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A federal judge has ruled that the U.S, government has a treaty obligation to support law enforcement on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota,. But he declined for now to determine whether the Oglala Sioux Tribe is entitled to as much funding as it’s seeking. Tribal leaders depict the ruling as a victory, saying the important point is the court confirmed that the federal government has a duty to fund policing on the reservation. The judge ordered U.S. officials to meet with Oglala Sioux leaders on "how to more fairly fund tribal law enforcement.”

A Florida man charged with human smuggling related to the deaths last year of four immigrants near the Canadian border has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. Court records show that Steve Shand entered the plea Friday in a hearing held via video conference. Federal authorities arrested Shand in January 2022 after authorities found a family of four Indian nationals, including an infant and a teen, who had frozen to death during a blizzard just across the Canadian border. Officials also found five other Indian nationals on foot in Minnesota and two more in Shand's van. The Deltona, Florida, man is charged with bringing two people into the country illegally and illegally transporting them once in the U.S.


Republican Gov. Kristi Noem is opening a hotline for complaints about South Dakota colleges and universities. Noem announced the hotline Friday. In a letter to the state's Board of Regents, Noem said information from the hotline will guide policy changes. She's also calling on the Board of Regents to ban drag shows, remove references to preferred pronouns in school materials, and increase graduation rates. Noem says liberal beliefs are poisoning colleges and she doesn't want that to happen in South Dakota. An Associated Press request for comment to the regents wasn't immediately returned Friday.

Two Republican operatives with knowledge of the plans say that North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum is expected to announce his candidacy for the party's presidential nomination next month. That puts the governor and former computer software entrepreneur in an already crowded field dominated by ex-President Donald Trump. The Republicans said Burgum plans to launch his campaign June 7 and spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event had not been publicized yet. Burgum has signed legislation rolling back transgender rights, and North Dakota has one of the nation's strictest anti-abortion laws. But he is expected to emphasize his business background, his small-town roots and a large state tax cut this year.

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