Prior Lake, MN – The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community was honored with a Jefferson Award for philanthropy at the Celebrate Twin Cities awards reception on December 1, 2010, at the St. Paul Hotel. SMSC Vice-Chairman Glynn A. Crooks accepted the award on behalf of the Community. From the 12 regional winners selected over the past year, the SMSC was chosen as the overall national winner for 2010 from this region.

Over the past 13 years, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has donated more than $192.7 million to charitable organizations, Indian Tribes, and Native American organizations. The SMSC has also made more than $389 million in loans to other tribes for economic development projects.

According to a statement provided by the Business Journal, “In 1972 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard founded the Jefferson Awards for Public Service to establish a ‘Nobel Prize’ for public community service.  The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal has teamed up with the Jefferson Awards for the third year in a row to highlight companies and organizations in the Twin Cities that are giving back. One Twin Cities company was featured each month. From that group of honorees, the Jefferson Awards Board chose one as the national winner. The 2010 National winner is the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. They will be honored at the national awards ceremony in Washington D.C. this June.”

The mission of the Jefferson Awards is to “recognize, inspire, and activate volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces, and schools across America.”

As one of the national winners, the SMSC will receive the Jefferson Award at a special ceremony in Washington D.C. in June 2011 along with a handful of other winners from across the country. Representatives of the SMSC will be featured guests during the national ceremony.

“We are honored to have been selected for the Jefferson Award,” said SMSC Vice-Chairman Glynn A. Crooks.  “Part of who we are as Dakota people is to help others.”

According to the website for the Jefferson Awards, “The Carnegie Endowment and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, among many others, are concerned that America's tradition of civic engagement is eroding. They see a startling decline in the number of citizens joining hands to address community needs. From the beginning, the Jefferson Awards has been based on a simple idea. One of the most powerful ideas in the world. One person can make a difference. That is the heart of democracy at work.”

About the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

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 Tribal members in education, health, and welfare. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has a charitable giving program which comes from a cultural and social tradition to assist those in need.

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, Playworks, Dakotah! Sport and Fitness, The Meadows at Mystic Lake, and other enterprises on a reservation south of the Twin Cities.