Kristi Noem: Trump VP hopeful outlawed on six Native American reservations

Kristi Noem, the current Governor of South Dakota, has emerged as a potential vice presidential pick for former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election. However, her controversial record on Native American issues has come under scrutiny, particularly her decision to outlaw her state’s casinos on six Native American reservations.

Noem’s actions have sparked outrage among Native American tribes in South Dakota, who have long relied on gaming revenue from their casinos to support their communities and provide essential services. The governor’s decision to shut down these casinos, citing concerns about the spread of COVID-19, has been criticized as an overreach of state authority and a violation of tribal sovereignty.

The six tribes affected by Noem’s order – the Oglala Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux, Crow Creek Sioux, Flandreau Santee Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, and Rosebud Sioux – have all challenged the legality of the governor’s actions in court. They argue that their gaming operations are essential to their economic survival and that the state has no right to interfere in tribal affairs.

In response to the backlash, Noem has defended her decision, claiming that she was acting in the best interests of public health and safety. She has also accused the tribes of putting profits over the well-being of their communities, a charge that has been strongly disputed by tribal leaders.

This is not the first time that Noem has clashed with Native American tribes in South Dakota. In 2019, she signed a bill that required the state to collect sales tax on purchases made on reservations, a move that was seen as a direct attack on tribal sovereignty and economic independence.

Noem’s actions have raised serious questions about her commitment to Native American rights and her willingness to work with tribal governments as a potential vice president. As she vies for the Republican nomination in 2024, her record on Native American issues is likely to be a key point of contention among voters and could ultimately impact her chances of being chosen as Trump’s running mate.

In the meantime, the tribes affected by Noem’s casino ban continue to fight for their right to operate their gaming facilities and provide for their communities. Their struggle highlights the ongoing challenges faced by Native American tribes in asserting their sovereignty and protecting their economic interests in the face of state interference.

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