Sioux leaders ban Noem from Pine Ridge Reservation


Gage Skidmore via the Wikimedia Commons

Krisi Noem speaks at CPAC in 2011. Noem because South Dakota's first female governor in 2019.

Slater Dixon, Perspectives Editor

South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has been banned from the Oglala Sioux Reservation due to her support of two bills that would allow the state to sue promoters of “riot boosting.” The Sioux argue that the bills, which were created as a reaction to the Keystone XL pipeline protests, would limit the rights of Native Americans to protest. The tribe announced its action in a letter addressed to the governor on May 2.

“…you are not welcome to visit our homelands, the Pine Ridge Reservation, until you rescind your support for SB l89 and SB 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,” wrote Julian Bear Runner, President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

The tribe specifically voiced opposition to the use of the term “riot boosting.” The term is used in the bills to denote actions or speech that encourage violent protest. But the tribe claims that it is too vague.

“Your newly fabricated, unconstitutionally vague notion of ‘Riot Boosting’ is being litigated against and will not stand,” said Bear Runner.

The failure of Noem to consult the tribal government was another reason cited for the ban.

“We are particularly offended that you consulted TransCanada before introducing these bills but failed to consult the Oglala Sioux Tribe, or any of the sovereign bands of the Sioux Nation, though our treaty lands would be traversed and endangered by the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said Bear Runner.

Noem says that she did not consult the tribe because the pipeline would not cross the Pine Ridge Reservation.

“[Noem] didn’t consult the tribes prior to announcing her legislation because the pipeline doesn’t cross reservations in South Dakota, and protests have previously occurred near a pipeline’s route, which doesn’t include a reservation,” according to the Argus Leader.

On Tuesday Noem announced that she would respect the tribe’s decision.