Gov. Noem Requests Meeting with Oglala Sioux Tribe President Frank Star Comes Out and Tribal Members

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March 28, 2024

Contact: Amelia Joy


Gov. Noem Requests Meeting with Oglala Sioux Tribe President Frank Star Comes Out and Tribal Members


PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem wrote to Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST) President Frank Star Comes Out and requested a meeting with him, tribal councilmembers, and his people. She requested the meeting to discuss challenges that his community faces and her call for an audit of federal dollars going to South Dakota’s nine Native American tribes. 


“The Biden Administration is not funding law enforcement on tribal reservations. This results in rising violence and drug addiction,” said Governor Noem. “The people on our tribal reservations deserve safe communities.”


You can find the full letter here.


Governor Noem wrote in the letter: “Earlier this week, I called for the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Government Accountability Office to conduct comprehensive and public audits of federal funding to South Dakota’s nine Native American tribal reservations. I know that you are struggling with violence and drug addiction on your reservation. The federal government is not upholding their treaty obligations to provide the law enforcement resources to address these challenges. These audits would determine the scope of the problem to help find solutions.”


Governor Noem pointed to comments made at the OST’s council meetings over the past two days, including: 

  • Allegations that the Oglala Lakota Housing Authority had improperly purchased vehicles, hadn’t returned $7.65 million in ERA funds to the U.S. Treasury, and was spending 90% of its budget on salaries;
  • A comment from one tribal councilmember that he had “never seen in black and white an actual budget of where we’re at financially;” and
  • Several comments reiterating the Governor’s call for an audit. 


Governor Noem also reiterated her request for a Law Enforcement Agreement between the State of South Dakota and OST, writing: “I believe that a Law Enforcement Agreement, much like your reservation has with Pennington County, would be mutually beneficial for the safety of both of our people. As we know, drugs do not see state, national, or tribal borders. Although the state and tribes might not always agree, the need for law and order in our communities is imperative to combat illegal activities in our most vulnerable and rural areas.”


Governor Noem pointed to comments that she and her office have received, totaling more than a dozen in the 24 hours since her call for an audit, “voicing support for such an audit. I will be inviting these folks to meet with me to discuss their concerns face-to-face as soon as they can.”