Governor Noem to Tribes: remove all checkpoints


EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. — Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has declined Governor Noem’s request of removing checkpoints on State and U.S. highways.

In a release, Frazier said that “In meeting with county commissioners, municipal, South Dakota Department of Transportation, Public schools and Federal agencies we have met the definition of consultation in both of our languages.”

Chairman Frazier’s release claims that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe hasn’t stopped any state or commercial functions as Noem claimed in her letter.

Frazier also said in his release, “It obligates us to protect everyone on the reservation regardless of political distinctions. We will not apologize for being an island of safety in a sea of uncertainty and death.”

NewsCenter1 has reached out to the Oglala Tribal leadership, but have yet to receive a response.

You can view Frazier’s response to Noem’s letter below.

Statement on Noem letter 5-8-20

PIERRE, S. D. — Governor Kristi Noem is urging leaders of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribe to remove checkpoints from State and U.S. highways.

The checkpoints were one of a number of measures taken by the tribes to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Noem sent letters Friday to Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and President Julian Bear Runner of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, citing a memorandum that the U.S. Department of Interior sent on April 8, 2020. According to the memorandum, tribes must consult with the State before closing or restricting travel on State and U.S. Highways.

State officials say neither consultation nor agreement among the tribal and state government occurred. Regardless, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Oglala Sioux Tribe established checkpoints on State and US Highways to control and restrict non-tribal member travel.

If the checkpoints are not removed in the next 48 hours, Noem says the State will take necessary legal action.

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

You can view Gov. Noem’s letter to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and her letter to the Oglala Sioux Tribe below.

5-8-20 Correspondence from Governor Noem to President Bear Runner

5-8-20 Correspondence from Governor Noem to Chairman Frazier

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News