South Dakota tribe wants 1863 removal law changed

A South Dakota tribe is asking for the state's help to change an 1863 federal law that technically keeps them from owning land in Minnesota.

The law removed Dakota people from Minnesota and relocated them to several states in the Midwest. It was signed by President Abraham Lincoln after conflicts between white settlers and Dakota people in Minnesota.

Though the law is no longer enforced, tribal leaders call it racist. They're asking the state to pass a resolution of support, and raised the subject Tuesday at a meeting of the State-Tribal Relations committee in Pierre.

Crow Creek Sioux Chairman Lester Thompson Jr. called it similar to old Jim Crow laws of the South.

A similar request did not make it out of committee at the Legislature this year. Thompson says he's taking a new approach — educating lawmakers and Gov Kristi Noem on the history of the law.

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