South Dakota Governor Banned From Entering 10 Percent of Own State

Racially charged statements made by the governor in March at town hall meetings led to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council’s decision to banish her from their land.

After accusing tribal chiefs of receiving benefits from Mexican drug gangs, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was barred from visiting 10% of her state’s territory. 

Last month, Noem accused tribal authorities of being in collusion with Mexican drug cartels and that Native American parents were responsible for their children’s low academic performance in tribal lands. Her provocative statements provoked indignation among Native Americans– Standing Rock, Oglala, Cheyenne River, Rosebud, and Crow Creek were five of the indigenous groups who called on Noem to apologize.

The cartels, according to Noem’s statement, cause drug addiction, murder, rape, human trafficking, and other crimes in tribal communities throughout the country, including in South Dakota. She urged tribal leaders to expel the cartels from tribal territories. A 12-0 decision by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe council barred her from ever setting foot on tribal property. The Pe’ Sla council members said that Noem had shown up unexpectedly and uninvited to the quarterly meeting before the vote.

Following her comments on the escalating situation at the US-Mexico border, the Oglala Sioux Tribe became the first South Dakota tribe to expel the Republicans. After expressing her desire to deploy razor wire and security officers to Texas to assist in discouraging migrants from crossing into the US, the tribe threw her from the Pine Ridge Reservation, which is the tribal homeland. 

Frank Star Comes Out, President of the Tribe, accused Noem of trying to utilize the border situation to help re-elect Trump.

On the Pine Ridge Reservation, Noem said that a group known as the Ghost Dancers were responsible for the murders, which deeply offended the chief. The chief said the usage of the phrase “Ghost Dance,” which he said is very important to the Oglala Sioux, was an open display of contempt and abuse by Noem against their Oyate.