Yellow Bird: Generosity of Shakopee Tribe
"I've always known I had Hunkpapa Lakota relatives at the Standing Rock reservation, Fort Yates, N.D. I am in constant communication with them and see them often. But it wasn't until some 15 years ago that my mother told me I had a grandfather who was Dakota from the Mdewakanton (Shakopee) tribe in Minnesota. In fact, she was an enrolled Mdewakanton along with a brother and sister; the rest of the children were enrolled at Fort Berthold in western North Dakota.

My grandfather married my grandmother, Little Sioux, who was Sahnish (Arikara). They moved to White Shield (on the reservation) when the children were young.

It's this relationship that prompted me to write about the Shakopee tribe and their generosity. And, more important, to comment on the naming rights they earned as a result of their donations.

The tribe has donated $12.5 million to the University of Minnesota - $10 million toward the construction of the Gophers TCF Bank Stadium and $2.5 million for a scholarship endowment, which will be matched by the university.

For a state with so many tribes, including the Shakopee and Ojibwa tribes, American Indians have a small representation at the University of Minnesota, with only 274 American Indians among the 33,761 undergraduates on the Twin Cities campus.

The new scholarships will be for any and all students with financial need - except for Shakopee students, who won't be eligible because they have their own education funding."

Get the Story:
Dorreen Yellow Bird: Tribe uses naming rights with care (The Grand Forks Herald 10/24)
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