SMSC Charitable Grants for 2010
By Tessa Lehto,
Monday, September 13, 2010
Prior Lake, MN – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community today announces several grants for fiscal year 2010.
The Lower Sioux Indian Community in Redwood County, Minnesota, received a tribal economic development grant for $309,075 for several projects. The most extensive project is a casino remodel at Jackpot Junction. Cleaning and inspection of a water tower along with parts replacement, roof repair for leaks at the community center, and a traditional Pow Wow were also funded.
The Lower Sioux Indian Community is located in south central Minnesota near Morton with the Community Center located on the southern bluffs of the Minnesota River valley. Approximately 145 families live on 1,743 acres of tribal land. A total tribal population of 982 resides throughout a 10-mile service area and beyond.
The Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota received a grant for $100,000 for relief efforts following a flood on June 12, 2010. Over 60 tribal families were displaced, many of them losing all their possessions. SMSC funds were used for direct needs of affected families.
Following the flood, YST Chairman Robert Cournoyer said, “At this time, we must work together to make sure we address the immediate needs of the families displaced by this flood and to restore basic governmental services for the people. While the days ahead will be long, on behalf of the Ihanktonwan Nation, I offer our sincere appreciation for all of the help and assistance. We are truly grateful that we have not lost any lives and for the generosity and courage shown by all.”
The Minnesota Land Trust received $50,000 as part one of a three year grant for its work preserving natural and scenic land throughout the state. Specifically, the major new strategic initiative will help preserve more land and water resources based on sound analysis and planning, using conservation easements and other land-protection tools.
“Thanks to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the Minnesota Land Trust has been able to accelerate the protection of Minnesota’s precious natural heritage and help advance a shared land stewardship effort. We greatly appreciate the Tribe’s support,” said Minnesota Land Trust Executive Director Kris Larson.
The organization has completed 387 conservation projects that have protected 36,000 acres of land and 730,000 feet of shoreline. These projects provide benefits to the public by conserving important plant and animal habitats, protecting water quality, and preserving scenic landscapes that contribute to a community’s sense of place. The Minnesota Land Trust preserves Minnesota's natural and scenic heritage through public and private partnerships working with landowners, communities, and conservation partners.
The Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs received a $50,000 matching grant for operating support to make up for budget shortfalls. The grant matched funds from the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, and the Santee Sioux Nation.
The Commission on Indian Affairs was established in 1971 and consists of 14 Indian commissioners appointed by the Governor. Additionally, the Commission has one "ex-officio" member representing the Pawnee tribe. The Commission's statutory mission is "to do all things which it may determine to enhance the cause of Indian rights and to develop solutions to problems common to all Nebraska Indians."
The Commission is the state liaison between the Omaha, Ponca, Santee Sioux, and Winnebago Tribes of Nebraska. It helps ensure the sovereignty of both tribal and state governments are recognized and acted upon in a true government-to-government relationship.
The Commission serves off-reservation Indian communities by helping assure they are afforded the right to equitable opportunities in the areas of housing, employment, education, health care, economic development, and human/civil rights within Nebraska. All goals of the Commission are accomplished through advocacy, education, and promotion of legislation.
“This donation will help ensure that the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs can effectively continue to act as liaison between state government, sovereign Nebraska tribes, and tribes from neighboring states,” said SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks.
A grant for $17,945 went to the City of Saint Paul for scholarships for American Indian Youth enrolled in their 2010 EMS Academy which ran June 14-August 20, 2010. The intensive, 240 hour Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and firefighter awareness program is designed for low income youth ages 18-21 that are residents of Ramsey County.
Through the Parks and Recreation Department Youth Job Corps and Ramsey County Workforce Solutions the participants were hired and paid to attend the ten week certification and job competency program. At the completion of the program graduates were eligible to apply for EMT positions and take future Saint Paul Firefighter entrance tests.
Participants received college credit for successfully completing the academy. The goal of the program is to build an EMT workforce that is reflective of the communities that EMS serves in Saint Paul. Recruitment is targeted to low-income youth of diverse ethnicities, women, and bilingual ability.
“On behalf of the stakeholders involved with the Academy, I thank you for your commitment to the EMS Academy,” wrote Luz Maria Frias, director of the Saint Paul Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity.
About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community The SMSC utilizes its financial resources from gaming and non-gaming enterprises to pay for the internal infrastructure of the Tribe, including but not limited to roads, water and sewer systems, emergency services, and essential services to its Tribal members in education, health, and welfare.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has a charitable giving program which comes from a cultural and social tradition to assist those in need. Over the past 13 years, the SMSC has donated more than $180.8 million to charitable organizations.
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