Tribes seek to keep flags from Capitol after pipeline bills
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Two Native American tribes in South Dakota are asking that their flags not be displayed at the state Capitol after lawmakers approved bills this session aimed at potential protests against the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The Argus Leader reports the quick passage of Gov. Kristi Noem’s protest legislation was the breaking point for the tribes. The requests come after Noem said last month she planned to permanently display the flags of the nine tribes in South Dakota in the Capitol rotunda.
Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Chairman Lester Thompson Jr. says the tribe has worked to build a new relationship with the state, but Noem and the Legislature have “destroyed our trust” and the hope of moving toward reconciliation.
Oglala Sioux Tribe President Julian Bear Runner says the tribe’s flag represents a “commitment to protect Mother Earth.”