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Caring for Unci Maka, Grandmother Earth

The Dakota people have long considered their relationship with the earth as a kinship. Having lived in this region for hundreds of years, the SMSC intends to protect and restore natural resources following a cultural value of planning seven generations ahead. Ranging from energy conservation efforts to award-winning water treatment programs and recycling efforts, the SMSC is fully dedicated to promoting a greener, more sustainable planet for all, now and for generations to come.

The SMSC is a federally recognized, sovereign Dakota tribal government located in Scott County, Minnesota. We are dedicated to serving our members, giving to tribes and organizations across the country, creating strong partnerships, and protecting the earth’s resources.

Community Photo


NativeGreen began in December 2017 to enhance the environmental stewardship of the SMSC Gaming Enterprise and the Community as a whole. Its objective is to promote environmental stewardship in a way that is financially sustainable and encourage social engagement surrounding environmental sustainability. The program is a collaborative effort across the SMSC Gaming Enterprise and Tribal Operations government operations. Since its inception, significant strides have been made to reduce environmental impacts, identify operational efficiencies and cost savings, and educate both staff and the public on these initiatives.

Minnesota River

Our History

The Minnesota River Valley has been home to the Dakota for hundreds of years. Our ancestors lived in harmony with the world, fishing from the river and hunting game on the prairies and in the river valley woodlands. Along the banks of the lower Minnesota River, leaders of the Eastern Dakota, including Ṡakpe, Mazamani, Caṡke, and Wambditaŋka, established villages.

Through periods of scarcity, adversity, and prosperity, the SMSC has grown and adapted to meet changing times and conditions, while honoring our commitment to being a good steward of the earth.

Our People & Culture

The Dakota people are part of the Great Sioux Nation. Historically, the Dakota hunted wild game, fished in the rivers and lakes, gathered wild rice, and aligned their lives with the changing seasons. Throughout history, Dakota culture has focused on the values of living in harmony with our surroundings and sharing our natural and material resources with others. These values continue to guide the decisions of our government and Community.

With a culture that is intertwined with its natural surroundings, the SMSC is committed to bridging its longstanding values with the latest science to help protect and restore wetlands, aquifers, prairies, and forests. Our philosophy is to plan seven generations ahead, which further supports our dedication to protecting and preserving the environment.

Our Philanthropy

A strong tradition of helping others, wo'okiye (helpfulness), has defined the Dakota people for generations. Honoring that tradition, the SMSC contributes to causes, organizations, and tribes across the region, state, and country. This tradition of giving includes meaningful contributions to support the environment, including donations to the Minnesota Land Trust to preserve and restore one of the state’s greatest resources, its natural landscapes and habitat.

Learn more about the people of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community at shakopeedakota.org.