Shakopee Mdewakanton Donate $755,500 to Support Indian Education
Several Schools to Benefit
Prior Lake, MN – Since the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community made donations totaling $755,500 to support education programs, both locally and throughout Indian Country.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community recently donated $585,000 to the American Indian College Fund (Denver, Colorado) for Native student scholarships as a contribution for the Johnson Scholarship Foundation Endowment Matching Challenge Grant. Once established, the $1.5 million endowment will disburse up to $60,000 annually in scholarships in perpetuity for American Indian students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in business and entrepreneurship who are attending both tribal colleges and mainstream universities. This is in addition to $50,000 which was donated in late September 2011 by the SMSC.
“The American Indian College Fund has helped thousands of young Indian people get an education. We are happy to be able to encourage our Indian students to continue their education so that they can help their people. Having an educated and qualified Indian workforce for the future is very important for all tribes in maintaining their sovereignty,” said SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks.
“We are grateful to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota, which has demonstrated the Native leadership principle of thinking seven generations into the future through its gift to this grant to provide scholarships to Native American students,” said Richard B. Williams, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. “Their generosity will help Native American students attain a college degree, creating hope for a better future for them, their families, and their communities.”
A coat to wear when it’s cold can make all the difference to a student. With $35,000 in funds from the SMSC, the Division of Indian Works (Minneapolis, Minnesota) was able to buy more than 1,000 coats for American Indian students in public schools who qualified for free or reduced lunches. For more than 50 years the DIW, in partnership with the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, has offered a variety of services for Native American families. Some of their other services include parenting and youth mentorship programs, a food shelf, emergency assistance, a group home for boys, daily summer activities for children, after school tutoring, cultural activities, holiday meal baskets, foster parents' licensing, and cooking classes.
Flandreau Indian School (Flandreau, South Dakota) received $35,000 to support a behavior incentive program and extracurricular activities including rodeo club and culture club. The Flandreau Indian School is the oldest continually operated federal Indian boarding school maintained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the U. S. Department of the Interior and is the only non-reservation high school in the region. The Flandreau Indian School has had more than 10,000 graduates since 1873.
St. Joseph’s Indian School (Chamberlain, South Dakota) received $20,000 for a high school program for at-risk students and cultural activities. St. Joseph's Indian School has served Lakota children and families since 1927 as a boarding school, home to more than 200 students each school year.
Catching the Dream (Albuquerque, New Mexico) received a grant for $10,000 for scholarships. Catching the Dream makes grants to Native American college students and works to improve Indian schools. Since 1986, CTD has made scholarship awards to 960 students and has produced 637 graduates. Their graduation rate is 85%, a very high rate compared to the 18% completion rate that prevails nationwide with Native students.
An $8,000 donation to Circle of Nations (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, South Dakota) at the Wahpeton Indian School bought winter wear including coats, hats, and gloves for students.
Dunwoody College of Technology (Minneapolis, Minnesota) received $7,500 for scholarships to support American Indian students attending technical programs as a part of Dunwoody’s diversity plan.
St. Labre Indian School (Ashland, Montana) received $5,000 for repair of the roof of the St. Charles Mission School building which serves children in grades kindergarten through eighth. St. Labre Indian School offers preschool through high school education for Crow and Northern Cheyenne children, serving a combined enrollment at all three St. Labre campuses of nearly 700 children.
About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
The SMSC utilizes its financial resources from gaming and non-gaming enterprises to pay for the internal infrastructure of the Tribe, including but not limited to roads, water and sewer systems, emergency services, and essential services to its Tribal members in education, health, and welfare. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has a charitable giving program which comes from a cultural and social tradition to assist those in need.
Over the past 16 years, the SMSC has donated more than $229.5 million to Indian Tribes, charitable organizations, schools, and Native American organizations. The SMSC has also made more than $396 million in loans to other tribes for economic development projects. Since 1996 the SMSC paid more than $7.5 million for shared local road construction projects and an additional $16.7 million for road projects on the reservation. The SMSC has also paid $12.7 million to local governments for services and another $5 million for other projects.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized Indian Tribe in Minnesota, is the owner and operator of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, Mazopiya, Playworks, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness, The Meadows at Mystic Lake, Shakopee Dakota Convenience Stores, and other enterprises on a reservation south of the Twin Cities.