Despite a strongly worded letter sent to the tribes by Governor Kristi Noem, demanding they take down checkpoints at the entrance to the reservations to help protect from COVID-19, some tribes remain defiant.
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe says it will not take down the checkpoints Governor Kristi Noem called “illegal” in her letter. The letter also says Noem and her administration are willing to take the matter all the way to federal court if necessary. Cheyenne River tribe chairman Harold Frazier tells CNN the checkpoints are there to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the reservation due to the lack of medical resources Indian Health Services has at its disposal.
In a response 17 bipartisan state lawmakers signed on to their own letter informing the governor she has no jurisdiction to make these demands citing a 1990 court case.