South Dakota governor tries to crush Native American efforts to contain the coronavirus

Originally published at:


This is a quote from the BB article: “For example: when a few economic stakeholders want a pandemic to continue spreading through poverty-stricken communities just so they can keep their wallets fat.”

Please explain who are the people keeping their wallets fat by the Native Americans being sick, and how.

The natives do have the right to restrict access to their lands. I’d say they have every right to close roads that leave the highways. But the treaty was written long before the highways were built and that complicates matters. I don’t think they have the right to interfere with traffic on state or Federal highways. This will take court action to clarify.


The implication is that logging or mining companies need to travel through tribal lands to get to their work sites I think. There may be other people with commercial interests, but since most tribal land is way out in the boonies I’d expect most of them would be resource extraction.


Due to the specific legal requirement for native tribes to receive Federal and State funding, there are literally thousands of predatory agencies that profit off of the poverty and poor medical outcomes of tribes. Think private prisons or walk-in emergency clinics that serve in the stead of full hospitals.

Give me a tick and I’ll find citations.


Alright, it’s my son’s 3rd birthday (!), so I can’t dive too deep at the moment, but here are some good resources:

These all have to do with predatory lending, but this special form of evil affects every aspect of tribal life.


Happy day! My 7 (soon to be 8) y/o is scavenging the house to find the best birthday outfit ever. I’ve never seen so many rainbow unicorns in my life. First year without a party which is a complete bummer. We’ll be celebrating with our hamster and our python (obviously not at the same time).


I’m sure the South Dakota governor can round up a shipment of “special” blankets to help keep the native tribes warm at night while they staff the checkpoints.


So the highways were built in violation of the treaty? That seems to strengthen the tribes case, not weaken it.


Yeah, I mean I’m all in favor of them being allowed to take extraordinary actions to protect themselves but “the feds aren’t doing their job so local vigilantes have to take care of it” is something that should sound familiar in an uncomfortable way.

WIth all due respect, I think that’s a false equivalence. These are descendants of the First Peoples, whose health, well-being & human rights were decimated by the invaders. They were granted sovereignty to this land by treaty with the self-proclaimed federal government & are now exercising that sovereignty, while a state authority tries to interfere. What’s uncomfortably familiar is the lack of respect for Native rights.


i don’t even see how South Dakota has a leg to stand on. technically, the tribal land is a sovereign state, right? they can close their borders or limit access if they want, to protect their people. case closed, as far as i understand it. jog on, Governor!

Jog On


The Northern Cheyenne Tribe’s Tribal Council are not vigilantes. They are the legitimate governing body of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

Having said that I worry for the tribe’s safety when going up against the federal/state governments.


Aww, you too! We just went on a tour (sanitized, socially distant, etc) of all of his friends’ houses dropping off cupcakes for a group video call in a bit. Have a great one!


Yes, but the Feds have routinely sided with states and obviated that sovereignty. The Black Rock Sioux vs. DAPL is one of the most recent and high-profile instanced. SCOTUS is currently hearing a case that could end tribal sovereignty forever:


Pretty much everyone alive in January this year, had the same degree of immunity to this bug- none whatsoever. This is as close as white people in north america have ever gotten to understanding what it feels like to have no natural immunity to diseases brought from overseas.

The failure to connect smallpox to covid 19, is part of the same problem as allowing sports teams to use offensive racial steteotypes for mascots.


What a custerfuck!


Funny how some legal documents are treated like untouchable holy script and others, mostly concerning minorities, can changed willy nilly because “It’s kinda old stuff duh!”.


Somewhat tangential question but is there any law that says Native Americans cannot run for presidency?

These are some of the sanest responses I’ve seen to the conservative ignorance of the pandemic


Don’t think there is.

One can’t be VP unless already qualified to be President


You mean like this?


The specifics of Tribal Sovereignty are complicated and controversial, but all Native Americans born on US soil are considered full citizens of the United States, ever since the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.