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Shakopee Mdewakanton donates to United Tribes Technical College
31 January 2012

Prior Lake, MN – A matching grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community will assist with completion of a science and technology building at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota. The $750,000 grant will support the learning facilities in the United Tribes Science, Technology, and Math Center.

      Dr. David M. Gipp, United Tribes Technical College president and Standing Rock Hunkpapa/Lakota, said, "We deeply appreciate the support of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and value the long-standing friendship we share. This particular contribution will help improve the preparation and skill of tribal students from across America in the areas of science, technology, and math. As a result, students will have the opportunity to learn in state-of-the art facilities, and compete successfully in Nursing, Criminal Justice, Information Technology, and Environmental Science."

UTTC Science and Technology building
UTTC Science and Technology building

      New construction and installations in 2012 will add three laboratories; four classrooms for math, engineering and technology; offices; and conference areas. The project will complete 16,000 square feet on the center's second floor. The SMSC helped fund initial construction of the building with a previous $1 million matching grant. When completed, the total cost of the center is estimated at $6 million.

      Construction began on the gleaming two-story building in 2009-10 and became the first educational facility on UTTC's new, south campus. Most of the 100-year-old former military buildings on the college's main campus have been adapted for educational use since 1969, when the college was formed by the five tribes of North Dakota. The new campus is a symbol of the college's progress in expanding and developing to better serve the growing population of Native students seeking higher education.

      "Modern facilities inspire students to learn and have long-lasting benefits, particularly as the college extends its curriculum offerings to address the higher education needs of a growing tribal population across the land," said SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks.

      "I believe this matching gift is a perfect example of the ‘Indians Helping Indians' concept adopted by United Tribes for its education programs when the college was founded in 1969. It's clear that Shakopee's investments in Tribal America are making vital contributions to the success of tribes, tribal communities, and organizations all across America, including here at United Tribes," said Dr. Gipp.

      United Tribes currently serves approximately 1,200 students annually who come from more than 50 different tribal nations around the country. The college's strategic planning aims to increase student enrollment and retention, improve student preparation for employment and continued higher education pursuits, and increase student and employer satisfaction.

      The United Tribes Technical College is a fully accredited inter-tribally controlled higher education institution. Its tribal owners are the Mandan, Arikara, and Hidatsa Nation; Spirit Lake Tribe; Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate; and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. UTTC was the second tribal college in the country, opening in 1969. Today there are 35 tribal colleges in Indian Country.

      In addition to the $1.75 million for the science and technology building, in previous years, the SMSC funded $100,000 to UTTC for student housing; $500,000 to fund a wellness center; and $250,000 to UTTC for construction of a 28,000 square foot, two-story dormitory.

      For more information about United Tribes Technical College go to www.uttc.edu.

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.

      Over the past 16 years, the SMSC has donated more than $229.3 million to Indian Tribes, charitable organizations, schools, and Native American organizations. The SMSC has also made more than $396 million in loans to other tribes for economic development projects. Since 1996 the SMSC paid more than $7.5 million for shared local road construction projects and an additional $16.7 million for road projects on the reservation. The SMSC has also paid $12.7 million to local governments for services and another $5 million for other projects.

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

      This press release and other information may be downloaded from the SMSC website at www.shakopeedakota.org.

Contact: Tessa Lehto, Communications Specialist
      Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
      Phone: (952) 496-6160
      E-Mail: tessa.lehto@shakopeedakota.org

      Dennis Neumann, UTTC
      Phone: (701) 255-3285 ext 1386
      E-Mail: opi@uttc.edu




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