What's New In the Community: January 2014


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.