May 20, 2024

John Hult (SD Searchlight)

PIERRE, S.D.–At the end of a week in which two more tribal nations voted to ban her from their lands, Gov. Kristi Noem on Friday called on tribal leaders to partner with state law enforcement to battle drug activity on reservations.

The governor was flanked by her tribal relations secretary and newly hired tribal law enforcement liaison. She spoke next to a poster-sized quote on the influence of drug cartels in Indian Country from Oglala Sioux Tribal Chairman Frank Star Comes Out.

In the comment, Star Comes Out noted that his tribe is reliant on insufficient federal funding for public safety, saying, “we believe this federal neglect has resulted in the cartel moving on to our reservation, an increase in overdoses, and a proliferation of guns on our school properties.”

The governor again called on tribes to “banish the cartels” instead of voting to banish her, as government bodies at eight of the nine tribes in the state have now done.

Noem said, “banishing me does absolutely nothing to solve this problem. All it does is help those who are perpetuating horrible violence and crimes against the people of South Dakota.”