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Noem: Kick the cartels off the reservations instead of me

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(The Center Square) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem criticized the state’s Native American tribes that banned her from their reservations based on comments she made about the tribes’ handling of drug and violence issues.

Eight of the state’s nine tribes have banished her from the reservations for not only what she said about the drugs but for comments she made about criticizing Native American parents.

The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe is the latest to ban Noem. In a news release this week, it said it asked Noem for an apology two months ago over her statements but received no response.

The governor said Oglala Sioux Tribe President Frank Star Comes Out said the same things she had in a December Congressional hearing when he placed much of the blame on the federal government.

“Why have they not banished the cartels?” Noem said about the tribes at a news conference that lasted nearly an hour on Friday. “Why have they not banned the cartels’ affiliates? Why have they focused their attention on me who has only offered them help and not gone after those who are perpetuating violence against their own people.”

Star Comes Out said in a statement to The Center Square previously that his tribe has banished drug dealers.

“We remind the Governor that any cartel dealers must first pass through state jurisdiction prior to any presence on Tribal Jurisdiction, what is being done about this?” Star Comes Out asked.

Noem appointed Algin Young as Tribal Law Enforcement Liaison this week to work with the tribes. Young is a former police chief of the Pine Ridge Reservation, one of the tribes that banned Noem.

The governor also criticized media coverage, saying more stories were written about her banishment from the reservations than were written about the issue with the cartels.

“I will keep doing my job. The media needs to do its job. And I hope our tribal leaders will do their job, too. Help me help you. Help me help your people,” Noem said.

On Thursday, Noem visited the Southern border in Texas where 20 South Dakota National Guard members are deployed and where she says the drugs are entering the U.S. She rode a horse with border patrol agents during part of her visit, according to information from Noem’s office.

“What is happening at our Southern Border is an invasion, it’s a crisis, and it is a warzone,” Noem said. “We see the detrimental effects of this wide-open border everyday in South Dakota.”

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