Shakopee mdewakanton sioux community



Community Members

Caring for Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth)

Caring for the Land * Caring for our Waters * Sustaining Energy

Unci Maka, the Dakota expression for earth, translates as "Grandmother Earth." This indicates a kinship relationship between the Dakota people and the earth. As a relative, the Dakota people are dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment. The Dakota way is to plan for the Seventh Generation, to make sure that resources will be available in the future to sustain life for seven generations to come. Conserving and protecting the earth today ensures that there will be food, trees, natural areas, traditional wild foods and medicines, cultural resources, and open spaces in the environment for coming generations to not only survive but also to thrive.

A staff of organic farmers, biologists, water resource specialists, technicians, and others in Land and Natural Resources, Wozupi, Public Works, and Cultural Resources Departments help us to fulfill that mission.

The choices made by the SMSC and its neighbors directly affect this generation’s ability to provide for future generations. While new impacts on the remaining native habitat continue in the region, our Community actively works to retain and restore native habitat.

As stewards of the earth, the SMSC engages in many endeavors which help to protect, preserve, and restore natural resources. Prairie and forest restoration and wetland protection encourage many native plants, animals, and insects to make our lands their home.  Our wind turbine, solar cells, and geothermal energy help us to conserve energy and protect resources. The maintenance and harvesting of our own organic garden, bee boxes, and maple syrup connect us to our land and help us live sustainably.

For the Shakopee Mdewakanton people of today, culture and environment are intimately intertwined. We strive to respect and care for Unci Maka, retain our cultural connection with the earth, and teach our children the Dakota way of planning for the Seventh Generation.

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