SMSC donates $1 million to Yankton Sioux Tribe

SMSC donates $1 million to Yankton Sioux Tribe
The Shakopee Mdewak-anton Sioux community announces a grant for $1 million for fiscal year 2007 to the Yankton Sioux Tribe of Marty, for two projects.

Continuing construction on a new community center will be funded as well as upgrades to the Fort Randall Casino, which is owned and operated by the YST.

The new community center is being built in Marty, where the tribal headquarters is located. Marty is a small village miles from the nearest town. There are few resources for the 302 youth who call Marty home. Groundbreaking for the new community center was held on July 26, 2006. In fiscal year 2006 the SMSC supported the project with a $1 million donation.

In the grant request, the YST Business and Claims Committee wrote, "The high rate of high school dropouts, substance abuse, and suicide among our Native children paints a compelling picture of the need for a community center. This community center will provide a healthy and positive place to get together for recreation and structured programs. These programs will help youth and elders with social recreation as well as healing."

The two-level building will house an activity hall for wakes, ceremonies, meetings, and community sporting activities, an indoor basketball court with bleachers, an indoor walking and jogging track, locker rooms, restrooms, a weight and exercise room, an office, and a kitchen. Other major areas will be for tribal elders and a community shelter for families at risk. The community center will also house a local Boys & Girls Club.

The remainder of the $1 million grant will go to the Fort Randall Casino for improvements. The casino, which opened in 1992, features blackjack, poker, slot machines, bingo, live entertainment, a restaurant, and a three-story hotel on a hill overlooking the Missouri River Valley.

In previous years the SMSC made the following donations to the Yankton Sioux Tribe: $1 million for economic development and improvements at the Fort Randall Casino; $150,000 for energy assistance for families; $100,000 for a youth education and activities program through the Yankton Sioux Housing Authority; $100,000 for a diabetes integrated prevention and management program; $100,000 for a tribal college library; and $150,000 to fund equipment and operation of the Wagner Dialysis Unit housed at the Indian Health Service Clinic.

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