Oglala Sioux Tribe tells the South Dakota governor she is ‘not welcome’ on their reservation

  
Via:  john-russell  •  5 months ago  •  11 comments

Oglala Sioux Tribe tells the South Dakota governor she is ‘not welcome’ on their reservation
The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council voted to ban Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) from its Pine Ridge Reservation on Wednesday and sent her a sharply-worded letter on Thursday.“If you do not honor this directive,” wrote the tribe’s president, Julian Bear Runner, “... we will have no choice but to banish you.”

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Oglala Sioux Tribe tells the South Dakota governor she is ‘not welcome’ on their reservation


MAY 03, 2019

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The largest tribe in South Dakota told the state’s governor on Thursday that she is “not welcome” in its homelands, a sprawling reservation southwest of the capital city Pierre.

It’s an extraordinary step and is the latest escalation in a years-long feud over the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, a conflict that now pits advocates of indigenous rights, environmentalism and free speech against the state government, the Trump administration and a powerful oil company.

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council voted to ban Gov. Kristi L. Noem (R) from its Pine Ridge Reservation on Wednesday and sent her a sharply-worded letter on Thursday.

“If you do not honor this directive,” wrote the tribe’s president, Julian Bear Runner, “... we will have no choice but to banish you.”

In response, Noem’s spokeswoman said the governor was surprised at the letter but said she will “maintain her efforts to build relationships with the tribes.”

Bear Runner pledged that the ban would last until Noem rescinds her support for a pair of laws the state passed in response to promised demonstrations against the Keystone XL pipeline project. The laws, which codify “riot boosting,” are designed to prevent protests that may disrupt pipeline construction.

Critics say the legislation was designed to prevent the sort of large-scale, high-profile protests that unfolded over the Dakota Access pipeline in neighboring North Dakota, which began in 2016 and lasted for months. Demonstrations there led to more than 750 arrests , and the policing effort cost the state $38 million .

Noem announced the bills in the waning days of the year’s legislative session, and the state’s Republican majorities pushed them through the House and Senate in just 72 hours .

“My pipeline bills make clear that we will not let rioters control our economic development,” Noem said in a statement after she signed the bills into law in late March.

But the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups have staunchly opposed the new laws, criticizing what they see as serious threats to free speech.

Together, the laws would allow officials to sue activists if violence or law breaking occurs at a protest they organized, promoted or somehow encouraged. Money collected from those lawsuits would be used to pay for damage claims stemming from that demonstration or for law enforcement costs.

The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit challenging the new statute (and two existing criminal riot laws), claiming that they are too vague, too broad and impinge on protected speech.

“We believe they chill free speech and they are therefore unconstitutional,” said Courtney Bowie, the legal director for the ACLU’s South Dakota chapter, in an interview with The Washington Post. “I don’t think anyone can accurately define what ‘riot boosting’ is ... the law is completely unclear and that’s part of the problem.”

Chase Iron Eyes, the public relations liaison for Bear Runner, told The Post that the laws pose a direct threat to members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, many of whom plan to oppose the pipeline project, which would run through, and could threaten, sacred tribal lands.

“We have a right to speak freely,” Iron Eyes said. “We have a right to peaceably assemble."

Tribe leaders have said Noem and state legislators excluded them from the bill crafting process and instead elected to meet with TransCanada, the company behind the $8 billion project. Iron Eyes said the effort amounted to a violation of the tribe’s sovereignty and the treaty it signed with the United States.

“We don’t feel Kristi Noem wrote this legislation for the good of South Dakotans, or our land, or our water,” he said. “We believe big extraction wrote this legislation.”

The tribe’s response on Wednesday was an unprecedented step, said Iron Eyes, who couldn’t recall another instance when leaders told a representative of state government that she wasn’t welcome on their land. If Noem violates the resolution, she could face banishment, a serious formal tribal process — though Iron Eyes said he doesn’t think it’ll come to that.

Noem’s press secretary, Kristin Wileman, said in a statement that the governor “has spent considerable time in Pine Ridge building relationships with tribal members.”

“This announcement from Oglala Sioux tribal leadership is inconsistent with the interactions she has had with members of the community,” Wileman said.

Noem visited the reservation in March, as residents were recovering from severe flooding in the region, a trip leaders welcomed at the time. However, Iron Eyes said, she made subsequent trips to the reservation without informing Bear Runner or other leaders, which, he said, was a lapse in diplomatic courtesy.

“It’s unfortunate that the governor was welcomed by Oglala Sioux’s leadership when resources were needed during recent storms, but communication has been cut off when she has tried to directly interact with members of the Pine Ridge community,” Wileman said.

The letter is another sign of further fraying relationships between the state government and its neighboring tribes in the weeks since Noem proposed the protest bills. In mid-March , four tribal chairmen, including Bear Runner, asked the state not to display their flags at the Capitol, saying that the bills had “destroyed our trust” in South Dakota’s leadership.

But Iron Eyes said he’s confident the laws will be struck down — eventually.

“We’re on the right side, here, of spirit and morality,” he said. “And the legality just needs to come along. We’ve got to evolve.”

From the Oval Office, however, President Trump has tried to muscle the pipeline project through its court challenges. Days after Noem signed her bills into law, Trump signed an executive order in an attempt to clear a path for pipeline construction. That, too, now faces legal challenges.

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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    5 months ago

It's too bad the Indians don't have more political power. There fights are always uphill. 

Chase Iron Eyes, the public relations liaison for Bear Runner, told The Post that the laws pose a direct threat to members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, many of whom plan to oppose the pipeline project, which would run through, and could threaten, sacred tribal lands.

“We have a right to speak freely,” Iron Eyes said. “We have a right to peaceably assemble."

Tribe leaders have said Noem and state legislators excluded them from the bill crafting process and instead elected to meet with TransCanada, the company behind the $8 billion project. Iron Eyes said the effort amounted to a violation of the tribe’s sovereignty and the treaty it signed with the United States.
 
 
 
Greg Jones
2  Greg Jones    5 months ago

If you remember, that did not assemble peacefully. These laws will hopefully discourage them from rioting again

The pipeline does not run through their lands, no does it come close to threatening their water supply, if you remember.

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1  Kavika   replied to  Greg Jones @2    5 months ago
If you remember, that did not assemble peacefully. These laws will hopefully discourage them from rioting again The pipeline does not run through their lands, no does it come close to threatening their water supply, if you remember.

I remember quite well and they did assemble peacefully. Among other things you do realize that there were thousands of vets (many non Indians) that protested. Of the 700 arrested how many were found guilty of a felony, any idea?

Oh, and as a side note a federal judge ruled that an environmental study must be completed. 

This attempt by South Dakota of passing SB176 has been challenged and will be in court. 

 
 
 
Kavika
2.1.1  Kavika   replied to  Kavika @2.1    5 months ago

Forgot to add, that this law is trying to be passed in SOUTH DAKOTA. 

The DAPL action you're talking about was in NORTH DAKOTA, you know that a different state, right.

 
 
 
Dulay
2.2  Dulay  replied to  Greg Jones @2    5 months ago
The pipeline does not run through their lands, no does it come close to threatening their water supply, if you remember.

Actually, it DOES. Go on Google Earth and draw some lines as you read the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1851. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
3  bbl-1    5 months ago

Bad move by The Tribes.  Now, the GOP legislature will make it impossible for them to vote.

Besides, the 'white folk' want the pipelines and they just don't care.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
3.1  1stwarrior  replied to  bbl-1 @3    5 months ago

No, the "white folk" don't want the pipelines - at least the U.S. "white folk".  DAPL is an international endeavor, not sponsored by the U.S. - but, the U.S. "white folk" within the energy businesses do want that money coming from China, SA, Japan, Russia, etc..

 
 
 
bbl-1
3.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  1stwarrior @3.1    5 months ago

I am speaking of the Wall Streeters, Hedge Funders and Bankers.  Those 'white folk.'

 
 
 
dave-2693993
4  dave-2693993    5 months ago

Well, you know what, sometimes you have to draw a line. An actual line.

Then make the legal system work for what it is worth.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
5  1stwarrior    5 months ago

Greg - you really need to become current on the issues of the DAPL concerns.

Federal law written in 1969 and signed by the then President, Richard Nixon, states very empathically that no FEDERAL project that may present harm to the environment, including habitat and people, can be initiated without having completed a thorough Environmental Impact Statement.

Specifically, it states - Sec. 101 [42 USC § 4331].

(b) In order to carry out the policy set forth in this Act, it is the continuing responsibility of the Federal Government to use all practicable means, consist with other essential considerations of national policy, to improve and coordinate Federal plans, functions, programs, and resources to the end that the Nation may --

1. fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations;

2. assure for all Americans safe, healthful, productive, and aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings;

3. attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences;

4. preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage, and maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity, and variety of individual choice;

5. achieve a balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life's amenities; and

6. enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources.

Sec. 102 [42 USC § 4332].

The Congress authorizes and directs that, to the fullest extent possible:

(1) the policies, regulations, and public laws of the United States shall be interpreted and administered in accordance with the policies set forth in this Act, and

(2) all agencies of the Federal Government shall --

(A) utilize a systematic, interdisciplinary approach which will insure the integrated use of the natural and social sciences and the environmental design arts in planning and in decision-making which may have an impact on man's environment;

(B) identify and develop methods and procedures, in consultation with the Council on Environmental Quality established by title II of this Act, which will insure that presently unquantified environmental amenities and values may be given appropriate consideration in decision-making along with economic and technical considerations;

(C) include in every recommendation or report on proposals for legislation and other major Federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, a detailed statement by the responsible official on --

(i) the environmental impact of the proposed action,

(ii) any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented,

(iii) alternatives to the proposed action,

(iv) the relationship between local short-term uses of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and

(v) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposed action should it be implemented.

The Army Corps of Engineers was ordered to redevelop their EIS to ensure all applicable parties were allowed and able to review the EIS and submit comments.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
5.1  dave-2693993  replied to  1stwarrior @5    5 months ago

We saw what happened with Chaco canyon for not pressing the issue.

It's time to press the issues.

 
 
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