Governor Banned Over Insulting Remarks

(UnitedVoice.com) – South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R) is a rising star in the Republican Party. She was once regularly mentioned as a possible running mate for former President Donald Trump. Recently, she has been embroiled in scandals.

Noem’s state has a large Native American population with many tribes. On May 14, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe announced the governor was banned from its reservation. The tribe was the seventh to prohibit the Republican leader from entering their land. The Lower Brule Sioux tribe later became the eighth.

Peter Lengkeek, the chairman of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, spoke to NPR and said the decision to ban Noem came after she repeatedly tied reservations to drug smuggling. She previously claimed some tribal leaders were benefiting from drug cartel activity. For example, in January, the governor gave a speech and said cartel members who were living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Rapid City were “recruiting tribal members to join their criminal activity.”

Lengkeek said, “We do not have cartels on the reservations.”

The chairman explained that reservations absolutely have products from drug cartels, like narcotics and guns, but that’s because the smugglers “pass over state highways” to get there. He went on to say that Noem’s remarks showed “the ignorance of the governor’s office.”

Noem is now banned from the reservations of eight of the state’s nine tribes. She has also accused tribes of abandoning their kids and sabotaging them in school.

A spokesperson for the governor’s office doubled down on Noem’s claims, saying she was calling on the state’s “tribal leaders to banish the cartels from tribal lands.”

Not all of the tribes intend to ban the governor. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Communications Director Francis Wakeman spoke to The Daily Beast and said they are busy moving their economic agenda forward and aren’t interested in banning the governor. He said he agrees with some of the governor’s remarks and is happy she’s “concerned about Native education.”

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