South Dakota Sioux tribe refuses to fetch down coronavirus checkpoints despite governor’s ultimatum

By | May 11, 2020

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Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in South Dakota has refused to purchase coronavirus checkpoints on U.S. and order highways working thru its reservation despite Gov. Kristi Noem’s demands to produce so.

Noem, a Republican, despatched letters to the tribe’s chairman, Harold Frazier, and to the president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Julian Possess Runner, giving them 48 hours to fetch down what she referred to as illegal checkpoints earlier than she’d fetch “fundamental true action” in federal court.

Chairman Frazier acknowledged Sunday that the checkpoints put up by the tribe in April are meant to watch and tune the means spread of COVID-19 onto tribal lands.


FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2019 file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem gives her first State of the State address in Pierre, S.D. While many other governor’s have broken from President Donald Trump on stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of coronavirus or when to restart economic activity, Noem has tracked close to the president. (AP Photo/James Nord, File)

FILE – On this Jan. 8, 2019 file listing, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem presents her first Converse of the Converse address in Pierre, S.D. While many other governor’s possess broken from President Donald Trump on stop-at-house orders to curb the spread of coronavirus or when to restart economic process, Noem has tracked end to the president. (AP Characterize/James Nord, File)

“We’re making an are trying to ensure folks coming from ‘scorching spots’ or highly contaminated areas, we anticipate them to head around our land,” Frazier told CNN.

“With the dearth of assets we possess got medically, here’s our excellent instrument we possess got simply now” in opposition to the spread of the coronavirus, he acknowledged, together with that “the nearest health care, valuable care is three hours away from where we dwell.”

Some 12,000 folks continue to exist the Cheyenne River Reservation retaining about 4,267 square miles in Dewey and Ziebach counties. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe runs an eight-bed medical facility – with no intensive care unit – to lend a hand their population.

U.S. Toll road 212 and S.D. Highways 65, 63, and 20 hunch thru the reservation. South Dakota, along with excellent a handful of states, by no manner issued a stop-at-house expose. Though, both tribes possess issued stop-at-house orders for their residents.

“We’re strongest after we work together; this comprises our battle in opposition to COVID-19,” Noem acknowledged in an announcement included in her letter to the tribes Friday. “I anticipate that the tribes all of a sudden stop interfering with or regulating site visitors on US and Converse Highways and purchase all poke checkpoints.”


Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier in a February 2017 file photo. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier in a February 2017 file listing. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Photography)

She cited an April memo from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs that acknowledged tribes must enter into an agreement with the order authorities earlier than limiting poke on U.S. highways. The governor acknowledged that “neither consultation nor agreement amongst the tribal and order authorities occurred.”

A community of 17 order lawmakers despatched the governor a letter Saturday asserting they did “now not love to be section of one other lawsuit that would possibly somehow trace the folks of South Dakota extra money.” They acknowledged they wish a “cheap, true and acceptable solution.”

“I completely agree that we must work together throughout this time of crisis, alternatively, you continuing to intervene in our efforts to produce what science and facts dictate severely undermine our means to guard every person on the reservation,” Frazier acknowledged in a assertion Saturday. “Ignorant statements and fiery rhetoric help contributors already under stress from this jam to produce irrational actions.”

“We invite you to trace up for us in retaining the lives of our folks and those who continue to exist this reservation. I regretfully decline your anticipate,” he acknowledged, together with that the tribe’s checkpoints were meant to “place lives in put of place face.”

A abstract of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s COVID-19 checkpoint policies posted on Fb on April 20 acknowledged both residents and non-residents are required to fill out health questionnaires. Non-residents touring from areas deemed hotspots in the order can excellent enter the reservation for valuable industry in the event that they’ve been granted a allow from the tribe.

Residents can poke to non-scorching jam areas in that order for valuable work, medical appointments, or to scheme end items now not available on the reservation. Within the event that they possess to poke to a scorching jam for these valuable journeys, they’re required to self-quarantine for 14 days after they return to the reservation.


Possess Runner acknowledged in a Fb video Saturday that Noem had “threatened the sovereign hobby of the Oglala folks when she issued an ultimatum” and “we possess got a prior and superior simply to originate our devour authorized guidelines and be dominated by them,” in step with Time.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe also put up checkpoints on highways thru the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in April that prevented all non-residents from coming into tribal lands except for valuable industry. Net site site visitors became as soon as allowed to head thru the reservation in the event that they agreed to now not stop their vehicles, Time reported.