources for tribal law enforcement and education.”

“Five tribes have demanded an apology from Noem since then,” the Searchlight reports, adding, “The Oglala Sioux Tribe banished Noem in February and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe banned her last week.”

On April 2, Noem issued a statement, calling on “all our tribal leaders to banish the cartels from tribal lands.”

“The cartels instigate drug addiction, murder, rape, human trafficking, and so much more in tribal communities across the nation, including in South Dakota,” she said. “I will work with you to sign Law Enforcement Agreements to immediately assist you, respect your sovereignty, and uphold tribal law.”

“Every time that a South Dakota tribe has asked me for assistance, I have done what I can, both while in Congress and as governor,” Noem said. “I will continue to speak the truth, call out corruption wherever I see it, and fight to protect the lives of Native Americans in our state – because that’s what they deserve.”

“On the same day she released the statement, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe council voted 12-0 to ban her from visiting the tribe’s lands,” the Daily Mail reports.

District Five representative Robert Walters, presented the motion.

‘This person has made a lot of accusations about the tribes, about the cartel, council representatives being in bed with the cartel, stuff like that,” Walters said. “It’s all false information.”

Noem was first banished from the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Pine Ridge Reservation “after she said she wanted to send razor wire and security personnel to Texas to help deter migrants crossing into the US,” according to the Daily Mail.

Melissa Fine


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