Native Tribes Move To Ban Governor Kristi Noem From Nearly 20% Of South Dakota’s Land

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Dana Abizaid Contributor
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A sixth native tribe in South Dakota was reported to be considering banishing Republican Governor Kristi Noem from its territory in response to comments she made in March 2024 about tribal leaders, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The latest banishment reports — two in less than a week — bring the total percentage of land in South Dakota the governor could be banished from to nearly 20%, according to the AP.

The Yankton Sioux Tribe, reportedly following the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate’s similar action Tuesday, moved Friday towards being the latest native group to ban Noem, according to the AP. (RELATED: ‘Hereby Banished’: Gov. Kristi Noem Banned From Tribal Lands Over Border Remarks)

Following earlier reports of being the sixth tribe to ban Noem, however, Yankton Sioux Tribe secretary Courtney Sully said the tribe has “not officially banned” the governor. Rather, she claimed, the tribe’s business and claims committee supports a ban, KELO reported Monday.

Four of the nine tribes in the state, including the Yankton Sioux, have yet to ban the governor; the five who have done so are the Oglala, Rosebud, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock Sioux and Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, the outlet reported.

The tribes’ actions reacted to public remarks Noem made in March claiming tribal leaders were neglecting children and the poor on their reservations in order to accommodate drug cartels, according to the AP.

“We’ve got some tribal leaders that I believe are personally benefiting from the cartels being there, and that’s why they attack me every day,” Noem said at the time. “But I’m going to fight for the people who actually live in those situations, who call me and text me every day and say, ‘Please, dear governor, please come help us in Pine Ridge. We are scared.'”

Noem’s office did not respond to email questions about the reported latest ban consideration, but the governor has previously stated that, despite any troubles she has with tribal leaders, she believes she still gets support from those who live on the reservations, the AP reported.

The Daily Caller reached out to the Yankton Sioux Tribe for comment but did not receive a response.

Noem addressed the cartel problem in a May 9, 2024 post on X (formerly Twitter), stating, “Tribal leaders should take action to ban the cartels from their lands and accept my offer to help them restore law and order to their communities while protecting their sovereignty.”

Some commentators claim Noem is stirring up the drug cartel issue to deflect attention from the backlash she has faced from passages in her latest book that detail the killing of her hunting dog, Cricket, for misbehaving, the AP reported.

“I’m sure that Gov. Noem doesn’t mind a focus on tensions with the Native Americans in South Dakota because if we’re not talking about that, we’re talking about her shooting the dog,” political observer Cal Jilson said.

Editor’s note: This story and headline have been updated to reflect the clarified position of the Yankton Sioux Tribe reported Monday.