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Most of South Dakota's tribes have banned Kristi Noem from their land. Here's why

RAPID CITY, S.D. - The Crow Creek Sioux Tribe is the latest tribal government to ban South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem from their reservation in response to allegations she's made that some tribal leaders are benefiting from drug cartel activity.

Noem, an ally to former President Donald Trump, has long focused on concerns she has about crime stemming from the U.S.-Mexico border, even as she governs a state that is hundreds of miles away.

Following Tuesday's decision, she is currently not welcome on seven of nine reservations located within the state.

"We do not have cartels on the reservations," Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Chairman Peter Lengkeek said following Tuesday's vote.

"We have cartel products, like guns and drugs. But they pass over state highways getting to the reservation. So, putting us all together like that and saying that all tribes are involved in this really shows to the ignorance of the governor's office," Lengkeek said, adding that he thinks her office is "not willing to reach out and learn and connect with the tribes."

Noem's approach reflects Trump's messaging

For months, Noem has alleged that drug cartels are active on reservations in South Dakota.

In January, following a speech by Noem during the state's legislative session, Noem made broad statements about crime on reservations located in her state.

"Murders are being committed by cartel members on the Pine Ridge Reservation and in Rapid City, and a gang called the Ghost Dancers are affiliated with these cartels," Noem said in her speech. "They have been successful in recruiting tribal members to join their criminal activity."

"The sheer number of illegal migrants coming into the country has made it so that every state is now a border state,"

Read more on npr.org