American Indian tribe bans GOP governor from reservation over opposition to Keystone protestors

American Indian tribe bans GOP governor from reservation over opposition to Keystone protestors
© Stefani Reynolds

A Native American tribe in South Dakota banned South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemNew South Dakota law requiring 'In God We Trust' sign to hang in public schools goes into effect Trump: If I say I should be on Mt. Rushmore, 'I will end up with such bad publicity' Transportation Department seeks to crack down on pipeline protests: report MORE (R) from its reservation over her support for legislation limiting protesting of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council unanimously decided Wednesday that Noem is no longer allowed to enter the reservation until she rescinds her support for two bills that would allow the state to sue anyone for "riot boosting,” according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I am hereby notifying you that you are not welcome to visit our homelands, the Pine Ridge Reservation, until you rescind your support for Senate Bill 189 and Senate Bill 190 and affirm to your state and this country that First Amendment rights to free, political speech are among the truths you hold to be self-evident," Oglala Sioux President Julian Bear Runner wrote in a letter, according to the news outlet.

Noem reportedly announced the existence of the bills in the final week of the state legislature’s session, and lawmakers passed the bills within 72 hours of her announcement.

The tribe took specific offense to Noem consulting about the legislation with the Keystone XL pipeline’s creator, TransCanada, without also speaking to members of local Sioux tribal councils whose land would "traversed and endangered.”

Noem will still meet with tribal members and stay in contact with leadership, her spokesperson Kristin Wileman told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

"Governor Noem 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," Kristin Wileman, spokesperson for Noem, told The Hill in a statement.

"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."
In order for Noem to visit the reservation again in the future, the council will need to meet and rescind its vote."

The decision to bar Noem from the reservation is an escalation of already tense relations between the state’s GOP leadership and local American Indian tribes, who see the laws potentially limiting protest of the pipelines as offensive.

Oglala Sioux Tribe and several others already asked Noem not to display their tribal flags at the state Capitol due to the disrespect they felt they received during the legislative session.

Protests of the controversial pipeline garnered national attention as environmental activists and dozens of American Indian tribes rallied to prevent the construction. President TrumpDonald John TrumpSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration Trump is failing on trade policy Trump holds call with Netanyahu to discuss possible US-Israel defense treaty MORE is still attempting to provide the pipeline permits so its construction can be completed.