Prior Lake, MN - The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community today released its annual Donation Report; the 24-page report details $28,546,620 in charitable giving made by the Community in fiscal year 2010 to Indian tribes, education and youth programs, and charitable organizations. The SMSC also provided $60.8 million in loans to Indian tribes during the fiscal year, which ran from October 1, 2009, through September 30, 2010.
“As Dakota people, we have a long tradition of sharing with others so it is important for us to give back to the larger community. Before Indian gaming, many of us lived in poverty and struggled to survive. Times were hard. Now we are able to help others,” said SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks. “The tribal membership through its actions authorized the charitable giving program.”
Over the past 13 fiscal years the SMSC has donated more than $192.7 million to charitable organizations and Indian Tribes.
The Donation Report details economic development and other grants to 18 tribal nations, totaling $17,051,282. Fifteen tribes each received a $1 million tribal grant. Of those, four are located in Minnesota. Eleven other tribes in Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota each received a $1 million tribal grant. Grants funded housing, tribal infrastructure, economic development, energy assistance, a new casino, a grocery store, an elderly housing complex, and community and administrative centers.
In fiscal year 2010 the SMSC made $60.8 million in loans to six different tribes for projects ranging from new casinos to community infrastructure development. In total, the SMSC has committed over half a billion dollars in loans and grants to Indian Country.
“There are many people in need during these turbulent economic times, and there are a vast number of unmet needs here at home, on many other reservations, and in countries devastated by natural disaster. People from every walk of life find themselves unexpectedly in need of food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and jobs. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community recognizes these are hard times, and we remain firm in our commitment to helping others. To give is part of our tradition as Dakota people, and it is our cultural responsibility to help others who are less fortunate than we have been,” wrote Chairman Crooks in the Donation Report.
The SMSC gave out $1,788,614 to 53 Native American and charitable organizations for projects ranging from a new well and a furnace, to winter coats, legal assistance, housing, mental health and chemical dependency programs, women’s shelters, food shelves, medical research, public television, and capital construction.
Because Native people are mindful of the seven generations coming after them, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community gave out more than $906,894 in donations for education and youth programs. SMSC grants bought school supplies, winter coats, infrastructure, language projects, and shoes for the volleyball teams on the Rosebud Reservation.
To help keep young people safe, the SMSC supported alcohol and chemical-free graduation celebrations at 13 local high schools. The SMSC also donated funds for winter wear, school supplies, scholarships, and activities for students at several schools.
To support and encourage traditional cultural values, the SMSC sponsored 68 cultural events including Pow Wows throughout Indian Country. The SMSC made donations to Pow Wows in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and elsewhere.
Each year during the holidays the Shakopee Mdewakanton Community makes donations to brighten the holidays for those who are less fortunate. Focusing largely on local social service agencies, the SMSC donated to 44 organizations which provide food and gifts for families in need.
Along with a charitable giving program, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community sponsored a number of health care initiatives in 2010. The SMSC provides health, wellness, vision, hearing, and dental services to tribal members, employees, Native Americans from other tribes who live in Scott County, and their families.
New to this year’s report are personal stories about how the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is making a difference on a more personal level. Readers learn about the SMSC Mobile Clinic which provides free mammograms to members and staff and travels across the state to provide health and dental services to Indian communities, including a cooperative project with Scott County to provide services to uninsured and under-insured residents using the Mobile Clinic at various locations across the county. The Mobile Unit and staff were also deployed for ten days in the summer of 2010 to Wadena County to assist with recovery from an F-4 tornado which hit June 14th.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s charitable giving program comes from a cultural and social tradition to assist those in need. The SMSC utilizes its financial resources from gaming and non-gaming enterprises to pay for all of the internal infrastructure of the Community, including but not limited to housing, roads, water, waste water and sewer systems; emergency services; and essential services to its Tribal members in education, health, and welfare.
The 2010 Donation Report is available at www.shakopeedakota.org.