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Stanley R. Crooks, Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community since 1992, passed away on August 25th at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, Minnesota, from natural causes. He was 70 years old. A statement from the tribe said Crooks died from natural causes but did not go into more details.
Crooks served as Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for more than 20 successive years and was reelected for a new four-year term of office in January of 2012.
Under his leadership, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community members have approved Community donations of more than $243 million to tribes and charitable organizations since 1996, and tribal loans of more than $450 million for economic development and community development.
A national figure in Indian Country, Chairman Crooks served as the Chairman of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association for many years and was the SMSC representative to the National Indian Gaming Association, as well as to the National Congress of American Indians. A United States Navy veteran, he served during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His father, the late Norman M. Crooks, was the first Chairman of the SMSC.
For his service to Indian Country, Crooks was awarded with honors from across the country, including:
o The Wendell Chino Humanitarian Award, honoring a tribal leader who demonstrates a commitment to the advancement of tribal sovereignty, by the National Indian Gaming Association in 2005;
o The National Indian Gaming Association Leadership Award in April 2010;
o The NIGA Chairman's Leadership Award of Excellence: Going Green for Mother Earth in October 2010;
o Named one of the Global Gaming Business magazine's "25 People to Watch" in January 2011;
o Tribal Leader of the Year by the Native American Finance Officers Association in March 2011;
o Most recently, in July 2012, he was honored as the 2012 Eagle Visionary Award Winner by Indian Gaming magazine and was the first of six honorees into their newly established Indian Gaming Hall of Fame.
He served in the Navy during the Cuban missile crisis. His late father, Norman, served as the first chairman of the Shakopee Sioux community, according to the Star Tribune.
Vice-Chairman Charlie Vig will succeed Crooks and Secretary/Treasurer Keith B. Anderson will assume the office of Vice-Chairman. A tribal election will be held to fill the office of Secretary/Treasurer which is now vacant.
Crooks leaves his wife of 48 years, Cheryl; two daughters, Cherie Crooks and Alisa Crooks; four grandchildren: Joe Bathel, Kc Bathel, Dakota Crooks, and Jesse Crooks; three great grandchildren, Neveah Bathel, Dreamma Crooks, and Aiyanna Bathel; uncle, Clifford Crooks, Senior; brothers, Mike (Renate) Crooks, Danny "Skip" (Laurie) Crooks, and George Crooks. He was preceded in death by his parents Norman and Edith Crooks, and brothers Norman Woodrow Crooks, Alex Crooks, and Alfred Crooks.