South Dakota vs the Sioux Over Coronavirus “Checkpoints”
Gov. Kristi Noem sent letters Friday to the leaders of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe demanding that checkpoints designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus on tribal land be removed, the governor’s office said in a statement.
“We are strongest when we work together; this includes our battle against Covid-19,” Noem said. “I request that the tribes immediately cease interfering with or regulating traffic on US and State Highways and remove all travel checkpoints.”
CNN has reached out to both tribes for comment.
According to Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe checkpoint policies posted on its social media, its reservation residents may travel within South Dakota to areas the state has not deemed a Covid-19 “hotspot” if it’s for an essential activity such as medical appointments or to get supplies unavailable on the reservation. But they must complete a health questionnaire when they leave and when they return every time they go through a checkpoint.
South Dakota residents who don’t live on the reservation are only allowed there if they’re not coming from a hotspot and it is for an essential activity. But they must also complete a health questionnaire.
Those from a South Dakota hotspot or from outside the state cannot come to the reservation unless it is for an essential activity — but they must
obtain a travel permit available on the tribe’s website.
Both tribes have also issued strict stay-at-home orders and curfews for their communities. Noem has not issued stay-at-home orders for the state.