Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Shakopee Mdewakanton Announce $260,000 in Grants

Native American Organizations to Benefit


Prior Lake, MN – Activities as diverse as programs for children, a conference to empower women, a food shelf, a website, and legal efforts to protect tribal rights are supported by Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community grants totaling $260,000 to six organizations which largely serve Indian people.

“We felt it was important to support these organizations because of the good work they are doing to help people,” said Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Chairman Stanley R. Crooks.

A grant for $150,000 to the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) of Washington, D.C., will fund a Boys & Girls Clubs initiative in Indian Country. These funds were available as part of a $1 million challenge grant issued by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in fiscal year 2007. The SMSC matches, dollar for dollar, all donations received from charitable foundations, private donors, and other Indian Nations to Boys & Girls Clubs to NIGA for this initiative. The SMSC issued the challenge in response to an initiative by the National Indian Gaming Association to support youth in Indian Country.

A $25,000 grant to Native American Rights Fund of Boulder, Colorado, will fund continued support for their legal efforts to protect the rights of tribes and American Indians. For 38 years the Native American Rights Fund has worked with religious, civil rights, and other Native American organizations to shape the laws that will help assure the civil and religious rights of all Native Americans. NARF is a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and technical assistance to Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide – a constituency that often lacks access to the justice system. NARF focuses on applying existing laws and treaties to guarantee that national and state governments live up to their legal obligations.

Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Foundation for Television of Lincoln, Nebraska, (NET TV) received a grant for $25,000 to create the Standing Bear website. The story of the legendary warrior who fought injustice, not with guns and arrows, but with words is told in the documentary Standing Bear’s Footsteps which the SMSC previously helped fund. Standing Bear was a Ponca who, along with his tribe, was exiled from his home along the Missouri River in Nebraska to Indian Territory in Oklahoma in 1878. To gain his freedom he went to court to show that an Indian had the right to be considered a human being under the law. His story was front-page news across America. The New York Times described it in 1879 as, “The most notable trial ever brought in the West for it made the Indian as free as a white man if he chooses to accept the conditions of civilization.”

The Minneapolis American Indian Chamber of Commerce (MAICC) received a grant for $25,000 to support fund raising efforts and program development. MAICC is a leader in facilitating and promoting American Indian business while maintaining traditional values. Their purpose is to promote, advocate, and create economic prosperity on behalf of American Indian businesses, organizations, professionals, and tribal enterprises from Minnesota in a global market.

Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations (WEWIN) received a grant for $20,000 for sponsorship of their annual conference. WEWIN was founded in 2004 by a respected group of Native women leaders. WEWIN provides advocacy, training, education, support, and leadership development for American Indian women through its annual conference. WEWIN conference agendas incorporate presentations, workshops, and group discussions on a wide range of topics from strengthening tribal cultures to balancing community service and family needs, maintaining spiritual and physical health, and developing leadership skills to aid in meeting tribal challenges. The SMSC funds will help provide scholarships and offset the costs of invited speakers.

The Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis received $10,000 for their food shelf. For more than 50 years the Division of Indian Work, 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, 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.

The Native American Community Board (Lake Andes, South Dakota) received a grant for $5,000 for the food shelf housed at the Native American Women’s Health and Education Resource Center on the Yankton Sioux Reservation.


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