Shakopee Mdewakanton Announce $1 Million Grant to Santee Sioux Tribe
Prior Lake, MN – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community today announced a $1 million grant to the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska for community and economic development. The funds will be used for energy assistance, elderly nutrition program, a youth center, swimming pool, land purchase, law enforcement and security, two existing convenience stores, and for construction of a third new convenience store.
In June 2011 the SMSC awarded a loan to in the amount of up to $20 million to the Santee Sioux Nation to 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 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. The SMSC has awarded them more than $8 million in grants over the past eight years.
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 2012 the SMSC has announced more than $8.4 million in grants , with $1 million each going to the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Indians (Minnesota), the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe (South Dakota), the Omaha Tribe (Nebraska), Spirit Lake Tribe (North Dakota), the White Earth Nation (Minnesota), and the Yankton Sioux Tribe (South Dakota).