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A good neighbor to local communities: Part 3

To the Shakopee Mdewakanton, being a good neighbor is an extension of the cultural tradition of being a good relative. The Dakota people believe that all living beings are relatives and should be treated with dignity and respect, as well as helped in their day-to-day lives.

Economic Impact
Millions of dollars are pumped into the area’s economy each year as a result of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s successful business enterprises. The SMSC provides much needed employment opportunities for Indian people and thousands of non-Indian people from the surrounding area.

The SMSC is a powerful economic influence in the areas of employment, vendor purchases, construction and voluntary payments to other governments. For example, more than $171.6 million is made in payments to vendors annually for goods and services. In addition, the annual payroll is $154 million for tribal enterprises and the tribal government, and $24.7 million is spent in annual benefits for employees. Total construction spending since 1990 is more than $738.9 million.

Federal law stipulates that state and local governments must provide certain services to Indian tribes located in their area of jurisdiction. Even so, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community makes voluntary annual payments to city and county governments to cover the cost of services provided by those local jurisdictions to the tribe. The SMSC has voluntarily paid Scott County and other jurisdictions $14.4 million over the last 10 years for services even though this is not required by law. Some of the SMSC payments have funded road projects, park improvements, wastewater and sewer fees, property taxes, transit and SCALE studies, emergency sirens, and police and fire protection.

Enterprises
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community owns and operates enterprises which provide services both to its members and to the larger community as well as jobs for local residents.

The SMSC Gaming Enterprise provides jobs with good benefits for more than 3,000 employees at its Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, The Buffet, Mystic Steakhouse, Minnehaha Café, Mystic Express, The Coffee Bar, Meadows Grille, Fusion Noodle Bar, Sweet Temptations, Gambler’s Grille, Mystic Deli, Tipi Restaurant and the Little Six Restaurant.

Dakotah! Sport and Fitness is the area’s premier family fitness center. Thousands of local residents enjoy increased good health by training at Dakotah!’s facilities which include a double gymnasium, two sheets of ice, an indoor pool, an indoor track, rock climbing wall, fitness floor, group fitness facilities, more than 10,000 pounds in free weights and a bowling alley. Dakotah! also sponsors a 5K Turkey Trot, an indoor triathlon and the DSF Lakefront Days Triathlon.

Dakotah Meadows RV Park has 122 paved, back-in, pull-through RV sites with electric, water and sewer hook ups. Dakotah Meadows also has six tipis painted with Dakota designs available for overnight rental during the warmer months. The RV Park features showers, laundry facilities, a pavilion for group gatherings, picnic tables, barbeque grills, a fuel center and a self-serve RV wash.

Dakotah Meadows Mini Storage features ground level, indoor storage units, both heated and unheated, 24-hour access and security surveillance. Open air vehicle storage is also available.

Playworks is a one-of-a-kind, world-class facility for children, open to the general public for Summer Camp, birthday parties, PW’s Playtime (drop-off hourly care), Family Play and group trips. Playworks offers contracted child care to SMSC employees and a before and after school program that is open to the public.

Playworks LINK Event Center is a 9,000 square foot, full-service banquet facility designed with flexible space to accommodate small and large events, banquets, receptions, meetings, and all manner of group gatherings. South Metro Federal Credit Union is a community-chartered, federal credit union, providing a wide range of financial products and services for everyone living, working or worshipping in Scott County.

The Meadows at Mystic Lake is an 18-hole championship golf course located next to Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. The award-winning course was named one of the Best New Courses in the country in 2006 by Golf Digest; then in 2009 it was named the #10 Best Casino Course by Golf Week Magazine.

Two Shakopee Dakota Convenience Stores provide fuel, car washes, fresh and frozen foods, beverages, and household and automotive items.

Mazopiya, a natural food market focuses on selling clean, organic foods, leaving the chemicals and preservatives out and concentrating on the goodness of locally grown, healthy foods and safe, natural wellness products.

Mdewakanton Wozupi is a 5.5-acre certified organic garden and a 3-acre orchard which offers a 75-member Tribally Supported Agriculture (TSA) program inspired by the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model of farming. TSA shares provide 18 weeks of produce deliveries with many additional resources and opportunities to support healthy living through the growing season. TSA shares are available to Community members, employees, and the general public.

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April 23, 2014