PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says that her stance against the Oglala and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes operating coronavirus checkpoints on federal and state highways isn’t just about that issue, it’s also about setting “precedent” for tribes shutting down traffic in other situations.
As construction related to the Keystone XL pipeline prepares to begin in South Dakota, the checkpoints add tension to an already-rocky relationship between the Republican governor and tribes that have been outspoken opponents of the pipeline.
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, for example, does not allow vehicles from oil companies to pass through its land. Keystone XL developer TC Energy has adjusted the pipeline route to avoird crossing tribal land.