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Prior Lake, MN – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community announces four grants to South Dakota Indian tribes for fiscal year 2012 which began October 1, 2011. The SMSC and these South Dakota tribes have a longstanding relationship as members of the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Campfires of the Great Sioux Nation. After the Dakota War of 1862, the Dakota people scattered to escape persecution, and many more were removed from Minnesota. Many settled in South Dakota and Canada.
A $760,000 grant to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe will help fund two projects: a land purchase and a foot patrol program. The funds were used to purchase a 247-acre parcel on the north side of Highway 212 across from the tribe’s Pow Wow Grounds for future economic development projects and a residential area. The foot patrol program is a proactive community policing effort needed because of the limitations of policing the vast 2.8 million acre reservation with limited tribal police resources. From May through September, these officers work in tandem to continually patrol high crime areas by enforcing curfew for juveniles, participate in an informal neighborhood watch program, and diffuse situations which could escalate. When crimes are committed, foot patrol officers contact police officers who respond to the scene, arrest individuals when necessary, and provide police reports documenting the incident.
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has a population of 13,270 tribal members spread over a very large land base in north central South Dakota. Other projects the SMSC has funded on the Cheyenne River Reservation over the past few years include several million dollar grants for a wasterwater facility, elderly village, community improvements and infrastructure development, and construction of a new Bingo Hall; $250,000 for the Cheyenne River Youth Project; and other projects.
A $525,000 grant to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe will assist with several different programs. The Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) will receive $200,000 for development of their finance office. REDCO is a politically neutral entity whose main function is to promote the best and fullest utilization of tribal resources through planning, implementing, and managing economic development projects on the Rosebud Reservation. Sicangu LP Propane will receive $200,000 for start up costs. Lakota Water Inc. will receive $20,000 for equipment purchase, marketing, and advertising assistance. Sicangu Landscaping Enterprise will receive $50,000 for start up costs, and $55,000 will go towards planning and design for the RST tribal building.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu) has a large membership of more than 24,000 spread over more than 900,000 acres in central southern South Dakota. In previous years, the SMSC gave them a $10 million loan for a complete facelift of the Rosebud Casino as well as nearly $8 million in grants and loans for Turtle Crossing grocery store, a wireless broadband project, and energy assistance for their Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program.
A $500,000 grant to the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (Nation) will fund development of a Community Memorial Park on the site of the former Tekawitha Orphanage. The funds will be used for architectural and engineering services, site work, infrastructure, access roads, landscaping, equipment, and recreational areas. When completed the 13.5 acre site will house more than 20 park features for all ages, such as paved trails for walking, biking, and cross country skiing; picnic areas; outdoor canopies; playground equipment; volleyball, basketball, and horse shoe courts; a skate park; campgrounds; RV campsites; an outdoor stage/amphitheater; fishing and ice skating pond; restrooms and shower rooms; and two monuments: one in honor of the children who never returned home from the orphanage and a veterans memorial monument honoring veterans in each branch of the military.
The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate is located on the 106,153 acre Lake Traverse Reservation mostly in the northeastern part of South Dakota. The reservation boundaries extend across seven counties, two in North Dakota and five in South Dakota. Tribal membership is more than 13,000 living throughout the United States and overseas serving in the Armed Forces. In previous years, the SMSC funded seven district community centers on the reservation which provide space for meetings, wakes, and funerals; youth programs; elderly meals; and physical fitness activities with millions of dollars in grants. Since 1998 the SMSC has worked with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate on several economic development projects and has provided loans totaling $108 million for economic development and community infrastructure development projects.
A $200,000 grant to the Oglala Sioux Tribe will pay for home weatherization, repair, and rehabilitation of tribal housing on the reservation, including purchase, transportation, and set up of mobile homes to replace substandard housing.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe has approximately 46,000 tribal members of whom about one-half reside on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a territory that covers more than 2.7 million acres over 11,000 square miles in seven counties in western South Dakota. The SMSC previously funded a $38 million loan for casino construction and debt consolidation; $750,000 to support Cangleska, Inc. to help fund facilities at a women’s shelter; $75,441 for an ambulance office and garage in Wanblee; school clothes, propane tanks, Pow Wows, a handicapped accessible van, and more.