Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota) Community is a federally recognized Indian tribe formally organized under federal reservation status in 1969. Tribal members are direct lineal descendants of Mdewakanton Dakota people who resided in villages near the banks of the lower Minnesota River. Chief Sakpe, [Shock-pay], which means the number six, spoke for a village that was located near what is today the town of Shakopee, which was named after him. The SMSC presently owns more than 2,800 acres of land, all of which are located within or near the original 250-acre reservation established for the Tribe in the 1880s. Tribal lands are located in Prior Lake and Shakopee, Minnesota.
As a sovereign government, the Community provides a multitude of services to its members, including health and dental care, social services, a full range of educational offerings, land administration, and public works services. The SMSC utilizes its financial resources from gaming and non-gaming enterprises to pay for the infrastructure of the Tribe. The SMSC builds and maintains roads; constructs and maintains water, wastewater, and sewer services; offers educational programs for youth; plows snowy streets; maintains environmental safeguards; monitors wildlife and wetland conditions; and evaluates alternative energy sources. The SMSC opened a fire department, Mdewakanton Emergency Services, in 2002, which each month responds to an average of 200 calls and transports 60 patients.
The SMSC has established intergovernmental agreements with the City of Prior Lake and Scott County for a number of projects. The SMSC also voluntarily pays fees for services to local governments for police protection and other services.