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Shakopee Mdewakanton Announce $20 Million Tribal Loan to Santee Sioux Tribe


Prior Lake, MN – To help other Indian Tribes further develop their economies and better serve their tribal members, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community today announced a loan to the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska in the amount of up to $20 million for economic development. Specifically, the loan will fund construction of a new Ohiya Casino and Lodge. Nebraska's First Casino, Ohiya Casino and Lodge is located just five miles east of Niobrara, Nebraska, on scenic Highway 12 and Spur 54D. The word “Ohiya” in the Dakota Language translates as “winner” or “victor.”

The economic development loan will fund:

-a 25,000 square foot casino for 400 Class II slots and Bingo

-a 50 room hotel, banquet facility, and convenience store

- Furniture, fixtures, and equipment including kitchen and surveillance

-A golf course and clubhouse

-Site development and contingency costs

-Pre-opening costs including loan reserves

The Santee Sioux Nation is part of the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires of the Dakota/Lakota Nation. Historic ties between the Santee and the Shakopee Mdewakanton have remained strong since the reservation era began in the mid-1800s.

Previously in fy2011, the SMSC extended a $1 million grant to the Santee Sioux Nation to support numerous tribal programs, including energy assistance; a counseling program; hot, healthy meals for tribal elders; a teen center; upgrades to economic development enterprises,; suicide prevention training and activities; repairs and maintenance of the Pow Wow grounds and RV Park; pool repair and maintenance; and land purchases.

The Santee were forcibly removed from Minnesota after the Dakota Conflict of 1862 first to Crow Creek, South Dakota, and then to an isolated area in northeastern Nebraska along the Missouri River. Health care, social services, education, employment opportunities, infrastructure, and other human services generally taken for granted have not been historically available to them. Today the Santee Sioux Reservation is located along the Missouri River. Bordered on the north side by the Lewis and Clark Lake, it encompasses an area approximately 17 miles long and 13 miles wide.

Already in fiscal year 2011 the SMSC has announced more than $14 million in grants , with grants of $1 million each going to the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians (Minnesota), the Crow Tribe of Indians of Montana, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (South Dakota), the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe (South Dakota), the Omaha Tribe (Nebraska), the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (South Dakota), Spirit Lake Tribe (North Dakota), the White Earth Nation (Minnesota), and Yankton Sioux Tribe (South Dakota). A grant for $325,000 was also awarded to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana.

The SMSC has also made a total of more than $396 million in loans to other tribes for economic development projects. Over the past 15 years, the SMSC has donated more than $215.7 million to charitable organizations and Indian Tribes and Native American organizations.


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