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Prior Lake, Minnesota - The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has awarded grants for a total of $180,000 to five schools or educational organizations.
The Flandreau Indian School of South Dakota received a $50,000 donation to support a behavior incentive program and extracurricular activities including rodeo club and culture club.
The Flandreau Indian School is the oldest continually operated federal Indian boarding school maintained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the U. S. Department of the Interior and is the only non-reservation high school in the region. The Flandreau Indian School has had over 10,000 graduates since 1873. Total SMSC donations to the school over recent years are $676,340.
Leech Lake Tribal College of Cass Lake, Minnesota, received $45,000 as the final installment of a three year grant as a match for a federal Title III grant. The federal grant funds are awarded to help Tribal Colleges build their endowments, providing for long-term growth and added financial stability. Earnings on Leech Lake Tribal College endowment funds are used for scholarships, technology upgrades, and student support services.
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe established Leech Lake Tribal College by Tribal Resolution in July 1990. Today, Leech Lake Tribal College includes approximately 70 faculty, staff, administrators, and 250 full-time students. Most of the students come from the Leech Lake Reservation and the surrounding reservations in Northern Minnesota. In addition, approximately 8% of the students enrolled at the College are non-Native American. Leech Lake Tribal College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Friends of Wolf Ridge of Prior Lake, Minnesota, received $35,000 as the final installment of a two year grant to support educational activities for fifth grade students at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center facility in northern Minnesota. For more than 30 years, the fifth grade classes at all the Prior Lake-Savage School District’s elementary schools have traveled north for a week of classes at this facility. Wolf Ridge offers 57 units of curricula focused on environmental and natural sciences, cultural history, personal growth, team-building, and outdoor recreation skills. Funding for the program at Wolf Ridge was cut from the district budget a few years ago and since then the Friends of Wolf Ridge and the Prior Lake-Savage Area Educational Foundation have raised funds for the trip.
Wells Academy of Bemidji, Minnesota, received a $25,000 matching grant for an apprenticeship program for American Indians. The training school graduates six to seven apprentices a year in the 12-month, 40 hour per week program which trains machinists. Industrial training begins with safety and includes machining operations, tooling, project bidding, computer programming, quality control, and supervision. Learning is by interactive computer lessons, hands-on machine operation, real-world customer projects, and field trips. Wells Technology, which provides the facility plus in-kind and financial support for Wells Academy, provides precisioned machine products to aerospace, medical, electronic, and computer industries.
Red Cloud Indian School of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, received $25,000 for a Lakota Language curriculum. The school has the goal of graduating fluent Lakota Language speakers by incorporating the language in all aspects of the curriculum. Red Cloud Indian School (Grades K-12) was founded as Holy Rosary Mission in 1888 by the Jesuits at the request Chief Red Cloud, a leader of the Oglala Sioux Indians on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Red Cloud Indian School is part of the almost 100 universities and over 400 high schools now sponsored by the Jesuits around the world. More graduates from Red Cloud High are successful in pursuing further education than from any other Indian school in the country; 100% of the 2008 graduating class enrolled in institutions of higher education or entered the US military. In 2009, seven Red Cloud students received the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship.