Shakopee Awards $302,500 in Education and Youth Grants

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community recently announced a number of grants to organizations serving the education needs of Native American youth.

On January 7, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Prior Lake, Minnesota announced $302,500 in grants to 13 organizations, most of which are educational and primarily serve youth.

The largest chunk of funds will go to the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, which will receive a $75,000 matching grant to help fund programs.

“The contribution made by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community will make a tremendous impact by allowing us to continue to operate our facilities and provide critical programming to the children and teens here in our community,” wrote CRYP founder and executive director Julie Garreau in a release.

CRYP provides youth and family services to the tribal community. According to the organization’s website, its Christmas toy drive brought joy to 1,200 children from 20 communities.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) also granted $50,000 to the American Indian College Fund (AICF) toward the Richard B. Williams Seventh Generation Leadership Endowment.

“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 Charlie Vig in the press release.

As a thank you for their generosity, the SMSC was given a portrait of an American Indian man in traditional dress, painted live by Pawnee and Yakima artist Bunky Echo-Hawk at the AICF Flame of Hope Gala in October.

SMSC says having a warm coat can make all the difference to a student, so they’ve given to two organizations that provide winter coats to Twin Cities school children. One in the Spirit received $40,000 to provide winter weather wear to 960 American Indian students attending the St. Paul school system, and Division of Indian Works in Minneapolis received $35,000, which allowed them to purchase more than 1,000 coats for Native students in public schools who qualified for free or reduced lunches.

SMSC also granted:

  • $25,000 to the Notah Begay III Foundation;
  • $20,000 to the Nawayee Center School of Minneapolis;
  • $10,000 to Catching the Dream of Albuquerque, New Mexico;
  • $10,000 to Migizi Communications of Minneapolis;
  • $9,500 to Dupree Daycare on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota;
  • $8,000 to Circle of Nations in South Dakota;
  • $7,500 to Sobriety High Charter School in Edina, Minnesota;
  • $7,500 to Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis; and
  • $5,000 to Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas.

To read more about what these donations will fund, visit the SMSC website.