The word Sakpe [shock-pay] is a Dakota word meaning the “number six.” It refers to a historic Dakota leader, Chief Sakpe, who was leader of a village that was located along the river where the modern city of Shakopee now exists. Tribal members are descendants of the Dakota who lived in this area before European settlers arrived. The town of Shakopee is named after this Dakota leader and his village.
Life was difficult, with few jobs and limited prospects. Before Indian Gaming came to Minnesota, the roads leading to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community were dirt or gravel. There were few houses, and few resources for Community members. Health and dental care were insufficient as were educational and housing opportunities. Jobs were scarce, and SMSC members faced economic hardship.
The official name is the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community but the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota Community is also acceptable. For a second reference the SMSC, the Community (capitalized only), or the Shakopee Tribe can be used. The SMSC is not a band, so it is inaccurate in a modern context to refer to it as one. (That term is generally used in Minnesota to refer to Ojibwe or Chippewa tribes.) Since there are several Mdewakanton communities in Minnesota, it is essential in referring to the SMSC to distinguish which community by using the word "Shakopee."Please note: It is unacceptable to use Mdewakanton Community or Mdewakanton Tribe without using the word “Shakopee” before these phrases since there are two other Mdewakanton Communities in Minnesota.