A South Dakota Indigenous tribe banished Republican Gov. Kristi Noem from setting foot on its land in protest of her administration mulling plans to dispatch resources to Texas to bolster border security.
Oglala Sioux Tribal President Frank Star blasted Noem for publicly musing about sending razor wire and personnel to the border, suggesting she was jockeying for the vice presidency.
“Due to the safety of the Oyate, effective immediately, you are hereby Banished from the homelands of the Oglala Sioux Tribe!” Star declared last Friday, using “Oyate,” a word that means nation.
Star, who noted the Oglala Sioux is a “sovereign nation that is neither a Democrat nor Republican tribe,” underscored that many of the migrants pouring across the southern border are Indigenous people looking for “jobs and a better life.”
“[They] don’t deserve to be dehumanized and mistreated by people like Governor [Abbott] and his cohorts,” he said.
Noem had addressed state lawmakers last Wednesday in which she said that the US is facing an “invasion” and warned that the Mexican drug cartels are “waging war against our nation.”
The 52-year-old Republican shrugged off Star’s banishment and admonishment of her.
“It is unfortunate that President (Star) Comes Out chose to bring politics into a discussion regarding the effects of our federal government’s failure to enforce federal laws at the southern border and on tribal lands,” she said in a statement.
“In my speech to the legislature earlier this week, I told the truth of the devastation that drugs and human trafficking have on our state and our people,” she added.
“Our tribal reservations are bearing the worst of that in South Dakota. Speaking this fact is not meant to blame the tribes in any way – they are the victim here.”
“I stand ready to work with any of our state’s Native American tribes to build such a relationship.”
During her address to a joint session of the state legislature last Wednesday, Noem briefly discussed the drug situation plaguing tribal communities in the Mount Rushmore State.
She also expressed her intention to back the Oglala Sioux Tribe in a lawsuit demanding more federal law enforcement support.
Last year, Star declared a state of emergency over crime afflicting the Pine Ridge Reservation. The federal government has an obligation to provide law enforcement support, a federal judge determined last year.
A chorus of Republican governors have backed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in his flap with the Biden administration.
Noem has deployed National Guard troops to the Mexican border three times, as have some other Republican governors, including failed GOP presidential candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Noem’s name has been floated as a potential vice president for GOP frontrunner former President Donald Trump.
She endorsed him last year and campaigned for him in Iowa last month.
With Post wires