South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has been banned from the Pine Ridge Reservation after expressing her intention to enhance the U.S.-Mexico border with razor wire and security personnel in Texas. She claimed that cartels were infiltrating the state’s reservations. The Oglala Sioux Tribe President, Frank Star Comes Out, issued a statement on social media announcing Noem’s banishment from the homelands of the Oglala Sioux Tribe due to concerns for safety.
In a Facebook post, Star Comes Out accused Governor Noem of using border issues to support the re-election of former President Trump and boost her chances of becoming his vice-presidential pick. He emphasized that individuals seeking a better life at the southern border, particularly indigenous people from places like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico, should not be “dehumanized and mistreated.” Star Comes Out condemned the use of razor wire and criticized Noem’s derogatory comments about the “Ghost Dancers,” considering it disrespectful to the tribe.
Governor Noem made these comments during a speech last Wednesday, characterizing the situation at the border as an invasion by Mexican drug cartels. In response to Star Comes Out’s banishment, Noem expressed disappointment that politics was brought into the discussion about federal government failures at the southern border and on tribal lands. She reiterated her focus on addressing these problems and emphasized her readiness to work with Native American tribes in the state.
Noem has previously deployed South Dakota National Guard troops to the border and visited multiple times. However, her actions and statements have faced criticism, including accepting a $1 million donation from a Republican donor to cover the costs of deploying troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas in 2021.