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Seventh tribe bans Kristi Noem

Amelia Schafer
ICT + Rapid City Journal

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A seventh tribe in South Dakota, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, banned Gov. Kristi Noem on May 14.

During a Tuesday meeting, the Crow Creek Tribal Council voted unanimously to ban Noem from entering its central South Dakota reservation.

The decision comes on the heels of the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s decision to ban Noem on May 10 and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate’s banishment on May 7.

These bans have been made following the governor’s accusations that Mexican drug cartels are operating on tribal land in South Dakota. Noem also accused tribal governments of benefiting off of the alleged cartel presence and of failing their people, particularly youth.

Tribes are now exercising their sovereignty by indefinitely banning the governor from tribal lands in the state.

As sovereign nations, tribal governments are allowed to ban anyone from their lands. According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribes possess the right to regulate activities within their jurisdiction, which includes the banishment of persons, Native or non-Native.

Previously when questioned about being banished from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in early April, Noem’s Communication Director Ian Fury said Noem encourages tribes to banish cartels from tribal lands.

The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe’s decision leaves the governor only able to enter two of the nine reservations in the state, the Lower Brule Reservation in central South Dakota and the Flandreau Santee Reservation in eastern South Dakota.

The governor’s communications director did not respond to a request for comment about her recent banishments.

The Crow Creek banishment came moments after Noem announced the creation and appointment of a tribal law enforcement liaison.

Algin Young, the former police chief of the Oglala Department of Public Safety, was announced as the tribal law enforcement liaison on May 14. Young left his position on April 21 after his contract with the Oglala Sioux Tribe expired, interim police chief John Pettigrew said in an interview with ICT and the Rapid City Journal. 

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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