The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council says South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem isn’t welcome on the Pine Ridge Reservation due to her support for measures that increase penalties for those who protest pipelines and other infrastructure projects.
The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council unanimously voted to ban Noem on Tuesday.
The reason is the Governor’s support of new laws related to the Keystone XL pipeline. The tribe says the laws unfairly target Native Americans and allies who support them in efforts to keep oil pipelines away from their tribal lands.
The ACLU has also sued over the laws. Capitol News Bureau Correspondent Bob Mercer is working to track down Governor Noem for her reaction. Watch for updates on KELOLAND.com and KELOLAND News.
UPDATED at 6:01
Kristi Noem’s Press Secretary Kristin Wileman gave KELOLAND News this statement:
“The governor has spent considerable time in Pine Ridge building relationships with tribal members, visiting businesses, discussing economic development, and working with leadership. This announcement from Oglala Sioux tribal leadership is inconsistent with the interactions she has had with members of the community.
It’s unfortunate that the governor was welcomed by Oglala Sioux’s leadership when resources were needed during the storms, but communication has been cut off when she has tried to directly interact with members of the Pine Ridge community.
The governor will continue working to engage with tribal members, stay in contact with tribal leadership, and maintain her efforts to build relationships with the tribes.”