Governor Kristi Noem Banned from Tribal Nations

 May 24, 2024

Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota has been banned from all nine of the state's tribal nations. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, the last to take this action, banned Noem following offensive comments she made. 

The Washington Examiner reported that Gov. Kristi Noem is now banned from all nine tribal nations in South Dakota. Noem's allegations of tribal leaders' connections with Mexican drug cartels have sparked significant controversy.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe's decision came after an emergency meeting led by President Tony Reider. Noem's comments included claims that tribal leaders are collaborating with cartels like the Bandidos and MS-13. This situation has led to her being banned from nearly 20% of South Dakota's land area.

Noem's statements have deeply offended the tribal nations. She has accused tribal leaders of benefiting from the presence of these cartels. Despite the backlash, Noem has not retracted her comments and continues to defend her position.

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe's Decision

President Tony Reider emphasized that Noem should stop making offensive blanket statements. He suggested that she clarify her comments and issue an apology to the tribal nations. Reider expressed concerns about the impact of Noem's statements on the relationship between the state and the tribes.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe's ban reflects the broader sentiment among South Dakota's tribal nations. Each tribe has individually decided to ban Noem in response to her comments. The controversy continues to escalate as Noem remains steadfast in her claims.

Impact on South Dakota's Tribal Relations

Noem's allegations have strained her relationship with South Dakota's Native American communities. Her comments about cartels operating within tribal lands have been met with strong opposition. Tribal leaders argue that these statements are unfounded and damaging.

South Dakota is home to over 71,000 Native Americans. The ban from all nine tribal nations represents a significant portion of the state's land and population. Noem's refusal to retract her statements has only intensified the conflict.

Earlier this year, Noem faced criticism for a story she shared about shooting her dog. This controversy, combined with her recent comments, has fueled further backlash. Noem's stance has alienated many within the Native American community.

Governor Noem's Continued Defense

Noem has consistently defended her comments about the cartels. She claims that her statements are based on the truth and address real challenges. Noem believes that the cartels have recruited members from the tribes and set up operations in South Dakota. She said: "I only want to speak truth to the real challenges that are being faced in some areas of Indian Country."

Despite the controversy, Noem has shown no signs of backing down. She continues to assert that tribal leaders are benefiting from the presence of cartels. This ongoing dispute has drawn national attention and further complicated her political standing.

The situation remains tense as both sides stand firm in their positions. Tribal leaders demand an apology, while Noem maintains her stance. The outcome of this conflict could have lasting implications for the relationship between the state government and South Dakota's tribal nations.


Governor Kristi Noem's comments about tribal leaders and Mexican drug cartels have led to her being banned from all nine of South Dakota's tribal nations. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe's decision marks the culmination of widespread backlash from the Native American community. Despite the controversy, Noem continues to defend her statements, causing further strain on her relationship with the tribes. This ongoing dispute highlights the deep divisions and challenges in addressing sensitive issues within the state. The resolution of this conflict remains uncertain, with significant implications for the future of tribal-state relations in South Dakota.

About Robert Cunningham

With years of experience at the forefront of political commentary, Robert Cunningham brings a blend of sharp wit and deep insight to his analysis of American principles at the Capitalism Institute.

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