Gov. Kristi Noem Banned from About 20% of South Dakota by Tribes

( – Two more tribes have banned South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem from entering their land.

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Ovate tribe and the Yankton Sioux Tribe are the latest two tribes to vote to ban Noem from their land, joining the Cheyenne River, Rosebud, Oglala, and Standing Rock Sioux tribes who voted to ban the governor earlier this year. The new bans mean Noem is now banned from 20 percent of the land in her state. Three tribes have not yet banned her.

The move to ban Noem from their land comes after a March comment when Noem stated that, on their reservations, tribal leaders had neglected the needs of children and poor people, instead catering to drug cartels. Noem said that she believes some of the tribal leaders “are personally benefiting from the cartels being there.” While multiple tribes called on Noem to apologize for the comment, she has not yet issued an apology.

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate stated that because of Noem’s statements that were “injurious to the parents of tribal children,” the tribe banned her from their land. However, in April, the Rosebud Sioux stated their decision to ban Noem was because of more than just her March comments, but due to their “ongoing strained relationship” with her.

In a May 9 post on Twitter, Noem posted a link to a YouTube channel showing a law enforcement video that discusses the presence of drugs on the reservations. In the post, Noem called on tribal leaders to “ban the cartels from their lands,” adding they should allow her “to help them restore law and order to their communities.”

This is not the first time Noem has been at odds with tribal leaders. In 2016, the tribes disagreed with Noem over the 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock. In 2019, she was banned, temporarily, from the Oglala Sioux reservation due to the protest dispute. The tribal leaders also disagreed with her when the pandemic checkpoints were set up at reservation borders during the pandemic to keep out unnecessary visitors.

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