You may have heard by now that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is no longer welcome on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
It has to do with the Keystone XL Pipeline and two pieces of legislation she signed this year. KELOLAND’s Don Jorgensen sat down with a tribal leader to find out why they’re banning the governor from tribal land.
“We retain the rights to banish anybody,” Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Outreach Director Chase Iron Eyes said.
The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council voted this week to notify Governor Noem by letter, she’s not welcome to visit Pine Ridge anymore.
“The tribal nations, including the Oglala Sioux Tribe felt offended felt ignored,” Iron Eyes said.
Ignored, because they say Noem reached out to Transcanada, before reaching out to tribal officials when discussing two so-called riot boosting bills
Noem says the bills would pay for resources and authorize police to crack down on protests against the Keystone XL Pipeline if they should turn violent, like what happened near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation two years ago.
Chase Iron Eyes says the bills violate their First Amendment Rights and unfairly target Native Americans and anyone who supports them in efforts to keep oil pipelines away from tribal land.
Land, Governor Noem apparently is no longer welcome on.
“If she were to come here and if President Bear Runner or one of the council members were to see her, they would probably ask the nature of her business and why she’s here and why she didn’t contact anybody,” Iron Eyes said.
KELOLAND News tried for the past two days to get an on camera interview with the governor. Friday we got this statement from her press secretary:
“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.”