It is one of the region's leading philanthropic forces.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is still ratcheting up its charitable giving.
The tribe handed out $40 million last year, almost twice as much as it gave two years ago, according to a newly issued accounting of its charitable largesse.
The tribe's 36-page annual report, covering a fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2007, to Sept. 30, 2008, outlines $40,443,899 in charitable giving, making it one of the region's leading philanthropic forces.
The tribe places its 11-year total at a little more than $132 million, illustrating just how much larger recent gifts have been than those of the past. The figure means that the $40 million last year was about four times higher than the annual average for the previous decade.
"As Dakota people, we have a long tradition of sharing with others, so it is important for us to give back to the larger community," tribal chairman Stanley Crooks said in a written statement. "Before Indian gaming, many of us lived in poverty and struggled to survive. Times were hard. Now we are able to help others."
Economic development efforts of other tribes in the Midwest -- creating jobs and self-sufficiency -- tend to be a prime focus for the tribe's efforts. The tribe recently disclosed that it has authorized $86 million in loans to two tribes in other states and one in Minnesota.
But it does issue smaller amounts to schools and others in its vicinity, and gave $12 million to the University of Minnesota's new football stadium, which opens this fall.