Shakopee Tribe Donates More Than $4 Million to 10 Native American Causes

February 9th, 2017

Prior Lake, Minn. – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) announced today a package of donations totaling more than $4 million for Native American causes in Minnesota and six other states.

Examples of projects being funded by the donations include broadband Internet, community center renovations, college scholarships, and water treatment facilities. Specific recipients include:

Red Lake Tribe:                                  $750,000 for Red Lake Community Center (Red Lake, MN)

Northern Arapaho Tribe:                     $750,000 for solid waste collection system (Ft. Washakie, WY)

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska:           $506,000 for community heritage and safety project (Macy, NE)

Blackfeet Tribe:                                  $500,000 for Starlink broadband project (Browning, MT)

University of Minnesota:                    $500,000 for SMSC endowed scholarship fund (all campuses)

White Earth Tribe:                              $325,000 for drum hall construction (White Earth, MN)

Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe:                   $300,000 for wastewater treatment facility (Hayward, WI)

Stockbridge Munsee Tribe:                 $250,000 for optical and pharmacy equipment (Bowler, WI)

Fort Totten Schools:                           $194,000 for Four Winds education program (Fort Totten, ND)

Reclaiming Native Truth:                    $100,000 to help change misperceptions of Native Americans (Longmont, CO)

“There are so many needs across Indian Country, and the SMSC’s financial support will go a long way toward improving the lives of many people, especially children and future generations,” said SMSC Chairman Charles R. Vig.  

The SMSC has donated approximately $350 million to organizations and causes in the past 25 years. The SMSC announced the new multi-million package of donations less than one month after making a $200,000 gift to fund living allowances for AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers working to improve Native nutrition, as part of the SMSC’s $5 million Seeds of Native Health campaign. It was the first time in VISTA’s history in which a tribe provided funding to deploy VISTA members nationally. In an editorial lauding Seeds of Native Health, the Star Tribune – Minnesota’s largest news outlet – called the tribe a “philanthropic force.”

“Launching an unprecedented national project like Reclaiming Native Truth requires farsighted dedication from planners and funders. The SMSC’s donation shows a long-term commitment to improving the lives of Native Americans,” said Michael Roberts, co-director of Reclaiming Native Truth and president and CEO of First Nations Development Institute. Reclaiming Native Truth is co-directed by Crystal Echo Hawk, president and CEO of Echo Hawk Consulting.

About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Following a Dakota tradition of generosity, the SMSC is one of the top 10 philanthropists in Minnesota and is the largest contributor to Native American tribes 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.

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Learn More About the SMSC

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