What's New In the Community: January 2014
Thursday, January 09 2014
Written by The Circle Staff,
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Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Honors State Officials


On Dec. 11 the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Tribal Executive Committee honored State Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Minneapolis) and Rep. Susan Allen (DFL-Minneapolis) with the Legislator of the Year award, for their dedication and outstanding work during the 2013 Minnesota state legislative session.

Hayden and Allen were the chief authors of two Minnesota Chippewa Tribe bills, both of which were introduced and passed during the 2013 legislative session. Senate File 250/House File 252, provided a legislative fix to clarify and strengthen the current Indian Child Welfare language in state statute. The second bill, SF 136/HF 174, was a property tax exemption for a building that is owned by the MCT. In 2009, it acquired the building at 1308 E. Franklin Ave. in Minneapolis to further their mission and serve their urban population. The location provides access to resources for the purpose for economic development, housing and financial services to community members.

The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe is comprised of the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs and White Earth Bands of Ojibwe and is a federally-recognized tribal government that, through unified leadership, promotes and protects the member bands while providing quality services and technical assistance to the reservation governments and tribal people.

SMSC Gives $176,500 in Holiday Donations

To support organizations and programs that help people in need during the holiday season, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community donated $176,500 to 37 causes. Holiday giving became an annual tradition for the SMSC, recognizing that this can be an especially hard time of the year for people to provide a special meal or presents for children.

The largest recipient, at $20,000, was the CAP Agency, which serves residents in Scott and Dakota counties. The CAP Agency provided more than 5,500 individuals with gifts, food and assistance during the 2012 holiday season through the Hope for the Holidays Adopt-a-Family gift and sponsorship project. This year the need is expected to be even greater. The SMSC supports the CAP Agency throughout the year through food drives and by donating produce from its organic garden, Mdewakanton Wozupi.

Some of the other large local recipients include Catholic Charities at $12,000 for holiday activities at the Dorothy Day Center and St. Joseph’s Home for Children of the Twin Cities; the Department of Indian Work in St. Paul at $9,000 for food baskets and small gifts, and the Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis at $8,000 for food baskets.

An additional $68,500 was divided among a wide variety of organizations in the Twin Cities, such as Little Earth Residents Association of Minneapolis, Minnesota Compassion in Prior Lake, Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools, the Salvation Army, Southwest Metro Educational Cooperative, Union Gospel Mission, and Upper Midwest American Indian Center. Some of those donations were matched by “Give to the Max Day” sponsors and partners.

The SMSC also donated $5,000 in grocery gift cards to low-income Native American families living in Scott County. In addition to the financial contributions, SMSC members and staff participate in a giving tree program, which anonymously gives presents to Native American children in need who live in Scott County. Bear Tracks, owned by Community member Lance Crooks and located in the Dakota Mall, is also a Toys for Tots gift drop-off location.

In areas outside the Twin Cities, the SMSC made $54,000 in holiday donations to a variety of American Indian causes, including tribal Boys and Girls Club chapters, toy drives, youth organizations, and more.

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