South Dakota Gov. Noem, tribes in virus checkpoints standoff

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Two Native American tribes in South Dakota continue to defy orders from Gov. Kristi Noem to take down road checkpoints the tribes had set up to stop coronavirus infections from spreading.

The issue pits a governor who has taken a mostly hands-off approach to restrictions during the pandemic against tribes who say her actions are inadequate to prevent infections.

The tribes say they feel they have to be vigilant to protect tribal members who have underlying health problems and rely on a fragile health care system.

The Oglala Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe assert their sovereign rights allow them to control who comes on their reservations.

Governor Noem says she does not believe checkpoints can continue an U.S. and state highways.