Shakopee mdewakanton sioux community



Community Members

Frequently Asked Questions about the
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

Good Neighbor

Does the SMSC work with other governments?

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has worked diligently with local governments to provide services to our members by establishing intergovernmental agreements with various governmental entities, which include the City of Prior Lake, the City of Shakopee, Scott County, Metropolitan Council, and the State of Minnesota. The SMSC has made more than 67 agreements with government entities since 1984. In February 2012 the SMSC, Scott County, and the cities of Shakopee and Prior Lake reached an agreement to work cooperatively on land issues to improve relations between the governments. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by all four parties establishing an Intergovernmental Work Group which meets regularly.

How is the SMSC a good neighbor?

To the Shakopee Mdewakanton, being a good neighbor is an extension of the cultural tradition of being a good relative. The Dakota people believe that all living beings are relatives and should be treated not only with dignity and respect, but also helped in their day-to-day lives. The common expression Mitakuye Owasin, "We Are All Related," is often used to end prayers and ceremonies. The SMSC is grateful for the opportunity to not only provide significant financial assistance to other tribes and charitable organizations through a charitable giving program but also to contribute to its neighbors in many other ways:

  • Since 1992, the SMSC has donated more than $290 million to Indian Tribes, charitable organizations, schools, and Native American organizations.
  • The SMSC has also made more than $536 million in loans to other tribes for economic development projects.
  • The SMSC makes voluntary annual payments to cover the cost of services provided by local jurisdictions.
  • Since 1996 the SMSC paid more than $7.7 million for shared local road construction and an additional $16.9 million for road projects on the reservation.
  • The SMSC has also paid $15.2 million to local governments for services and another $6.5 million for other projects. Total construction spending by the SMSC since 1990 is more than $758.7 million.
  • The SMSC leases 12 acres to Scott County for 25 years with an option for an additional 25 years for a 545-space Eagle Creek Transit Station or “Park and Ride.” The transit station is a project of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, Scott County, the Metropolitan Council, and the cities of Shakopee and Prior Lake. The site is located near Highway 169 and a future County Road 21 expansion.
  • The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is proud to be an active member of the Scott County Association for Leadership and Efficiency (SCALE). Representatives from 28 local governments including the SMSC, Scott County, local townships, school districts, and cities in Scott County make up SCALE, which meets monthly to discuss ways to collaborate and share resources and services. The primary purpose of the Association is to encourage greater efficiencies and leadership in public service through enhanced communication, collaboration of services, and sharing of resources.
  • The SMSC and the City of Prior Lake have a unique agreement to share equipment for improving roads as part of the asphalt maintenance programs for streets and pavements. Sewer equipment is also shared. Both entities have purchased equipment and share their use as needed. The two departments have also interconnected their water mains for use during an emergency.
  • Along with the City of Prior Lake, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community co-sponsors the Dakotah! Sport and Fitness Lakefront Days Triathlon. The event is held each August as part of a celebration of fun that included activities, competitions, shows, food, music and much more, during Prior Lake's annual Lakefront Days celebration.
  • The SMSC's library has more than 13,148 items in its collection, which is mostly dedicated to Native American materials. The collection includes books on the Dakota, history, biography, geography, government, sociology, anthropology, religion, science, health, literature (fiction, poetry, drama, and journals), art, music, dance, arts and crafts, and education (includes curricula). There is also a juvenile section and an extensive audio/video section. Indian newspapers and magazines are also available. The library is open to researchers and educators by appointment only.
  • The SMSC Gaming Enterprise donates thousands of dollars in certificates for free meals and hotel stays for area fundraisers, including organizations raising funds for individuals suffering from medical crises. The SMSC also donates golf and bingo packages, car wash coupons, and health club memberships in addition to playing cards for troops and for nursing home residents.
  • Mdewakanton Public Safety, a full-time, professional fire department staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is owned and operated by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The department responds to an average of 150-200 calls a month. Mdewakanton Fire added ambulance service in 2004 and makes an average of 60 ambulance transports a month. The department has mutual aid agreements with all the departments in Scott County and responds to an average of 80 mutual aid calls each year.
  • Through the Mdewakanton LIFE Program, the SMSC has donated more than 735 Automated External Defibrillators to tribes, schools, police and fire departments, and other organizations with 23 lives saved due to their use, 12 of those in Scott County. Applications are available online at
  • In February 2012 the Shakopee reached an agreement on sharing land information with the City of Shakopee, the City of Prior Lake, and Scott County. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was approved between the parties with the goal of reducing conflict in the future regarding land use and other issues which have arisen in the past. The IWG will serve as a forum that the Governments may use for enhancing intergovernmental relations, resolving intergovernmental disputes, and joining in mutually beneficial cooperation in service to their citizens.
  • Since 1992 the SMSC has participated in the Scott County Adopt a Highway program. Litter is picked up on County Roads 42, 82, and 83 on a regular basis. A tribal family has also adopted a section of County Road 16 for clean-up. The Scott County Adopt A Highway program began in 1991 as a way for citizens to serve their community and protect the environment.
  • Local youth have now spent ten years learning about the fire service through Mdewakanton Fire Post 9100. They devote more than two hours each week learning what fire fighters do. The SMSC Explorer Post 9100, which began in October 2003, has members from Shakopee, Prior Lake, and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community ranging in ages from 14 to 17. Explorers are a national career education program which provide life experiences to help youth grow into the leaders of tomorrow through hundreds of Explorer groups across the country. To participate youth must maintain an overall minimum grade point average, and they also have attendance requirements for Explorer functions.
  • The SMSC has developed partnerships with local organizations, including the University of Minnesota which has resulted in the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Endowed Scholarship, and donations to the Minnesota Tribal Nations Plaza, and TCF Bank Stadium; St. Francis Regional Medical Center to provide state of the art equipment, to expand program capabilities in long-term care , and coordinate medical care for members and staff; and with Canterbury Park developing a joint marketing and purse enhancement agreement.
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