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SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON SIOUX COMMUNITY HELPS GRAND PORTAGE GROW

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota) Community, a federally-recognized Native American tribe, issued the following news release:

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has awarded a $1 million grant to the Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe for renovation of the Grand Portage Lodge and Casino. The Lodge was first built in 1974. The first phase of the work will include the lodge and its lobby area. The second phase may include renovations to the casino itself.

“The whole community here really appreciates that Shakopee helped us. Some of these projects would not come to be without their assistance. This really fits into our long-term goal of improving Grand Portage into a destination point for travelers,” said Grand Portage Chairman Norman W. Deschampe.

“Our Community supports tribal economic development. The Grand Portage Band has a great project here, and we are pleased to help it along,” said SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks.

The Grand Portage Reservation, established in 1854 by treaty with the United States government, is one of six Ojibwe (Chippewa) reservations that comprise the federally recognized Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. The reservation lies along 18 miles of Lake Superior’s coast and consists of forested mountains, thriving wildlife, the inland sea of Lake Superior, and cliffside corridors. Grand Portage is as close to Canada as it is to the nearest town. The reservation also features the reconstructed Grand Portage National Monument, a fur trade fort of the 1700s. The Grand Portage Band of Ojibwe has 1,198 band members.

In 2003 the SMSC awarded Grand Portage a $1.5 million economic development grant for a new, modern trading post and convenience store on Highway 61 in front of Grand Portage Lodge and Casino in northeastern Minnesota.

Out of cultural and social traditions to assist those in need, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has become a leader in promoting tribal sovereignty through economic development grants and loans. Already in fiscal year 2005, the SMSC has awarded economic development grants of $1 million each to the Yankton Sioux Tribe (South Dakota), the Lower Sioux Community (Minnesota), the Santee Sioux Nation (Nebraska); the Ponca Tribe (Nebraska); the Upper Sioux Community (Minnesota), and the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa (Minnesota).

Other major SMSC donations this fiscal year include: $750,000 to the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation; $500,000 to United Sioux Tribes Technical College; $350,000 to the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe; $250,000 to the Bennett County Activity Center for a district of the Pine Ridge Reservation; $250,000 to the Minneapolis American Indian Center; $250,000 to the Cheyenne River Youth Project; $150,000 to the Yankton Sioux Tribe; and $50,000 to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

In fiscal year 2004, the SMSC donated more than $10.27 million to charitable organizations and Indian Tribes. Over the past six years the SMSC has donated more than $42 million to charitable organizations and Indian Tribes. The SMSC utilizes its financial resources from gaming and nongaming enterprises to pay for all of the internal infrastructure of the Tribe, including but not limited to housing, roads, water and sewer systems, emergency services, and essential services to its Tribal members in education, health, and welfare. 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, Playworks, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness, and other enterprises on the reservation south of the Twin Cities.

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