(SD)-OST: Noem Not Welcome On Pine Ridge Res UPDATE Noem Comments
PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) - The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council voted unanimously Wednesday to tell South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem she is "no longer welcome" to enter the vast Pine Ridge Reservation.
The resolution is in response to a new South Dakota law pushed hard by the former Republican Congresswoman intended to prevent disruptive demonstrations like the anti-Dakota Access pipeline protests if the Keystone XL pipeline moves forward.
Among other provisions, the law pushed through in a matter of days shortly before the end of the session in March allows officials to pursue money from demonstrators and organizations that engage in or encourage "riot boosting," which is defined in part as encouraging violence during a riot.
The Oglala Sioux has formally opposed both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL, and believes the anti-demonstration law unfairly targets Native Americans and others who support them in protests to stop pipelines from being built.
Tribal President Julian Bear Runner told Noem in a letter Thursday that her "newly fabricated, unconstitutionally vague notion of 'riot boosting' will not survive court challenges and that the tribe is "particularly offended" she consulted beforehand with Keystone XL developer TransCanada, but not the Oglala or any other sovereign bands of the Sioux Nation even though their lands would be crossed and endangered by the pipeline.
Bear Runner also wrote that the tribes hold "superior legal title" to all the land west of the Missouri River that Keystone XL would cross, and that before Noem presumes to visit the Pine Ridge Reservation without the OST council rescinding its action, it would have no choice but to banish her. Banishment is a formal tribal process in which a person can be barred permanently from the reservation.
Violations can result in fines or even jail time, but Chase Iron Eyes - a spokesman for President Bear Runner - said the tribe's goal is to show its unhappiness with Noem and that "no one wants to go through the steps to actually banish a sitting governor."
Noem visited the reservation after sending state resources during the recent flooding and spokeswoman Kristin Wileman said Thursday "It's unfortunate that the governor was welcomed by Oglala Sioux leadership when resources were needed during the storms, but communication has been cut off when she has tried to directly interact with members of the Pine Ridge community."
Wileman also said Noem "will continue working to engage with tribal members, stay in contact with tribal leadership, and maintain her efforts to build relationships with the tribes."
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