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South Dakota governor demands tribes remove checkpoints

South Dakota governor demands tribes remove checkpoints



The Irish are repaying a 19th century debt of gratitude to Native Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A battle is brewing between a pair of South Dakota Indian tribes and the governor's office over checkpoints set up on the reservations restricting travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Gov. Kristi Noem sent letters Friday to leaders of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Oglala Sioux Tribe demanding that checkpoints that have been set up on those reservations along state and U.S. highways be removed immediately.

If the checkpoints are not removed within the next 48 hours, the governor will pursue legal action against the tribes, the governor's office said in a news release Friday.

“We are strongest when we work together; this includes our battle against COVID-19,” the governor said in a statement sent to media Friday afternoon. “I request that the tribes immediately cease interfering with or regulating traffic on US and State Highways and remove all travel checkpoints.”

More: Native American tribes have been hit hard by coronavirus, and they're battling red tape to get help

Last month, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a memorandum regarding tribal government authority to close or restrict travel on state and U.S. highways, calling on tribes to get permission from state authorities before closing or restricting travel. 

The tribes have taken action because they are concerned the virus could overwhelm fragile health care systems that serve many people with underlying health problems. They are still allowing essential businesses on to the reservations and said the checkpoints were set up to keep out tourists or other visitors who could be carrying coronavirus infections.

Tribal chairman Harold Frazier issued a statement addressing Noem, saying, “You continuing to interfere in our efforts to do what science and facts dictate seriously undermine our ability to protect everyone on the reservation.”

Chase Iron Eyes, a spokesman for Oglala Sioux President Julian Bear Runner, said he expected the tribe to defend its rights as a sovereign nation to keep out threats to their health.

“We’d be interested in talking face to face with Governor Noem and the attorney general and whoever else is involved,” he said.

Contributing: The Associated Press


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  1. That bitch needs to stay out of Native Americans lives and business. She would be kicked out of office if it were up to me. I hope they vote the idiot out.

    • As I remember history, that land (which was useless at the tie) was GIVEN to the tribes after they were forcibly relocated from their own land. The tribes later granted PERMISSION to the state and federal government to build their roads (which were useless to the tribes, not having cars). If the tribes want to block them to prevent the white man (like Gen. Custer gave smallpox blankets to the tribes) to protect their people from total genocide, I will join with them!

  2. The libs just want to keep you home by offering you more money ($2000 a month)so that the economy could go down a very deep shit hole! And create a great depression the likes you never seen. Don’t be fooled! You can’t trust these evil liberal Commie Demoncrats!

    Bella Pelosi, better known as Dracula. Sneaked in a 1 billion Dollar funding for Plan Parenthood (The abortion factory) and other things that have nothing to do with the Coronavirus bill. Evil and Devious indeed! Never let a crisis go to waste is one of the Demoncrat 10 Satanic Commandments.

    Wuhan Virus Bioweapon AKA: China Virus, Coronavirus weaponized by China and their Globalist treasonous Godless demoncratic Commie party and cohorts Soros the MSM fake media, academia, Hollywood, Millennials.RINOs..to crash the greatest US economy ever! And to take down the greatest president ever, President Trump!! Keep up the great work President Trump! 2020 and beyond! From the Patriots of a Commie free America!


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