Sioux tribe rejects South Dakota governor’s request to remove coronavirus travel checkpoints

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Sioux tribe rejects South Dakota governor’s request to remove coronavirus travel checkpoints

By Jordan Freiman

/ CBS News

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe rejected South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s request that the tribe remove coronavirus traffic checkpoints from state and U.S. highways. Noem on Friday sent letters to both the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Oglala Sioux Tribe demanding the checkpoints be taken down within 48 hours or they would face legal action.

“We are strongest when we work together; this includes our battle against COVID-19,” Noem said Friday. ”I request that the tribes immediately cease interfering with or regulating traffic on U.S. and State Highways and remove all travel checkpoints.”

The letters sent to the tribes claimed they had violated the terms of a memo sent by the Bureau of Indian Affairs on April 8, which said the tribes could close roads, “after the Tribe has consulted and reached an agreement addressing the parameters of the temporary road closure or restrictions.” 


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