Charles Vig, tribal chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) since 2012, has announced his retirement.
His last day will be Jan. 31, when the SMSC’s new Business Council will be inaugurated, an SMSC spokesperson said.
“After serving the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for nearly 30 years as chairman, vice chairman and on the Gaming Enterprise board of directors, I have decided to retire to spend more time with my family,” Vig said Tuesday in a statement.
“Our community has many up-and-coming leaders. I am excited to pass the baton on to them and plan to stay actively engaged in the future of our community.”
Vig was elected vice chairman of the tribe in January 2012 and became chairman that summer after longtime leader Stanley Crooks died.
He had served 14 years on the Gaming Enterprise board of directors, which oversees Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino in Prior Lake.
Local officials said Vig will be remembered for his work in building bridges between local government and the tribe.
In recent years Vig encouraged the completion of dozens of collaborative projects with Shakopee, Prior Lake and Scott County, many of them related to infrastructure, including road and trail construction and repair.
The SMSC and Prior Lake opened a joint water treatment plant this fall.
“He has been an outstanding partner and collaborator,” said Prior Lake Mayor Kirt Briggs. “That, to me, is something that is going to be a legacy.”
Shakopee Mayor Bill Mars called Vig’s collaborative nature “a big breath of fresh air” for Scott County, especially in the last four to five years.
During Vig’s tenure, the SMSC completed Hoċokata Ti, an 84,000-square-foot cultural center that provides community meeting space and includes a public exhibit presenting Mdewakanton Dakota history and culture from the tribe’s perspective.
Vig grew up in Eden Prairie and began his career working in masonry. After getting a job at Mystic Lake Casino he began moving up the ladder, rising from project manager to vice president of facilities.
He also serves in leadership roles outside the tribe, including chairman of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association and as a member of the Greater MSP board of directors.