Environmental Stewardship

Caring for Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth)

The Dakota people have long considered their relationship with the earth as a kinship. Following the tradition of planning seven generations ahead, the SMSC intends to protect and preserve the environment for future generations.

Conservation and Green Initiatives

The SMSC is committed to being a good steward of the earth, adding environmentally sound infrastructure and amenities to the reservation, and sustaining natural resources.

The tribe employs multiple land stewardship programs to help us fulfill this mission. Working with our neighbors, we strive to restore prairies, forests, wetlands, and aquifers; and we encourage many native plants, animals, and insects to make our lands their home.

  • We use our own wind turbines, solar cells, and geothermal temperature control to help reduce conventional energy use.
  • The SMSC has a state-of-the-art Water Reclamation Facility. It reduces the pressure on neighboring municipal treatment systems and has been recognized as a superior achievement in reducing environmental pollutants.
  • The SMSC has its own water supply system that uses reverse osmosis to reduce the entry of salt, a known toxin, into its own freshwater sources and those downstream. This system reduces the pressure on neighboring municipal water supplies and is available as a backup source when the SMSC’s neighbors need extra water.
  • The SMSC is also home to two of the large green roofs, located on the water reclamation facility and Dakotah! Sport and Fitness.
  • By recycling plant-based waste materials—the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility—has successfully diverted thousands of tons of organic waste from local landfills.

Our staff of organic farmers, biologists, water resource specialists, technicians, and others in our Land and Natural Resources, Public Works, and Cultural Resources departments help us honor our culture as we teach our children the Dakota way of planning seven generations ahead.


The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s NativeGreen initiative promotes a greener, more sustainable planet for all—now and for generations to come—through conservation, stewardship, and self-sufficiency.

Find Out More

Land Stewardship

The SMSC Land and Natural Resources Department helps fulfill the tribe's commitment to environmental stewardship. Visit the department to learn more about our initiatives and projects.

Department of Land and Natural Resources

2330 Sioux Trail NW
Prior Lake, MN 55372
Phone: 952.496.6136
Fax: 952.233.4242