PIERRE, S.D. – “My focus continues to be on working together to solve those problems,” said Noem in her statement.
“My state agencies and departments have worked with tribal leaders on a daily basis to deliver services to tribal communities including healthcare, economic development, social services, housing, food programs, suicide prevention, drug addiction treatment, infrastructure costs, and emergency response,” she added.
The Governor highlighted that they celebrated the hanging of two tribal flags in the Capitol Rotunda last month and that they are close to having the next tribal flag hanging ceremony soon.
“In my speech to the legislature earlier this week, I told the truth of the devastation that drugs and human trafficking have on our state and our people. The Mexican cartels are not only impacting our tribal reservations; they are impacting every community, from our big cities to our small towns. But our tribal reservations are bearing the worst of that in South Dakota. Speaking this fact is not meant to blame the tribes in any way – they are the victim here. They are the victim of cartel-driven criminal activity, and they are the victim of inaction by the federal government.”
The Governor acknowledged that relationships are by no means perfect and there is still disagreement at times.
“You can’t build relationships if you don’t spend time together, she stated. “I stand ready to work with any of our state’s Native American tribes to build such a relationship.”