Cheyenne River Sioux Chairman to South Dakota Governor: Your Decision to Fly Tribal Flags was Done Without Our Consent

Representing from Cheyenne River Sioux at Standing Rock. Photo by Darren Thompson

Published March 16, 2019

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Chairman Harold Frazier in Washington, D.C. Native News Online photo by Levi Rickert

EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. — Another Lakota tribe is pushing back on South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s desire to fly tribal flags at the state capitol in Pierre, South Dakota. Two weeks ago, Noem announced that all nine of South Dakota’s American Indian tribes would have their tribal flags on permanent display in the State Capitol rotunda.

Then last week, Noem announced she is backing legislation that promotes the Keystone XL pipeline and the limitation of free speech by imposing tough penalities for those who protest the pipeline.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Chairman Harold Frazier released a statement why his tribe will become the third tribe to withhold its tribal flag from being placed in the State Capitol rotunda.

Below is Fraizer’s statement that was released late Friday afternoon:

Statement from Chairman Harold Frazier regarding proposal by Governor Kristi Noem to add tribal flag to capitol rotunda

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

“Another decision by you, Governor Kristi Noem, has been made without the consent of the Lakota people and has resulted in an embarrassing situation for the state. It is embarrassing because your actions and decision were done without our consent. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe stands in support of our relatives and says do not place our flag in your capitol until such a time as that place becomes our capitol.

As governor, you have made decisions which have proven that you do not represent people of the Sioux Nation, nor do you protect the people’s constitutional and natural rights. Within our treaty territories, which the state is constitutionally bound to uphold as the supreme law of the land, you have supported and welcomed the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and have created legislation to restrict individual rights to free and unregulated speech.

Your decision to fly tribal flags was done without our consent and without consultation- the very least you can do is show respect and communicate with our people and government. Your assumption that something will be done because you said it would does not transcend outside of your party or state employees.

I stand with our Sioux relatives and say that our flag will not be flown without our permission to save you the further embarrassment of having a member of our tribe take it down. If the flag of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is to be displayed, it will be displayed by our people and by a government that truly has the protection of our people at heart. It is my hope that someday your government will be worthy of that honor.”

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