Shortly after the death of Standing Rock Sioux Tribal member Debbie Dogskin, 61, as a result of the midwest's propane shortage amid below-zero temperatures, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) of Minnesota donated $870,000 to help the tribe, and others, manage the crisis, reported the AP.
The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation straddles North Dakota and South Dakota, and nearly 90 percent of residents or 5,000 homes rely on propane for heat. The SMSC has donated $500,000 to help Standing Rock Sioux members buy propane, also giving the Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota $300,000, and the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, $70,000.
“The thought of people struggling during such a harsh winter is unbearable,” SMSC Chairman Charlie Vig said in a statement. “We are happy to provide these grants, which will help ensure these tribes’ members are warm and cared for.”
Due to federal budget cuts, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has received $1.5 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding this winter, down from $2.5 million last winter.