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Prior Lake, MN – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community today announced $2 million in grants to two Indian tribes for fiscal year 2011, which began October 1, 2010.
The Yankton Sioux Tribe of Marty, South Dakota, will receive $1 million from the SMSC for a new tribal hall to replace the previous building which was severely damaged in a flash flood. In use since the early 1930s, the tribal hall was first used as a convent by the Catholic Church and then turned over to the Yankton Sioux Tribe in the 1980s. Showing its age long before this flood, the building was also damaged in several previous floods. Seven inches of rain in the early morning hours of June 12, 2010, resulted in a flash flood which caused severe structural damage to the building. The flood ruined computers, kitchen and office equipment, files, and furniture. The tribal hall functions as an administrative building, housing tribal programs and services.
Sixty-three tribal families in Marty were also displaced in the flood which destroyed homes and buildings. Immediately following the flood, the SMSC donated $100,000 for relief efforts funding direct needs of affected families. This was in addition to the $1 million grant the YST received from the SMSC in fiscal year 2010.
A small portion of the fiscal year 2011 $1 million grant will be used for pre-construction funds for a youth treatment facility, the Lake Andes Community Center, and to build a new football field at the Marty Indian School complete with seating and concessions.
“On behalf of the Yankton Sioux Tribe, we give you a heartfelt thank you for your kind and generous donations,” wrote Tribal Chairman Bobby Cournoyer.
Known as the "Ihanktonwan Dakota Oyate" or "People of the End Village," the Yankton Sioux Tribe has its lands along the Missouri River bottom, in Charles Mix Countyjust across the river from Nebraska. Tribal headquarters are located at Marty, also home to the Marty Indian School, which also sustained damage from the flood. Of the 12,246 tribal members, about a third live on the 43,000-acrereservation.
The White Earth Nation of northern Minnesota will receive $1 million for a health facility and for a new fire truck. Two-thirds of the grant ($663,580) will be used along with a U.S. Housing and Urban Development grant to complete a new diabetes center wing at their tribal health offices building. (The SMSC has also committed to a $1 million grant for fiscal year 2012 for the same project.)
With the remaining funds, the White Earth Volunteer Fire Department will replace their 38 year old fire truck which is now obsolete. The department has 15 volunteer fire fighters who provide services for an area covering 100 square miles. A small portion of the grant will be used for training classes for fire fighters in comprehensive drivers training and pump operations.
The new diabetes center wing will help the White Earth Nation in their fight for wellness. While diabetes affects people of all ethnic groups, it is four to eight times more prevalent among Native Americans than in the general population. And a staggering 68% of Native American children will come down with Type 2 Diabetes, which is entirely preventable.
The White Earth Reservation is located in northwestern Minnesota and is one of six member reservations which comprise the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. The boundaries of White Earth encompass Mahnomen County, portions of Becker and Clearwater Counties, and 35 townships over 1,300 square miles.