Home Blog Cheyenne River South Dakota Tribes Ban Gov. Kristi Noem After She Says They Cater to Drug Cartels

South Dakota Tribes Ban Gov. Kristi Noem After She Says They Cater to Drug Cartels

After a series of controversial remarks about alleged drug trade on reservations, three more Native American tribes in South Dakota banned Gov. Kristi Noem from setting foot on their reservations, bringing the total number of tribal reservations to ban her to seven. 

The Associated Press reports that tribes are reacting to remarks from the governor, essentially saying that their reservations are havens for drug dealers selling fentanyl and other drugs, and that tribal leaders are allegedly not doing anything about it.

“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,” Noem said at a forum. “But I’m going to fight for the people who actually live in those situations, who call me and text me every day and say, ’Please, dear governor, please come help us in Pine Ridge. We are scared.’ ”

The rift between Noem and tribes in her state continues to divide the two.

Noem posted on X a video of Chris Hansen from TruBlu investigating the trade of fentanyl, which includes some footage from Native American reservations in South Dakota. “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,” she posted. “We can only do this through partnerships because the Biden Administration is failing to do their job.”

The Oglala, Rosebud, Cheyenne River, and Standing Rock Sioux tribes already took action to ban her off their reservations. Last week, the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) tribe banned Noem from their lands, and when the SWO tribe banned her, the 13,057 square-miles of South Dakota land held by tribal nations that have already banned here amounted to nearly 17% of the state’s total area

The Pine Ridge Reservation (Oglala Lakota) makes up 3,469 square-miles, while the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota comprises 4,267 square-miles, and a portion of the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota comprises 2,530 square-miles. The portion of the Lake Traverse Reservation (Sisseton Wahpeton) in South Dakota is about 1,400-square-miles, and the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota comprises 1,391-square-miles.

The Yankton Sioux Tribe voted Friday to ban Noem from their land in southeastern South Dakota just a few days later. Since there are nine tribal reservations in the state, just a few other remaining Native American tribes in the state haven’t banned her yet.

It’s not the first time the tribes have been at odds with Noem. In 2016, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock took place and again during the COVID-19 pandemic when state leaders set up coronavirus checkpoints at reservation borders to keep out unnecessary visitors. She was temporarily banned from the Oglala Sioux reservation in 2019 after the protest dispute.

Things in general haven’t fared well between South Dakota’s Native Americans when it comes to European contact. In 1890, soldiers from the United States Army shot and killed hundreds of Lakota men, women, and children at the Wounded Knee massacre—simply to stop a religious practice known as the Ghost Dance.

Noem as a Vice Presidential Running Mate

Noem was eyed as a potential Vice President running mate for Donald Trump, but her controversial comments could change that. Dallas-based political observer Cal Jillson said this tribal dispute hits different because Noem appears to be “stoking it actively, which suggests that she sees a political benefit.”

“I’m sure that Gov. Noem doesn’t mind a focus on tensions with the Native Americans in South Dakota because if we’re not talking about that, we’re talking about her shooting the dog,” Jillson told the Associated Press.

Last month, a clip from her new book No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward revealed that the governor gunned down her puppy dog when it proved incapable of being trained.

“Cricket was a wirehair pointer, about 14 months old,” the South Dakota governor wrote in her new book, adding that the female dog had an “aggressive personality” and needed to be trained to be used for hunting pheasant. This particular passage sparked outrage. Noem wrote about making “hard choices” like shooting Cricket, as well as a goat on her property.

“We love animals, but tough decisions like this happen all the time on a farm,” Noem posted on X in response. “Sadly, we just had to put down 3 horses a few weeks ago that had been in our family for 25 years.”

Noem’s new controversy with nearly every Native American reservation in the state is putting the public eye back on her remarks once again.

The post South Dakota Tribes Ban Gov. Kristi Noem After She Says They Cater to Drug Cartels first appeared on High Times.