Following her recent address to state lawmakers, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) is facing repercussions for her rhetoric relating to the state’s reservations.
In response, Native leaders are questioning the intent of her speech.
South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s C.J. Keene reports.
Gov. Noem says the influx of migrants across the southern border is making every state in the US a “border state.”
She says the state stands ready to send razor wire and national guard troops to help Texas with the crisis.
Noem alleges cartel affiliates, including a group known as the “Ghost Dancers”, are hiding in South Dakota’s reservations.
“The fact of the matter is we know these gangs and this violence is there, and people don’t talk about it, but it needs to be a truthful conversation on what can we do to work together better to make sure people are safe and that we really do have law and order.”
Ghost Dancers is a support group of the Bandito Motorcycle Club.
Some take issue with the use of the group in the speech, including both Oglala Sioux Tribe President Frank Star Comes Out and State Rep. Peri Pourier (Oglala Lakota/D-SD).
Rep. Pourier says Gov. Noem is using the issues faced by the tribe as a platform for national political ambitions.
“Are we trying to deal with it? Absolutely. Are we under resourced? Absolutely. I wish that was a part of her speech. Not gangs and cartels and ghost dancers. Create a big boogeyman that doesn’t exist. We have real issues, we have economic development issues. To go this far on this platform is disrespectful.”
Some political observers see Gov. Noem as a strong potential vice-presidential pick for the 2024 Trump campaign.
Gov. Noem did meet with Rep. Pourier following the speech and says she is interested in improving the relationship between state government and the tribes.
In a statement, President Star Comes Out says Gov. Noem’s speech is an effort to frame the situation at the border as a Republican crisis to reelect former President Donald Trump.
President Star Comes Out calls for a bipartisan solution.
As a result, President Star Comes Out formally banned Gov. Noem from the Pine Ridge Reservation.
This is the second time Gov. Noem has been barred by the tribe.
She was banned in 2019 for pushing a legislative package to aid Keystone XL oil pipeline construction.
An inquest into Canada’s deadliest stabbing incident in 2022 is over and 29 recommendations have been put forward.
Myles Sanderson killed 11 people in the James Smith Cree Nation in September of 2022, leaving the community in shock.
Dan Karpenchuk has more.
The 29 recommendations include better access to addictions and cultural programming in prisons, reforms to how inmates are allowed on supervised release, and having those with a history of domestic violence given a higher priority for arrest when it comes to breaking release conditions.
Myles Sanderson was in breach of his parole conditions at the time.
Chelsey Stonestand speaks for the Burns family, which lost six members.
“It’s not perfect, recommendations. But it’s practical. At the end of the day I think there’s comfort in this inquest and the recommendations that are going to be implemented.”
The inquest was also told that inmates who receive psychiatric care in federal prisons are released with a week’s worth of medication and then left to find their own doctor.
Sanderson had been taking medications for ADHD while in prison.
There were also recommendations for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for more engagement with parole officers, more officers in some locations, and better communications with First Nations leaders.
Rhonda Blackmore is the commanding officer for the RCMP in Saskatchewan.
“I think because there is a lot of positivity that can come out of those recommendations, that we will work very hard to address those recommendations. And do what we can to implement.”
Some First Nations leaders say the challenge now will be to make sure that affected agencies will act on the recommendations, which are non-binding.
Some of those leaders have also called for a national inquiry into the killings.