FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: , Public Education Director, 303-426-8900
November 10, 2011
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) of Minnesota has donated $50,000 to the American Indian College Fund for Native student scholarships as a contribution for the Johnson Scholarship Foundation (JSF) Endowment Matching Challenge Grant. The Johnson Foundation will match contributions up to $750,000 over the next three years, creating an endowment of $1.5 million.
Once established, the $1.5 million endowment will disburse up to $60,000 annually in scholarships in perpetuity for American Indian students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in business and entrepreneurship who are attending both tribal colleges and mainstream universities.
“The American Indian College Fund has helped thousands of young Indian people get an education. We are happy to be able to encourage our Indian students to continue their education so that they can help their people. Having an educated and qualified Indian workforce for the future is very important for all tribes in maintaining their sovereignty,” said SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks.
“We are grateful to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota, which has demonstrated the Native leadership principle of thinking seven generations into the future through its gift to the Johnson Scholarship Foundation (JSF) Endowment Matching Challenge Grant to provide scholarships to Native students in perpetuity,” said Richard B. Williams, President and CEO of the American Indian College Fund. “Their generosity will help Native students attain a college degree, creating hope for a better future for them, their families, and their communities.”
In 2001 the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community made history by donating $900,000 over a three-year period to the American Indian College Fund. This was the first time that any tribe had given such a generous donation to the Fund. The donation, in three annual installments of $300,000, was used to endow the Sovereign Nations Scholarship Fund. Then in 2006 the SMSC made an additional three-year commitment for $900,000 for a total of $1.8 million in grants to the American Indian College Fund.
About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota
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 $229.5 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. The SMSC, 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.