Environmental Stewardship

Environmental Stewardship

Caring for Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth)

The Dakota people have long considered their relationship with the earth as a kinship. Having lived in this region for hundreds of years, the SMSC intends to protect and preserve the environment for generations to come.

Conservation and Green Initiatives

The SMSC is committed to being a good steward of the earth, adding environmentally sound infrastructure and amenities to the reservation, and sustaining natural resources.

The tribe employs multiple land stewardship programs to help us fulfill this mission. Working with our neighbors, we strive to restore prairies, forests, wetlands and aquifers; and we encourage many native plants, animals, and insects to make our lands their home.

  • We use our own wind turbine, solar cells, and geothermal temperature control to help reduce conventional energy use.
  • At the Wozupi Tribal Gardens we maintain and harvest our own garden, bee hives, and maple syrup to help promote sustainability.
  • The SMSC has a state-of-the-art Water Reclamation Facility. It reduces the pressure on neighboring municipal treatment systems and has been recognized as a superior achievement in reducing environmental pollutants.
  • The SMSC has its own water supply system with reverse osmosis to reduce the entry of salt, a known toxin, into its own freshwater sources and those downstream. This system reduces the pressure on neighboring municipal water supplies and is available as a backup source when the SMSC’s neighbors need extra water.
  • The SMSC is also home to Minnesota’s seventh- and eighth-largest green roofs, located on the water reclamation facility and Dakotah! Sport and Fitness.

Our sustainable energy plant, Koda Energy (a partnership between the SMSC and Rahr Malting), and a staff of organic farmers, biologists, water resource specialists, technicians, and others in our Land and Natural Resources, Public Works, and Cultural Resources departments help us honor our culture as we teach our children the Dakota way of planning seven generations ahead.

Organics Recycling Facility

By recycling plant-based waste materials, Dakotah Roots – the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility – has successfully diverted thousands of tons of organic waste from local landfills.

Find Out More

Land Stewardship

The SMSC Department of Land and Natural Resources helps fulfill the tribe's commitment to environmental stewardship. Visit the department to learn more about our initiatives and projects.

Department of Land and Natural Resources

2330 Sioux Trail NW
Prior Lake, MN 55372
Phone: 952-496-6136
Fax: 952-233-4242