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

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community elects new Business Council

Keith Anderson elected as Chairman, Cole Miller elected as Vice-Chairman, Rebecca Crooks-Stratton re-elected as Secretary/Treasurer


January 23, 2020

Prior Lake, Minn. — Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) members elected Keith Anderson as Chairman, Cole Miller as Vice-Chairman and Rebecca Crooks-Stratton as Secretary/Treasurer yesterday. These three elected officials will serve four-year terms and make up the tribe’s Business Council. The Business Council is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the tribal government and its relationships with its members, other governments and elected officials, and its more than 4,000 employees.

Incoming Chairman Keith Anderson was elected to his fifth consecutive term on the SMSC Business Council and his first as Chairman. He has served as the tribe’s Vice-Chairman since August 2012 and previously served as Secretary/Treasurer for eight years. On behalf of the SMSC, Anderson has served as Co-Chair of the Native Farm Bill Coalition, which successfully advocated for an unprecedented number of Native provisions in the 2018 federal Farm Bill. He is the board chairman for Koda Energy, which produces environmentally friendly biomass energy, and a board member for the SMSC’s Hotel Development LLC, which owns the JW Marriott hotel at Mall of America.

Incoming Vice-Chairman Cole Miller was elected to his first term on the Business Council. Currently, Miller is the community liaison for Mdewakanton Public Safety, the tribe’s full-time fire department, paramedic-level ambulance service and fully operational emergency management organization. Miller has been active in the Community for many years, chairing the tribe’s Wacipi (Pow Wow) Committee for the last two years.

Secretary/Treasurer Rebecca Crooks-Stratton was elected to her second term as Secretary/Treasurer. Crooks-Stratton leads Understand Native Minnesota, the tribe’s $5 million, three-year strategic initiative and philanthropic campaign to improve the Native American narrative in Minnesota schools. She has also led projects such as the Minnesota Tribal Nations Plaza at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and helped launch a Montessori classroom as part of the SMSC’s daycare program. Crooks-Stratton is a representative to the National Congress of American Indians; serves on the Board of Directors of Indian Country Today and the University of Minnesota Foundation’s Board of Trustees; and is Vice Chair of the Prior Lake Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee.

As a sovereign nation, the SMSC is governed by the General Council, consisting of all voting members ages 18 and older. The General Council sets policies for the tribe and is tasked with electing representatives to the Business Council, as well as the Gaming Commission and the Gaming Board of Directors.

The current Chairman Charles R. Vig did not seek re-election after serving nearly 30 years in a variety of roles for the tribe, including the last eight years as Chairman. The newly elected Business Council will be sworn into office on January 31.

About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is a federally recognized, sovereign Dakota tribal government located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Following a Dakota tradition of generosity, the SMSC is one of the top philanthropists in Minnesota and is the largest contributor to other tribal governments and causes across the country. It is a strong community partner and a leader in protecting and restoring natural resources. The SMSC’s government, Gaming Enterprise and various other enterprises are collectively the largest employer in Scott County and attract millions of visitors to the region.


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