South Dakota Governor Banned from 20% of State's Land by Native American Tribes

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem was banned from nearly 20% of the state's land by six Native American tribes after making controversial comments accusing tribal leaders of benefiting from drug cartels. The ban follows a history of strained relationships between the state and its Native American tribes.

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Bijay Laxmi
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South Dakota Governor Banned from 20% of State's Land by Native American Tribes

South Dakota Governor Banned from 20% of State's Land by Native American Tribes

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has been banned from entering nearly 20% of her state's land by six Native American tribes, including the Yankton Sioux, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Cheyenne River, Oglala, Rosebud, and Standing Rock Sioux tribes. The unprecedented move comes after Noem made controversial comments accusing tribal leaders of benefiting from drug cartels on their reservations.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the deep-seated tensions and mistrust between Native American tribes and state governments, which can have far-reaching consequences for tribal sovereignty and self-governance. Thecontroversy also underscores the need for greater understanding and cooperation between state and tribal leaders to address pressing issues like drug trafficking and social welfare.

At a forum in March, Noem stated, "We've got some tribal leaders that I believe are personally benefiting from the cartels being there and that's why they attack me every day." She further claimed that tribal leaders were catering to drug cartels while neglecting the needs of Native American children and the poor. These comments sparked outrage among the tribes, who viewed them as divisive and hurtful.

In response to the bans, Noem posted on social media, saying, "Tribal leaders should take action to ban the cartels from their lands and accept my offer to help them restore law and order to their communities while protecting their sovereignty." However, her remarks have done little to quell the anger and frustration felt by the Native American community.

The relationship between South Dakota and its Native American tribes has long been strained, with historical events like the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre and recent disagreements over policies such as the environment contributing to the tension. Noem has personally clashed with tribal leaders in the past, notably over the 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock.

Political observers suggest that the controversy may hurt Noem's chances of becoming Donald Trump's running mate in the upcoming presidential election. Cal Jillson, a political science professor, noted, "I think that the chaos that Trump revels in is the chaos he creates. Chaos created by somebody else simply detracts attention from himself."

The banishment of Governor Kristi Noem from nearly 20% of South Dakota's land marks a significant rift between the state's leadership and its Native American tribes. As tensions continue to escalate, it remains to be seen how this unprecedented action will impact Noem's political future and the ongoing struggle for understanding and cooperation between the state government and the sovereign tribal nations within its borders.

Key Takeaways

  • 6 Native American tribes ban SD Governor Kristi Noem from 20% of state land.
  • Noem accused tribal leaders of benefiting from drug cartels on reservations.
  • Tribes view Noem's comments as divisive and hurtful, sparking outrage.
  • Strained relations between SD and Native American tribes date back to historical events.
  • Controversy may hurt Noem's chances of becoming Trump's running mate.