Editorial: Shakopee Tribe's gift benefits many

"The $12.5 million gift announced last week by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community includes $10 million for the [University of Minnesota] stadium and $2.5 million for a scholarship endowment that will be matched by the school.

The $10 million gift is a significant boost for the university's stadium fundraising campaign. The endowment may have more impact on the university, though.

When classes started this fall, there were 274 American Indian students in the ranks of 33,761 undergraduates on the Twin Cities campus. University officials rightly consider the native population to be underrepresented.

Though the Shakopee Sioux scholarship fund will be open to all students with financial need, Native Americans will receive preference. Despite the windfalls that some tribes have gained from gambling operations, many native students in and beyond Minnesota need financial help to attend college.

Tribal Chairman Stanley Crooks said the scholarship program was a key part of the tribe's decision to work with the university. "We need Indian doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants and leaders to help Indian people," he explained.

It's unfortunate that some critics of Indian gaming have used the announcement of the Shakopee Sioux's gift to reignite the debate over non-Indian gambling in Minnesota. There's no question the contribution to the university is positive news for the university, the tribe and the state. It's a good deed that doesn't deserve to be punished."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Shakopee tribe's gift is jackpot for U (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 10/23)

Relevant Links:
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community - http://www.ccsmdc.org

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