Kristi Noem Banned?

( – In a new attack on the GOP, South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem has been prohibited from entering six of the nine Native American reservations in the state, following a decision by the Yankton Sioux Tribe, after she accused the tribes of being inadequate parents and collaborating with Mexican drug cartels.

This action represents a growing trend among the tribes, who have largely chosen to restrict the Republican governor’s access to their territories.

Consequently, Noem is now unable to visit over 90 percent of the state’s tribal lands and more than 16 percent of South Dakota’s total land area, The Independent reports.

The tribes’ decisions are a response to Noem’s recent controversial remarks, in which she criticized tribe members for being negligent parents and conspiring with drug cartels during a town hall meeting in March.

“Their kids don’t have any hope. They don’t have parents who show up and help them. They have a tribal council or a president who focuses on a political agenda more than they care about actually helping somebody’s life look better,” Noem stated.

“We’ve got some tribal leaders that I believe are personally benefitting from the cartels being here, and that’s why they attack me every day,” she added.

These statements have been met with strong disapproval from indigenous leaders.

“As Tribal leaders, it is our duty to honor the voice of our people. Although, it is always a goal to engage in constructive dialogue with our political counterparts at the federal and state level. It is equally important we take actions that protect our values, ensuring a safe and inclusive environment, and preventing further marginalization of tribal nations,” said the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Council.

Janet Alkire, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council, criticized Noem’s approach.

“Governor Kristi Noem’s wild and irresponsible attempt to connect tribal leaders and parents with Mexican drug cartels is a sad reflection of her fear-based politics that do nothing to bring people together to solve problems. Rather than make uninformed and unsubstantiated claims, Noem should work with tribal leaders to increase funding and resources for tribal law enforcement and education,” she said.

Besides the Yankton and Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribes, the Oglala, Cheyenne River, Standing Rock, and Rosebud Sioux tribes have also voted to bar the governor from their reservations in South Dakota.

In response to one of these bans, a spokesperson for Noem commented, “Banishing Governor Noem does nothing to solve the problem. She calls on all our tribal leaders to banish the cartels from tribal lands.”

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