Cheyenne River tribal chairman slams Gov. Noem for comments about Native people

March 22, 2024

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.–The chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has written a letter condemning comments made by Gov. Kristi Noem last week.

In the letter, the tribe references Gov. Noem’s visits to Winner and Mitchell, claiming the governor used the events as a chance “to spew hateful gossip about Native people.”

Chairman Ryman LeBeau stated, “The South Dakota Governor speaks gossip and lies about our Lakota students, their parents and our Tribal Councils.”

Noem stated at a Winner town halL that she believes tribal leaders are “personally benefiting” from drug cartels. At a town hall in Mitchell, she said tribal children “don’t have parents who show up and help them,” and tribal members “have a tribal council or a president who focuses on a political agenda more than they care about actually helping somebody’s life look better.”

The letter shared by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe stated that the tribe is taking every measure to combat illegal drugs from coming into the state.