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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was banned from the Pine Ridge Reservation after speaking about wanting to bolster the U.S.-Mexico border by sending razor wire and security personnel to Texas, adding that cartels are infiltrating the state’s reservations.
Tribe President Frank Star Comes Out issued a statement on social media on Friday regarding Noem’s comments.
"Due to the safety of the Oyate, effective immediately, you are hereby Banished from the homelands of the Oglala Sioux Tribe," Star Comes Out said in a Friday statement addressed to Noem. "Oyate" is a word for people or nation.
In a four-page letter shared on Facebook, Star Comes Out accused the South Dakota governor of using the issue at the border to get former President Trump reelected while boosting her chance of becoming his choice for vice president.
Star Comes Out said he believes many people coming to the southern border in search of jobs and a better life are indigenous people from places like El Salvadore, Guatemala and Mexico and do not deserve to be "dehumanized and mistreated" by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and "his cohorts."
"They don’t need to be put in cages, separated from their children like during the Trump Administration, or be cut up by razor wire furnished by, of all places, South Dakota," Star Comes Out said.
The tribal leader also took offense to comments made by Noem about the "Ghost Dancers," saying they are affiliated with cartels. Star Comes Out said the Ghost Dance is "one of the most sacred ceremonies" and accused Noem of using the term with "blatant disrespect" and of insulting the Oyate.
Noem’s comments were made last Wednesday, and at the time, the Republican governor blasted conditions at the border.
During a speech to a joint session of the legislature, Noem said the U.S. was in a time of invasion, which was coming over the southern border.
"The 50 states have a common enemy, and that enemy is the Mexican drug cartels," Noem said. "They are waging war against our nation, and these cartels are perpetuating violence in each of our stages, even right here in South Dakota."
In response to Star Comes Out’s comments, the governor said it was unfortunate he chose to bring politics into a discussion about the federal government’s failures to enforce federal laws at the southern border and on tribal lands.
"My focus continues to be on working together to solve those problems," she said. "As I told bipartisan Native American legislators earlier this week, ‘I am not the one with a stiff arm here. You can’t build relationships if you don’t spend time together,’" Noem said. "I stand ready to work with any of our state’s Native American tribes to build such relationships."
Noem has deployed South Dakota National Guard troops three times to the border, including last year, and she has visited several times, including on Friday. Other Republican governors have deployed troops and visited the border, too.
In 2021, Noem drew criticism for accepting a $1 million donation offered by a wealthy Republican donor to help cover the cost of a two-month deployment of 48 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Original article source: South Dakota Gov Noem banned from tribal reservation over remarks on US southern border