Educating children for a stronger tomorrow

When it comes to protecting resources and carrying on traditions for future generations, the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Each year the SMSC dedicates funds to programs supporting youth and educational initiatives, creating opportunities now and for generations to come.

Promoting Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation

In partnership with Heritage University, reservation school districts, and Junior Achievement, the Yakama Nation Financial Literacy program provides important training for adults on budgeting, credit repair, and keeping debt under control. Enrollment is 90% Native American, and the students are usually tribal members who are looking to start a small business, often as a family enterprise. The SMSC donated $5,000 to the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation to purchase books for financial literacy and entrepreneurship classes on the Yakama Reservation in Washington.


  • Building Native Communities:Financial Skills For Families
  • Financial Journalling
  • Indianpreneurship

Preparing Children For K-12 Success

Rural America Initiatives

To help young children develop the cognitive, social, and emotional skills necessary for a successful transition to the K-12 education system, Rural America Initiatives’ Head Start Program provides educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to children enrolled in federally recognized tribes. The success of the program and demand for its services led the organization to seek out additional space in the form of a permanent designated facility in Rapid City, South Dakota. Supported in part by a $100,000 grant from the SMSC, Rural America Initiatives’ new Head Start Facility has the capacity to serve 146 children in the community. Completed in January 2019, the building will enable the organization to continue providing its valuable services and quality early childhood education and care to the area’s youngest residents.


  • 28,500 square feet
  • 12 classrooms
  • Indoor and outdoor play areas
  • Support spaces for infants
  • Community meeting spaces
  • Energy-efficient design
  • Speech therapy space

Advancing Educational Opportunities for Native Youth

American Indian Science and Engineering Society

Statistically, American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students are one of the most disadvantaged groups in the country in terms of educational achievement and high school graduate rates. Furthermore, even for the AI/AN students who graduate from high school, most are too often underprepared for college. To help bridge this gap, the SMSC donated $40,000 to the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) to help launch its premier K-12 technology and engineering education program, SPRK-ing Interest in Computer Science (CS).

AISES is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to substantially increase the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations, and other Indigenous peoples of North America in STEM studies and careers.

—About AISES

See more examples of the SMSC donations in action.

Find Out More

Learn More About the SMSC

Read about our people or visit our frequently asked questions for additional information about the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

2330 Sioux Trail NW
Prior Lake, MN 55372
Contact a Department >