When the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) contributes to the economic development and community improvement of another Indian nation, it is no small gesture.
Once again, the SMSC has made a $1 million grant to another tribe, the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. Just last month, the SMSC donated $1 million to the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska for community and economic development. In total, the community has given away more than $243.5 million to Indian Tribes, charitable organizations, and schools since 1996.
Like other Dakota, the SMSC strongly believe in their interconnectedness with greater society, exemplified by their motto, “Mitakuye Owasin,” or “We are all related.”
The SMSC grant to the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe will fund:
- $350,000 for consultants to complete feasibilities studies and preliminary planning for a new casino at Oacoma
- $300,000 for an after-school youth and young adult employment program
- $200,000 to the Boys & Girls Club for operations and management
- $100,000 for improvements on a tribal campground, for a tribal handmade craft company Sung Maka Ska, and the Buffalo Interpretive Center
- $50,000 for a Veteran’s Memorial
“Your generosity is greatly appreciated,” wrote Chairman Michael B. Jandreau, chairman of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, in the request letter.
Over the past three years, the SMSC funded $3 million in grants for projects including Lakota Foods, the West Brule Recreational Youth Center, the ambulance program, and for construction of a new convenience store in West Brule. In 2008 the SMSC donated a floor of furniture from its Mystic Lake Casino Hotel.
The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe is part of the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires of the Dakota Nation. The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, also known as the Kul Wicasa Oyate, is located along the Missouri River in central South Dakota on the Native American Scenic Byway. Reservation population is 2,600 on a total area of 221,646 acres in Lyman and Stanley Counties. The Lower Brule owns and operates the Golden Buffalo Casino and Motel which features 175 slot machines and two table games. Facilities include a conference center, a dance floor, a restaurant and a 38-room motel. The casino employs 50 people.