Follow-up on the state of South Dakota vs Sioux Tribes

This is a followup to this morning’s post: South Dakota governor tells Sioux tribes they have 48 hours to remove Covid-19 checkpoints

I asked some of my friends who live in South Dakota about this.

I think the Fort Laramie as well as all other treaties should be honored by the United States government. The Lakotas will not back down. I have no contacts. Thanks for offering the help. It’s awesome to have people wanting to help. thanks Jeff

Another friend sent this link to a court case that decided the state did not have permission to control the highways that travel through the reservation.

Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. State of S.D
Holding that state failed to assume even partial jurisdiction in compliance with Public Law 280

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribe leaders have rejected South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s demand that they remove checkpoints meant to regulate traffic through their reservation, set up to prevent the spread of coronavirus on tribal land.

In early April, the tribes’ governments separately decided to regulate travel on and off their reservations via checkpoints. The Oglala Sioux Tribe closed the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to all non-residents for non-essential travel, though vehicles could pass through without stopping. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe also restricted travel, limiting non-residents from entering their reservation unless on essential business or if the tribal government has granted them a travel permit. Residents and non-residents entering the reservation must fill out a health questionnaire.

On Friday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem sent letters to Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and President Julian Bear Runner of the Oglala Sioux Tribe demanding that they remove the checkpoints from state and U.S. highways. Noem said if the checkpoints are not removed within 48 hours, she would take “necessary legal action,” according to a statement released Friday.

In a video posted to Facebook on Saturday, Bear Runner (President Julian Bear Runner of the Oglala Sioux Tribe) said that Noem had “threatened the sovereign interest of the Oglala people when she issued an ultimatum,” but continued, “we have a prior and superior right to make our own laws and be governed by them.”

He said he believes the tribe’s checkpoints are in “full” compliance with the BIA’s memorandum since they “have not closed non-tribal roads or highways owned by the state of South Dakota or any other government,” and it is not their intent to restrict access to such roads.

South Dakota Governor Demands Tribe Leaders Remove Checkpoints Set Up to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 by Madeleine Carlisle, TIME, May 9, 2020
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