Shakopee Mdewakanton Announce Payment of White Earth Nation Grant
Prior Lake, MN – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community today announced the release of $239,491 in funds to the White Earth Nation for the Naytahwaush Fire Station. The funds are a draw on a $1 million grant for construction of a new fire station and to add a diabetes wing to their tribal health building. Of the original $1 million fiscal year 2012 grant announced October 3, 2011, about half will go to each project. The SMSC also funded the fire station and a new fire truck with a $1 million grant in fiscal year 2011.
In fact, the White Earth Nation has been a beneficiary of $8,304,900 in grants, donations, and other financial assistance from the SMSC over the last ten years.
“Your tribal government’s generosity towards tribes and other organizations within the state is to be commended,” wrote White Earth Chairwoman Erma Vizenor in a letter dated September 10, 2010, to SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks.
The tribe broke ground for the new fire and ambulance building August 2, 2011, with construction expected to be completed in 2012. The new building will replace one that is more than 30 years old.
In 2008 and 2009 the SMSC provided $2 million to help the White Earth Nation purchase a youth treatment center in Bemidji, Minnesota. Oshki Manidoo Center, the White Earth Youth Treatment Facility (formerly the Archdeacon Gilfillan Youth Center), provides early intervention and chemical dependency treatment services for tribal members and Native American youth.
The SMSC has helped the White Earth Nation financially dating back to June 2000 when the SMSC purchased $4.25 million in bonds on the secondary market that White Earth issued for a school project on the reservation. These bonds were paid off in four installments, maturing in December 2004.
The White Earth Reservation is located in northwestern Minnesota and is one of six member reservations which comprise the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. The boundaries of White Earth encompass Mahnomen County, portions of Becker and Clearwater Counties, and 35 townships over 1,300 square miles which serve as the homeland for more than 20,000 band members.
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 members in education, health, and well-being.
A tribal charitable giving program which comes from a cultural and social tradition to assist those in need has given away more than $243.5 million to Indian tribes, charitable organizations, and schools since 1996. Through the Mdewakanton LIFE Program, the SMSC has donated 746 Automated External Defibrillators to tribes, schools, police and fire departments, and other organizations with 18 lives successfully saved due to their use.
The SMSC has also made more than $450 million in loans to other tribes for economic and infrastructure development projects. Since 1996 the SMSC paid more than $7.5 million for shared local road construction and an additional $16.7 million for road projects on the reservation. The SMSC has also paid $13.1 million to local governments for services and another $6.4 million for other projects.