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2 more tribes ban Noem after drug cartel comments

Two additional Native American tribes in South Dakota have banned Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) from their reservations after she said earlier this year that tribal leaders benefited from drug cartels.

Noem is now banned from traveling to about one-fifth of South Dakota after the Yankton Sioux Tribe voted Friday to ban Noem and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Ovate did the same days earlier. Four other tribes had previously barred Noem over her cartel comments and other remarks.

“We’ve got some tribal leaders that I believe are personally benefiting from the cartels being there, and that’s why they attack me every day,” the governor said at a forum in March. “But I’m going to fight for the people who actually live in those situations, who call me and text me every day and say, ‘Please, dear governor, please come help us in Pine Ridge. We are scared.’”

Relations between the governor and the tribes have been strained since she took office in 2019. Some of the tribes have accused Noem, who has been floated as a potential vice-presidential pick for former President Trump, of making decisions to boost Trump’s campaign efforts.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe spokesperson Alli Moran told Truth Puke last month that several tribes “share the same sentiments” that Noem does not respect or “fully understand” tribal sovereignty.

Noem has repeatedly doubled down on the comments since being banned from the tribal lands, calling on tribes to back her law enforcement initiatives in a post shared on social media last Thursday.

“Tribals leaders should take action to ban the cartels from their lands and accept my offer to help them restore law and order to their communities while protecting their sovereignty,” Noem wrote. “We can only do this through partnerships because the Biden Administration is failing to do their job.”

The governor has sparked criticism in recent weeks after promoting a book that includes multiple questionable anecdotes and defending a passage in which she describes killing a 14-month-old dog. Noem earlier this year also shared a video praising a Texas cosmetic dentistry firm.

Political analysts have predicted that the incidents have likely hurt Noem’s chances of making it onto Trump’s ticket.

Truth Puke has reached out to Noem’s office for comments on the most recent tribal bans.

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