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8 down 1 to Go. Noem banned from Lower Brule Reservation

Eight of nine tribal governments in the state of South Dakota have endorsed the banishment of Gov. Kristi Noem from their lands.

The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe unanimously approved a resolution to bar Noem on Wednesday, according to Tribal Chairman Clyde Estes.

The vote comes one day after a similar resolution from the Crow Creek Sioux Tribal Council. Last week, the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s Business and Claims Committee endorsed a ban days after the tribal council of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate voted to ban Noem.

The Rosebud, Oglala, Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes voted to bar the governor earlier this year.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is the only one in the state that has not yet cast such a vote.

The bans began shortly after Noem delivered a speech on the U.S.-Mexico border that tied the impact of Mexican drug cartels to reservation communities. Noem would later say that some tribal leaders are “personally benefiting” from cartels.

Tribal leaders have also taken issue with comments delivered during town halls in Mitchell and Winner that suggested Native American children have no hope, and that their parents are not there for them.

Those comments in particular have been a sticking point for Estes, the Lower Brule tribal chairman. He said the tribe sent Noem a letter asking for an apology to children and parents.

“They were very hurtful, disparaging words,” Estes said. “We never heard a peep.”

Lower Brule voted down an earlier attempt to ban the governor. Estes said some leaders were hopeful that they’d hear an apology, but “a couple months have gone by now” without a response.

Estes said the leadership has also taken issue with the comments on tribal leadership and drug cartels. He said he’s never met anyone in a cartel “and I hope that I don’t.”

“It would be like tribes saying the South Dakota Legislature and executive branch of state government is in bed with the mafia,” Estes said. “These are blatant mistruths. Words are very powerful and hurtful. We have to be better than that.”

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