Pine Ridge lock down extended

PINE RIDGE, S.D. — Oglala Sioux Tribal President Julian Bear Runner issued a 72 hour lock down for the pine ridge reservation.

The lock down will temporarily be lifted April 10, Friday morning to allow residents to travel to surrounding areas for essential shopping, but will be replaced by a 14 day lock down beginning Saturday, April 11 at 10 a.m.

At that point, only essential travel would be allowed, and those found traveling would automatically receive a $100 fine.

Nakina Mills, Oglala Sioux Tribal Councilwoman, said “That does, you know tell people to stay within their home areas. Only leaving for emergency essential purposes like medical, food supplies, I wanna say groceries because, yeah, that’s essential.”

The council is also working to identify and give permits to essential workers, allowing them to travel as needed. All of these changes come on the heels of Pine Ridge’s first coronavirus case. According to Red Cloud, an employee and her spouse traveled to California for a medical procedure and quarantine upon return to pine ridge for the recommended 14 days.

During that time the employee was tested, returned to Our Lady of Lourdes school campus, and was then positively diagnosed. On Wednesday, April 8, the tribal council held a meeting addressing concerns within the community, and voted to ban the woman and her spouse from the reservation indefinitely.

The tribal council also voted to reprimand Red Cloud for failing to notify the council of the travel taken, but the vote did not pass.

Raymond Nadolny, President of Red Cloud Indian School, said “The tribal council is taking the coronavirus very seriously, as it should, and ended up making a very powerful statement in banning the employee. So, we appreciate and understand that, at the same time, we support the employee who is sick in Rapid City.”

Red Cloud continues to pay the employees salary as well as current lodging, and will continue to advocate for the employee and her return to the reservation. In the mean time, the reservation will limit travel, allowing only tribal members onto Pine Ridge.

The lock down will also be extended to recreational areas, parks, and playgrounds.


Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News