Standing Rock Sioux Tribe adopts banishment for drug dealers

A view of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Photo from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is taking a hard line against people who deal methamphetamine, heroin, opiates and other dangerous drugs.

The tribal council adopted a resolution on Tuesday to banish drug dealers. Anyone 18 years or older who has been convicted of trafficking in tribal, federal or state court faces removal "immediately" from the reservation.

"This action did not come overnight but was the result of months of deliberation and reports from local tribal members of the horrors that are committed against Standing Rock citizens while people are under the influence of the above-mentioned dangerous narcotics," the tribe said in a statement today.

The decision comes as the tribe continues efforts to improve public safety on the reservation, which straddles the North-South Dakota border. A new agreement with federal prosecutors in both states seeks to reduce the rate of recidivism on the reservation.

During the Bush administration, the Bureau of Indian Affairs sent additional law enforcement to the reservation to address high rates of crime. Although the number of officers has since dropped down to about 15, the tribe continues to work closely with federal authorities and participated in a during a 14-month drug trafficking investigation known as Operation Prairie Thunder.

"The safety of tribal members, citizens and especially our children is of primary concern to the Standing Rock Tribal Council," the statement read.

Related Stories
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe seek to reduce rate of recidivism (7/22)

Join the Conversation