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Shakopee Mdewakanton awards $1M to Upper Sioux for work on infrastructure

UPPER SIOUX COMMUNITY — The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has awarded a $1 million grant to the Upper Sioux Community to help with construction of a new wastewater treatment plant.

According to a news release, this is the third year the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has supported the initiative with a $1 million grant. The new facility will replace the current “drain field” type system which is nearing the end of its life cycle. The facility provides services for about 50 homes and four tribal enterprises, including Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort.  

Construction on the $4.7 million wastewater treatment facility began last fall, and is expected to be completed in mid-June. The membrane batch reactor system is designed to treat 100,000 gallons per day, or 35 percent more than current needs. It will have the capacity to double the amount as future needs dictate.

“Without the generosity of the (Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community), the Upper Sioux Community would not have been able to build the most state-of-the-art plant to provide for our tribal needs in an environmentally sensitive manner,” said Upper Sioux Chairman Kevin Jensvold.

The Upper Sioux Community, located near Granite Falls, has an enrollment of 486 tribal members, with a land base of approximately 2,000 acres. The 1938 reservation boundaries consisted of 734 acres. The Upper Sioux Community and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community have had close social and cultural ties for generations as members of the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation.

In 2001 the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community provided the Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort with a $21 million loan. In previous years, the community has funded a land purchase and a government center, economic and infrastructure development, including extensive repairs to the wastewater treatment plant, startup costs for a police department, health benefits, and erosion control. Since 1997, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has provided the Upper Sioux Community with more than $13.4 million in assistance.