Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station
Governor visits U.S./Mexico border with National Guard
In this AP File photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem visited the U.S. border with Mexico in 2021, near McAllen, Texas. Noem described the U.S. border with Mexico as a “war zone.” Records show South Dakota troops didn’t seize any drugs. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves, File)

Noem persists with narrative of tribes home to cartels

PIERRE, S.D. — Governor Kristi Noem’s refusal to walk back allegations of a cartel presence on South Dakota Indian Reservations and her continued efforts to draw a line connecting illegal border crossings on the U.S./Mexico border with cartel members on reservations, continues to roil state/tribal relations. To date, eight tribes with sovereign land within South Dakota have banned Noem in 2024: the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.

Noem will be holding a news conference Friday in Pierre after visiting South Dakota National Guard soldiers at the southern border Thursday. The news conference is set for 10 a.m. Friday in the Mount Rushmore Room at the Capitol and will include state tribal relations officials, including newly appointed Tribal Law Enforcement Liaison Algin Young.

Noem says she will discuss the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and “the negative impact the open border and cartel presence are having on South Dakota’s tribal lands.”

RELATED: See More News On South Dakota Tribal Governments Banning Governor Kristi Noem

The news conference comes after more Native American tribes have taken formal action against previous comments and statements made by Noem.

On Wednesday, the Lower Brule Sioux tribal council voted to ban Noem, according to Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Chairman Clyde Estes.

“A couple months ago I sent a letter to the Governor’s office asking for an apology to our Native Youth on the comments she said about our children having no hope and also saying parents were absent and we have never received a reply or letter of apology,” Estes said in a statement to KELOLAND News. “Also we stand united with our Oceti Sakowin Tribes in solidarity against the blatant, disrespectful, hurtful words coming from the Governor regarding tribal governments and tribes. We are hopeful she thinks about her words and actions about the tribes in the state and we will continue to pray for her.”


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