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Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who has been banished from four Indian reservations in her home state, made national news this past weekend when it was disclosed Noem killed a dog she deemed as untrainable for hunting. 

The incident received condemnation from Republicans and Democrats alike, as well as animal rights groups.

A contender to be GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump’s running mate in the upcoming November election, Noem wrote about the incident in her forthcoming memoir, No Going Back: The Truth on What's Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward.

The story was first published by The Guardian, which said it obtained a copy of the book that is due out next month. In the book, Noem describes killing “Cricket,” a 14-month wirehaired pointer that Noem writes had an aggressive personality.

Noem deemed Cricket as untrainable to be a hunting dog because she went "out of her mind with excitement” during a pheasant hunting trip. Upon return from the trip, Noem says Cricket killed another family’s chickens. When Noem attempted to stop Cricket Noem was bitten by the dog.

"I hated that dog," Noem writes in the book. The dog was "dangerous to anyone she came in contact with" and "less than worthless" as a hunting dog. "I realized I had to put her down," she continues. 

The Guardian does not elaborate on when she actually killed the puppy. The story notes Noem included the incident in her book to demonstrate she has what it takes in politics to do what has to be done, even if it’s “difficult, messy, and ugly.”

As governor of South Dakota, home to nine federally recognized sovereign tribal nations and about 71,000 Native Americans who represent around 8 percent of the state’s population, Noem has maintained a contentious relationship.

In January, Noem was criticized by tribal leaders and tribally enrolled South Dakota lawmakers for comments she made about drugs on South Dakota reservations during a speech to lawmakers about the U.S.-Mexico border. In her speech, Noem implied Mexican drug cartels were being harbored on reservations.

Last month, while speaking at a town meeting in Mitchell, Noem told South Dakotans she wanted to help Native American students, but also took a swipe at Native parents and tribal councils.

“Their kids don’t have any hope,” Noem said. “They don’t have parents who show up and help them. They 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.”

Tribes throughout the state called Noem’s remarks out for what they were: racism.

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About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].