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Gov. Kristi Noem banned from seventh Native American reservation in South Dakota

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has been banned by a seventh Native American tribe for comments she made earlier this year about tribal leaders benefiting from drug cartels. The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe voted unanimously Tuesday to ban the Republican governor, saying "we do not have cartels on the reservations." File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has been banned by a seventh Native American tribe for comments she made earlier this year about tribal leaders benefiting from drug cartels. The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe voted unanimously Tuesday to ban the Republican governor, saying "we do not have cartels on the reservations." File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

May 15 (UPI) -- A seventh Native American tribe in South Dakota is banning Gov. Kristi Noem from its reservation for comments she made earlier this year alleging tribal leaders benefit from drug cartels.

The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in central South Dakota confirmed it voted unanimously Tuesday to ban the Republican governor.

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"We do not have cartels on the reservations," Crow Creek Sioux Tribe chairman Peter Lengkeek said following Tuesday's vote.

"We have cartel products, like guns and drugs. But they pass over state highways getting to the reservation," Lengkeek said. "So, putting us all together like that and saying that all tribes are involved in this really shows ... the ignorance of the governor's office."

The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe is the seventh out of nine tribes to ban the governor from their reservations, encompassing 20% of the land in South Dakota. The tribe joins Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe and Yankton Sioux Tribe.

"When the state and tribe respect each other, both our flags can fly high. The tribes are not cartel havens and our people are not the gangs that threaten your communities," said Yankton Sioux Tribe council member Ryan Cournoyer. "Our parents want a better future for their children. Our leaders seek economic growth and hope."

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Last month, the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe decided against banning Noem from their reservation but said Tuesday they are reconsidering.

"There's a lot of unfortunate things that are said that are hurtful to our people -- especially our children," said Lower Brule Sioux Tribe chairman Clyde Estes.

The governor's office has not commented on the latest tribe to ban Noem, who restated her claims and offered her assistance earlier this month.

"Tribal leaders should take action to ban the cartels from their lands and accept my offer to help them restore law and order to their communities while protecting their sovereignty," Noem wrote in a post on X. "We can only do this through partnerships because the Biden administration is failing to do their job."

Earlier this month, Republican Party officials in Colorado's Jefferson County canceled a fundraiser for Noem -- who has been floated as a possible running mate for former President Donald Trump -- after they said they received death threats.

Noem, whose new book No Going Back: The Truth on What's Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward referenced shooting a young dog she claimed was dangerous, has faced fierce criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.

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