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Shakopee Tribe plans for growing population

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota has seen a jump in population since the 1990s and is looking for ways to address the growth.

In 2006, the tribe reported a population of 387 in 217 households on the reservation. That's an addition of 100 households in the last six years, a rate that has more than doubled since 1990.

The numbers aren't out of the ordinary but the tribe is constrained by land limits. The tribe has been repurchasing some of its ancestral land in order to meet future needs.

"The tribe can't move," Stan Ellison of the tribe's land department told The Minneapolis Star Tribune last year. "We have to acquire enough to ensure housing for the tribal population 50 or 60 years ahead of time. And we can't wait 50 years to buy it. We have to hold it until we need it."

The Bureau of Indian Affairs recently approved the acquisition of 725 acres for the tribe, most of it to be used for housing.

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Shakopee tribe's need for land is growing (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 1/28)