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SMSC awards $1M grant, $12M loan, to Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has awarded a total of $13 million in loans and grants to the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa of Bayfield, Wisconsin. A loan for $12 million will fund a new 30,000 square foot Red Cliff Community Health Clinic while a $1 million grant is funding community improvements and development projects.

The new health care facility, which has not yet broken ground, is being designed to house expanded and new services to its existing Indian Health Service patients and to new patients in Bayfield County. Tripling in size over the existing facility, the new building will allow for the provision of services not only to tribal members and Native Americans living in the area, but also to non-Indian residents through a Joint Determination Agreement.

The facility will house medical and dental clinics, a pharmacy, radiology, behavioral health, community health and physical therapy. Space for examination rooms, meetings, pediatric, family practice, a laboratory and a wellness center are included in the design as well as upgraded handicapped accessibility and backup power for use during a power failure.

Services at the existing clinic are provided to American Indian people and their families, as well as the surrounding communities of Bayfield, Madeline Island, Washburn and Ashland. Red Cliff will contribute $1 million towards the clinic project joining $750,000 in funds from Health Resources and Services Administration.

“Helping other tribes through economic development and community improvement loans and grants is one way that our tribal membership has decided to reach out to Indian Country,” said SMSC Chairman Charlie Vig.

A $1 million grant in fiscal year 2012 funded various improvements and projects including renovations to the tribe’s early childhood facility; renovations for the youth center; new equipment and marketing for the casino; and improvements to the tribe’s marina, community center and library.

“The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s support of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior is unprecedented and deeply appreciated,” wrote Red Cliff Chairperson Rose Gurnoe-Soulier. “Also your continued support of Legendary Waters Resort and Casino is also acknowledged and very much appreciated. All of these developments, Legendary Waters, the clinic and the other projects, are part of the dreams and aspirations of this tribal community. The SMSC Business Council and membership have participated in making them a reality, and we thank you for that.”

The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation is located on the southern shores of Lake Superior, in northwest Wisconsin.  It is immediately adjacent to Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The exterior boundaries of the Red Cliff Reservation span approximately 14,093 acres. The tribal enrollment is approximately 6,247 members.

In 2010 a $23.5 million loan to the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community enabled development and upgrades to the new Legendary Waters Resort and Casino. This development, located on the shores of Lake Superior and adjacent to the Apostle Islands, opened in 2011. In fiscal year 2008 the SMSC gave the Red Cliff Band a grant for $966,000 which funded debt consolidation and community development.

The SMSC utilizes its financial resources from gaming and non-gaming enterprises to pay for the internal infrastructure of the Tribe, including but not limited to roads, water and sewer systems, emergency services and essential services to its members in education, health and well-being. A tribal charitable giving program which comes from a cultural and social tradition to assist those in need has given away more than $243.5 million to Indian Tribes, charitable organizations and schools since 1996. Through the Mdewakanton LIFE Program, the SMSC has donated 746 Automated External Defibrillators to tribes, schools, police and fire departments, and other organizations with 19 lives successfully saved due to their use.

The SMSC has also made more than $450 million in loans to other tribes for economic and infrastructure development projects. Since 1996 the SMSC paid more than $7.5 million for shared local road construction and an additional $16.7 million for road projects on the reservation. The SMSC has also paid $13.1 million to local governments for services and another $6.4 million for other projects.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized Indian Tribe in Minnesota, is the owner and operator of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Little Six Casino, Mazopiya, The Meadows at Mystic Lake and other enterprises on a reservation south of the Twin Cities.

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April 24, 2014