« Stoplight Cameras Deemed Illegal, Fines to be Refunded | Main | Dennis Hopper: Man of His Time »

Local Shakopee Tribe Now a Major Philanthropist

Thanks to the Mystic Lake Casino, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is in the position to donate $21 million this year, making it the 17th biggest charitable philanthropists in Minnesota. This story began on the front page of the Oct. 3 Star Tribune and continued deeper within.

A huge amount of research went into this lengthy article. The author, Herón Márquez Estrada, had to figure out where Shakopee money went after it was donated to create the four-paragraph lead. He went to the Minnesota Council on Foundation for a chart and a table comparing the level of Shakopee giving with other institutions, and charting how much the tribe gave by year.

Estrada interviewed several people to get information for this article. Bill King, executive director of the Council on Foundations and John McCarthy, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association talked about how the tribe's donations stack up against other tribes and other businesses, and about how the tribe had built itself up from substandard living conditions to raking in the dough. Kathy Davis Graves, an author, contributed an informal quote about how surprised people are by the donations. Estrada also interviewed State Senator Dick Day, who was semi-critical of the tribes and said they could give more. He also interviewed a former president of a tribe the Shakopee donated to; Cecilia Fire Thunder talked about how her tribe would have had to declare bankruptcy if the Shakopee hadn't helped.