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Kristi Noem banned by another tribe

Amelia Schafer
ICT + Rapid City Journal

The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate has joined four other tribes in indefinitely banning South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem until she apologizes for recent remarks.

The decision made by Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate’s tribal council on May 7 follows a pattern of tribes banning the governor over her remarks in March.

In February, the Oglala Sioux Tribe triggered a ripple of tribes banning the South Dakota governor following comments about alleged cartel activity on tribal land.

In the months following, three other Lakota Nations, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe followed suit.

Previously the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate attempted to work with Noem after her claims that the cartel was operating on the Lake Traverse Reservation. The two parties had reached an agreement for Noem to not single out tribal governments further.

However, during a March town hall in Winner, South Dakota, Noem again claimed that cartels are operating on tribal land in South Dakota. She also alleged that tribal governments benefit from cartel presence.

Related: Fourth tribe bans Gov. Kristi Noem

After listening to the concerns of tribal citizens, the tribal council passed a resolution to ban Noem, officials said. The resolution has not yet been made public.

The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate’s banishment marks Noem’s first ban in East River South Dakota and marks the first Dakota Nation in the state to ban her.

The governor is now banned from accessing nearly 17 percent of land within South Dakota — five of the nine reservations in the state.

Following the formal transfer of the remains of Amos LaFromboise and Edward Upright from the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, a ceremonial fire was lit to burn during the four-day mourning period. The fire burns in at the repatriation cemetery on the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota. Amos, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, and Edward, Spirit Lake, were among the first group of students taken to the school, in 1879. Amos died 20 days after arriving; Edward lived another 18 months. (Photo by Charles Fox for ICT)

The four tribes that have not yet banished Noem are the Yankton Sioux Tribe, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe and Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe.

When the Rosebud Sioux Tribe banned Noem on April 11, it cited a history of offenses against the Indigenous community such as support of the Keystone XL Pipeline in 2019 and an increase in penalties for pipeline protestors, Noem’s opposition of COVID-19 checkpoints in the Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Reservations, her removal of teaching standards regarding Native American history, legal threats to the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe regarding its medical cannabis operations, return of unused Emergency Rental Assistance funds in 2022 without consulting tribes, and delayed response to a 2022 winter storm that killed four Rosebud Sioux Tribe citizens.

Noem’s Communications Director Ian Fury and Press Secretary Amelia Joy did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

This story is co-published by the Rapid City Journal and ICT, a news partnership that covers Indigenous communities in the South Dakota area.

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