Our People

Our People

A Deeply Rooted Culture

The SMSC is a Community of Dakota people whose ancestors have lived in the region near Shakopee for centuries. The Dakota people are part of the Great Sioux Nation. Historically, the Dakota hunted wild game, fished in the rivers and lakes, gathered wild rice, and aligned their lives with the changing seasons.

Throughout history, Dakota culture has focused on the values of living in harmony with our surroundings and sharing our natural and material resources with others. These values continue to guide the decisions of our government and Community.

Our Commitments 

Living a culture that is intertwined with its natural surroundings, the SMSC is committed to bridging its longstanding values with the latest science to help protect and restore wetlands, aquifers, prairies, and forests. The SMSC reservation is home to multiple green roofs, which improve energy efficiency, reduce stormwater runoff, and filter out pollutants. We also maintain and harvest organic, naturally grown fruits and vegetables at Wozupi Tribal Gardens

Utilizing hundreds of solar panels and geothermal temperature control further reduces the SMSC’s conventional energy use.

Our Values

Through our partnerships and collaborations, environmental stewardship activities, and charitable giving, we seek to embody Dakota values each day. Being a good neighbor, good employer, and good steward of the earth is a core part of who we are and what we do.


Out of a Dakota tradition of helping others, the SMSC has donated more than $350 million to organizations and causes and has contributed millions more to regional governments and infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer systems, and emergency services. The SMSC is the largest philanthropic benefactor for Indian Country nationally and one of the largest charitable givers in Minnesota.

Good Neighbor

The SMSC regularly works with local governments on mutually beneficial projects, such as roads and infrastructure, which help build a better community for all.

Good Employer

The SMSC bolsters the local economy by providing jobs, donations, and voluntary payments for municipal, county, and state services. Together, the SMSC and the SMSC Gaming Enterprise (Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino) are the largest employer in Scott County. Through competitive wages and benefits, the SMSC is dedicated to helping its employees build fulfilling lives.

Good Steward of the Earth

Through dozens of land stewardship initiatives, the SMSC seeks to protect and preserve its lands and waters for the next seven generations. Initiatives such as the Organics Recycling Facility and a variety of wind, solar and geothermal systems help the SMSC achieve that goal. Learn more about the SMSC's sustainability initiatives at NativeGreen.

Providing for the Community

As a sovereign nation, the SMSC strives for self-sufficiency and provides for its members, with an emphasis on wellness, cultural preservation, and education. The tribe provides comprehensive health and wellness services, in addition to access to healthy foods grown at Wozupi Tribal Gardens. The SMSC’s cultural center—Hoċokata Ṫi—serves as a gathering space and cultural activity site for members, and features a gift shop and an immersive educational exhibit open to the public.


This pow wow brings together dancers, drum groups, friends, relatives, guests, and the general public to celebrate Native American culture.

Find Out More

Learn More About the SMSC

Explore our historical timeline and frequently asked questions sections for additional information about our Community.

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

2330 Sioux Trail NW
Prior Lake, MN 55372
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