Governor Noem’s Continued Disrespect Towards Tribal Nations


April 16, 2024

The South Dakota Democratic Party Chair Shane Merrill released the following statement as four tribes ban Gov. Kristi Noem from their reservations due to her unsubstantiated allegations against tribal nations.

“The South Dakota Democratic Party stands with the tribal nations as they defend themselves against unfounded claims by Gov. Noem that drug cartels have infiltrated several reservations and that some tribal leaders are ‘personally benefitting’ from the cartels.

If these allegations are true, why wasn’t she collaborating with tribal leaders to stop this criminal activity, instead of making a media spectacle? Since she took office, Noem has shown nothing but disrespect towards the tribes and their leaders.

The tribal nations deserve a South Dakota Governor who respects their sovereignty, honors their culture and traditions, and truly puts in the work towards meaningful and productive relationships.”

For questions, you can contact the SDDP Executive Director Dan Ahlers at or contact the state party office by phone at 605-271-5405 or 605-940-3071.

Paid for by the South Dakota Democratic Party |