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Tribal Lands in South Dakota Enact Ban on Kristi Noem, Exceeding 90%

Tribal Nations Ban Gov. Kristi Noem from Entering Their Lands in South Dakota

The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe has joined a growing list of Sioux tribes in banning South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem from entering their territory. With this latest decision, Noem finds herself an outlaw in over 16 percent of South Dakota and over 90 percent of the state’s tribal lands.

The resolution passed by the Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal Council bars Noem from the Lake Traverse Reservation in the state’s northeast. This action aligns the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe with the Oglala, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock, and Rosebud Sioux tribes, collectively covering approximately 13,000 square miles of South Dakota’s total area.

Chairman J. Garrett Renville emphasized that the resolution reflects the people’s will and stated that communication with Noem would be considered in the future. Still, she remains barred until serious efforts are made to repair the relationship. Renville specified that a formal apology would be necessary for reconsideration.

Gov. Kristi Noem Faces Tribal Backlash, Banned from Certain South Dakota Reservations

The ban stems from derogatory remarks made by Noem about tribal families, accusing them of neglecting their children’s education. Noem’s comments during a March town hall sparked outrage among tribal leaders and parents, prompting accusations of insensitivity and disrespect.

Noem’s unsupported claims about Mexican drug cartel activity on Native reservations further fueled condemnation from tribal leaders, leading to subsequent bans by several Sioux tribes in April. As a result, Noem is effectively restricted from accessing about 16 percent of tribal lands in South Dakota, a particular portion of her state’s territory.

Chase Iron Eyes, director of the Lakota Law Project, highlighted the impact of these bans, noting that they limit Noem’s movement to major interstate routes, illustrating the extent of the strained relationship between the governor and Sioux tribes.

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