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Noem Announces Secretary of Tribal Relations

For Immediate Release

December 26, 2018

Contact: Kristin Wileman


Noem Announces Secretary of Tribal Relations   


PIERRE, S.D. – Governor-elect Kristi Noem today announced that David Flute, a lifelong member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, will join her administration as Secretary of Tribal Relations. 


“I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to forge meaningful relationships with the nine tribes in South Dakota, and I’m hopeful that real results will come from this foundation of trust and mutual understanding,” said Noem. “David Flute’s knowledge and passion for Indian Country will be instrumental in our work to empower tribes, enhance public safety on reservations, and maintain pressure on the IHS to address the ongoing tribal healthcare crisis.” 


“Governor-elect Noem has consistently been an ally to South Dakota’s Native American community,” said David Flute. “I look forward to partnering with her to build intentional partnerships that support tribal sovereignty while actively addressing problems the native community faces every day.” 


Flute will finish his term as tribal chairman at the end of 2018. In this role, he successfully negotiated a Tribal-State Tax Agreement and spearheaded several economic growth initiatives on the reservation. Flute has repeatedly represented the South Dakota Native American community before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. 


Flute served in the South Dakota National Guard from 2004 to 2009, where he received two Army Commendation Medals and a Purple Heart. 


Flute lives near Sisseton with his two sons.