Months after pandemic-driven dispute began, tribal checkpoints in South Dakota remain in place  (Audio)

September 30, 2020
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.—South Dakota has seen some of the highest per capita coronavirus infection rates of any state in the country over the past few weeks, and that means those traffic checkpoints on some of the state’s Indian Reservations remain in place….

Governor Kristi Noem spoke with KWAT News during a recent visit to Lake Area Technical College. She says despite differences over the legality of the checkpoints, her administration’s relationship with Indian country remains strong….

Noem asked the White House in May for help to make the Cheyenne River and Oglala Sioux tribes remove their checkpoints on state and federal highways.

The tribes set up the checkpoints in an attempt to lock down their reservations amid fears coronavirus infections could decimate members.