Oglala Sioux banish non-tribal member and husband from reservation

PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) – The Oglala Sioux have banished a non-tribal member with coronavirus and her husband from the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The tribal council deadlocked 9-9 this week on a motion to banish the woman and her husband. Council President Bear Runner broke the tie vote by voting in favor of the banishment.

“For an individual to leave the reservation going to one of the major hot spots where this virus is and then come back is just uncalled for,” President Julian Bear Runner said on KILI radio after the emergency session Wednesday. “It was negligent that this individual would still leave after laws were already in place not just tribally, but nationally and globally.”

The Rapid City Journal reports the woman contracted the coronavirus after returning from Denver on her way to a medical appointment in California that ended up being cancelled.

The woman with COVID-19 lives in Porcupine and works at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School, the Red Cloud Catholic school system said on its Facebook page.

The employee immediately contacted Red Cloud after learning about the positive test, and the school then alerted the tribe.