According to the Foundations Center, less than 1% of all philanthropic dollars in the United States go to tribal communities. For this reason, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community focuses charitable giving largely on Indian tribes and on organizations which serve Indian people. Today the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community announces a total of $250,000 to nine organizations which provide services primarily for American Indian people and reservation communities.
These organizations are chartered by individuals, Indian tribes, churches, schools, and groups of like minded individuals united by a common goal of improving living conditions for Indian people. A deep seeded, historical distrust of federal and state governments which exists in some reservation communities led to the development of these organizations and their ensuing infrastructure.
First Nations Recovery Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, received a $50,000 grant to support outpatient treatment services and general operating support. First Nations Recovery Center provides physical, chemical, and mental health treatment, support, and resources on an outpatient basis to American Indians and others in the Phillips Neighborhood, with a focus on a community-based, extended family traditional and cultural values.
American Indian OIC, Minneapolis, Minnesota, received a $50,000 grant to support career training and employment services. AIOIC provides quality education, career training, and employment placement services in the fields of health care, information technology, business, and more. AIOIC partners with hundreds of employers that help develop curriculum, offer service learning experiences (internships), and continuously seek graduates and other candidates for employment.
Indian Child Welfare Law Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, received a $25,000 grant to support advocacy services for families navigating the child protection system and education for professionals regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act. The Law Center provides legal representation, services, and training throughout the state to protect the rights of tribes and tribal children to prevent loss of cultural identity in the court and foster care systems. The Center offers trainings about the Indian Child Welfare Act to lawyers, judges, social workers, guardian ad litems, and others.
Blackfeet Nation, Browning, Montana, received $25,000 for emergency assistance to aid in recovery from wildfires which impacted the reservation. In a rare winter fire, an estimated 18,000 acres were burned in January 2012 by a catastrophic fire fuelled by drought conditions and winds gusting upwards of 70 mph. This resulted in a 20-mile long fire line with 18,000 acres burned and homes and livestock lost on the tribe’s rugged 1.5 million acre reservation, home to a population of about 8,500 tribal members.
Notah Begay III Foundation, Bernalillo, New Mexico, received a grant for $25,000 to support youth sports programs. NB3, as the Foundation is known, was founded by PGA Tour golfer Notah Begay III (Navajo/Pueblo) to help Indian youth. This grant will specifically help fund golf and soccer programs to prevent obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in children.
Cheyenne River Youth Project, Eagle Butte, South Dakota, received a grant for $25,000 to support youth programs. CRYP, established in 1988, operates a Youth Center, a Family Services Program, a two and a half acre Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”) Garden, and Cokata Wiconi (“Center of Life”) Teen Center on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
Center for Native American Youth, Washington, DC, a project started by former Senator Byron Dorgan at The Aspen Institute, received a grant for $20,000 to support youth programs. The Center is dedicated to improving the health, safety, and overall well-being of Native American youth through communication, policy development, and advocacy.
All Nations Indian Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, received a grant for $15,000 to support ministry and youth programs. All Nations provides a ministry among a large community of Indian people in Minneapolis and networks with many organizations providing social services.
The American Indian Family Center, St. Paul, Minnesota, received a $10,000 grant for general program support. Since 1996 the American Indian Family Center has supported American Indian families with programs in the following areas: youth service/learning, child abuse and neglect prevention, men’s leadership, pregnancy support, Early Childhood Family, employment counseling, job readiness, and more.
Dakota Wicohan, Redwood Falls, Minnesota, received a matching grant for $5,000 for Dakota language camps. Established on the Lower Sioux Reservation, Dakota Wicohan has a mission of preserving the Dakota Language and transmitting the Dakota way of life to future generations.
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 16 years, the SMSC has donated more than $229.3 million to Indian Tribes, charitable organizations, schools, and Native American organizations. The SMSC has also made more than $396 million in loans to other tribes for economic development projects. Since 1996 the SMSC paid more than $7.5 million for shared local road construction projects and an additional $16.7 million for road projects on the reservation. The SMSC has also paid $12.7 million to local governments for services and another $5 million for other projects.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized Indian Tribe in Minnesota, is the owner and operator of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, Mazopiya, Playworks, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness, The Meadows at Mystic Lake, Shakopee Dakota Convenience Stores, and other enterprises on a reservation south of the Twin Cities.