Indigenous Crisis at U.S.-Mexico Border: Sovereign Nation Offended by South Dakota’s Actions

RAPID CITY, South Dakota – Tribal leader, President Star Comes Out, addressed the issue of Indigenous people from Central America and Mexico arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in search of a better life and job opportunities. When discussing the treatment of these migrants, he criticized the previous administration’s policy of separating families and using razor wire. He also expressed deep offense at South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s remarks linking a gang called the Ghost Dancers to the Pine Ridge Reservation and border-crossing cartels. Star Comes Out stated that the Ghost Dance is a sacred ceremony for the Oglala Sioux and found Noem’s reference disrespectful and insulting to their people.

In response to the criticism, Governor Noem emphasized the need to work together to address the issues at the border and on tribal lands. She also mentioned her willingness to build a better relationship with the state’s Native American tribes. This comes amid a state of emergency declared by Star Comes Out on the Pine Ridge Reservation due to increasing crime, and a ruling that the federal government has a treaty duty to support law enforcement on the reservation.

Governor Noem has also deployed National Guard troops to the Mexican border three times, drawing criticism for accepting a $1 million donation from a Republican donor to help cover the cost of a deployment. These actions have sparked debate and controversy, raising concerns about the role of state governments in federal immigration policies.

The tensions between tribal leaders and state officials highlight the complex and sensitive issues surrounding immigration, tribal sovereignty, and border security in the United States. As various parties seek to address these challenges, the need for respectful dialogue and cooperation becomes increasingly important in finding meaningful and effective solutions.