Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community announces first-of-its-kind exhibit at Minnesota State Fair

Prior Lake, Minn. —The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) will become the first tribal government to have an exhibit at the Minnesota’s State Fair in the fair’s history during its 12-day run from Aug. 26 through Sept. 6. Located in the education building, the first-of-its kind exhibit will feature information about the SMSC and Minnesota’s 10 other tribal nations. Visitors can also learn more about the SMSC’s Understand Native Minnesota campaign to improve education about and representation of Native Americans in Minnesota schools.

“As the original inhabitants of Minnesota, Native people have made important contributions to the state for centuries and continue to do so today. But many Minnesotans don’t know much about the state’s tribes, their history, culture and governments,” said SMSC Chairman Keith Anderson. “We look forward to sharing information about our tribe and the other 10 sovereign nations during the State Fair this summer.”

The SMSC’s exhibit will feature an interactive, walk-through display in the shape of a tipi that will stand nearly 12 feet tall. The tipi’s exterior walls will include informational videos and visitors can walk through the tipi to learn more about Native American culture. It will be located on the east end of the education building.

The SMSC also invites the public to attend the annual SMSC Wacipi, Aug. 20-22. The free weekend-long Pow Wow will take place at the Wacipi Grounds in Shakopee and feature hundreds of Native American dancers and drum groups. The family-friendly event also includes vendors of Native American crafts and foods, as well as fireworks. All are welcome to attend.

Meaning “they all dance” in the Dakota language, Wacipi was historically used by Native peoples to gather at the end of a season, celebrate a good hunt or recognize a positive event. While the dances still hold sacred meaning for those who participate, today’s Wacipi has evolved into a contest Pow Wow, where dancers dressed in colorful regalia and drum groups compete for top honors in a variety of style categories. To download photos of past SMSC Wacipi events, visit the SMSC's photo library.

About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Dakota tribal government located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Following a Dakota tradition of generosity, the SMSC is one of the top philanthropists in Minnesota and is the largest contributor to other tribal governments and causes across the country. It is a strong community partner and a leader in protecting and restoring natural resources. The SMSC’s government, Gaming Enterprise and various other enterprises are collectively the largest employer in Scott County and attract millions of visitors to the region.

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