South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) just visited the Pine Ridge Reservation, according to an April 18, 2019, post on social media. It might end up being her last time there now that the Oglala Sioux Tribe has told her she isn't welcome. Photo: Gov. Noem

Oglala Sioux Tribe bans South Dakota governor from reservation

In a sign of further eroding relations in South Dakota, the Oglala Sioux Tribe has banned Gov. Kristi Noem (R) from the Pine Ridge Reservation.

In a letter, President Julian Bear Runner called on Noem to rescind her support for two bills recently enacted by the state legislature. He said the new laws unfairly target tribes and their citizens by making it a crime to engage in protests against the Keystone XL Pipeline.

"We are particularly offended that you consulted TransCanada before introducing these bills but failed to consult the Oglala Sioux Tribe, or any of the sovereign bands of the Sioux Nation, though our treaty lands would be traversed and endangered by the Keystone XL Pipeline," Bear Runner said in the letter on Thursday.

The letter came after the tribal council took action on Wednesday to bar Noem, who took office in January, from the reservation. The vote was unanimous, Bear Runner said.

"We have superior legal title to all the land west of the Missouri River that you and/ or big oil seek to trespass and aggress on," Bear Runner wrote in the letter. "These are our lands and our waters."

Noem visited Pine Ridge as recently as April 18, according to a post on social media. She also went there in March, following severe storms and historic flooding that caused dangerous conditions throughout the reservation.

By that time, tribes had criticized Noem for introducing so-called "riot boosting" bills, late in the legislative session. They passed within 72 hours, The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported, despite opposition from Indian Country.

In response, several tribes -- including Oglala -- asked for their flags to be removed from the state capitol building in Pierre.

Read More on the Story
Oglala Sioux Tribe bans Gov. Kristi Noem from Pine Ridge Reservation (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader May 2, 2019)
Oglala Sioux Tribe to Noem: "You are not welcome on the Pine Ridge Reservation." (KSFY May 2, 2019)
Oglala Sioux Tribe bans Gov. Noem from their reservation (KELO May 2, 2019)
Oglala Sioux Tribal Council: Gov. Noem not welcome on Pine Ridge Reservation (KELOLAND News May 2, 2019)
Oglala Sioux Tribe tells Noem 'you are not welcome' on Pine Ridge after pipeline bill package (The Dickinson Press May 2, 2019)

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