Noem wants agreements with tribes to tackle crime, meth

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, and Secretary of Tribal Relations David Flute yesterday invited tribal leaders and members to engage in a partnership to combine state and tribal law enforcement resources to combat drug use on reservations.

“We are taking a step forward to make South Dakota safer for everyone,” said Noem. “Removing drugs from our communities is something everyone can get behind, and right now, drugs are putting an incredible strain on tribal law enforcement. I want tribal leaders to know that if you want state law enforcement support, we are ready to help.”

“Drugs are not our culture,” said Flute. “In the last year, we’ve made good progress in building partnerships between our state and tribal governments through various meth summits and anti-drug initiatives. This is another strong step forward. This invitation upholds tribal sovereignty, expands resources available to tribes, and will help us create safer communities.”

“All of South Dakota’s citizens benefit from collaborative state and tribal efforts to create a safer South Dakota, and the Office of the Attorney General is more than willing to enter these agreements,” said Ravnsborg. “I appreciate Governor Noem’s leadership on this issue as we work toward a more cooperative use of law enforcement resources that will benefit all corners of our state.”

This invitation would make state law enforcement resources available to South Dakota tribes through Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), a form of agreement between a tribe and the state. MOUs are customized through negotiations between the state and the respective tribe, and the timeframe varies per understanding. One South Dakota tribe is already engaged in a MOU for law enforcement resources.