Kristi Noem banned by two more Native tribes in South Dakota | Republicans

Kristi Noem, the South Dakota governor who was once considered one of Donald Trump’s top vice-presidential contenders, has been banned from nearly one-fifth of the state after two more tribes voted to prohibit her from their lands.

The move by the Yankton Sioux tribe and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe last week follows criticism from the governor who has – without evidence – accused tribal leaders of “personally benefiting” from drug cartels. The Oglala, Rosebud, Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes banished Noem earlier this year.

Noem has been the subject of controversy in recent weeks after the Guardian reported that the governor described killing a family dog and a goat in her new book.

Noem also falsely claimed to have met the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un – in a passage she later said should not have been included in the book – and claimed to have cancelled a planned meeting with Emmanuel Macron, which the French government denied. The controversies appear to have weakened Noem’s chances of becoming the former president’s running mate.

Her dispute with South Dakota tribes heightened after remarks she made at a forum in March, accusing tribal leaders who had been critical of her catering to drug cartels.

“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. “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.’”

The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate said it had moved to ban Noem after she made statements that were “injurious to the parents of tribal children”, Kelo, a local TV station reported.

In a statement announcing the ban in April, the Rosebud Sioux said the decision was based not only on Noem’s recent comments but an “ongoing strained relationship” with the governor, who took office in 2019.

The tribe cited Noem’s support of the Keystone XL pipeline, her opposition to checkpoints on reservation borders established by the Cheyenne River Sioux and Oglala Sioux during the pandemic, and her support of the removal of “significant sections” of Native American history from state social-studies standards, among other issues.

“Governor Noem claims she wants to establish meaningful relationships with tribes to provide solutions for systemic problems. However, her actions as governor show blatantly otherwise,” the tribe said in a statement.

“Her disingenuous nature towards Native Americans to further her federal political ambitions is an attack on tribal sovereignty that the Rosebud Sioux tribe will not tolerate.”

The tribe said it would acknowledge Noem only after she issues a public apology and presents a “plan of action” for supporting and empowering the Lakota people.

In response to the wave of bans, Noem again repeated her claims about the tribes’ leadership. “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,” Noem said.

Cal Jillson, a politics professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said that unlike previous disputes, Noem seems to be “stoking it actively, which suggests that she sees a political benefit”. He said it is likely Noem does not mind the focus on this conflict rather than on other recent controversies.

“I’m sure that Governor 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,” Jillson said.

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