Kristi Noem Now Banned From All Tribal Lands in State She Governs

9th Native American tribe votes to bar her from reservation
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2024 1:00 AM CDT
Kristi Noem Now Banned From All Tribal Lands in State She Governs
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem attends an event Jan. 10, 2024, at the state Capitol in Pierre, SD.   (AP Photo/Jack Dura, File)

Kristi Noem was already banned from one-fifth of the state she governs; now she's banned from even more of it. Indigenous groups in South Dakota have now barred the far-right governor from any and all tribal lands in the state, the Guardian reports. Nine Native American tribes reside in South Dakota, and the last one to vote to prohibit Noem from entering its reservation was the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe, which did so Tuesday, CNN reports. During a meeting with Noem's office, the tribe's president "requested that the Governor refrain from making future blanket statements that offend the tribes within the boundaries of the State of South Dakota, some of which depend on state services for the needs of their people," a statement says.

Noem alleged earlier this year that drug cartels were using reservations to spread drugs through the Midwest, the New York Post reports. She later claimed tribal leaders were "personally benefiting" from drug cartels in South Dakota. The FSST's president recommended to the governor's office that Noem "clarify her statements and issue an apology to all tribal nations for the misunderstanding." (After her initial statement, all she's done so far is double down on her claims.) "Until such a time, the Executive Council and the people of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe stand with our fellow nations," the president's statement says. Noem's response Wednesday:

  • "I only want to speak truth to the real challenges that are being faced in some areas of Indian Country. I want to focus on solutions that lead to safer communities for all our families, educational outcomes for all our children, and declining addiction numbers for all our people. We cannot tackle these issues without addressing the problem: dangerous criminals who perpetuate violence and illegal activities in all areas of our state. We need to take action. It is my hope tribal leadership will take the opportunity to work with me to be an example of how cooperation is better for all people rather than political attacks."
(More Kristi Noem stories.)

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