WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney announced today that she has signed reservation proclamations for two land parcels totaling approximately 222.63 acres for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized tribe in Minnesota located southwest of the city of Minneapolis. The parcels will be added to the tribe’s existing reservation under the authority of the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984; 25 U.S.C. 5110).
“I am pleased to exercise the authority delegated to me by the Secretary of the Interior and issue these reservation proclamations for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community,” said Assistant Secretary Sweeney. “The rebuilding of tribal homelands is one of our most important goals and is consistent with our mission of supporting tribal self-determination and strengthening tribal sovereignty.”
“Making our trust land part of our tribe’s reservation territory helps us ensure that the land will be available for our tribe’s future generations,” said Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Chairman Keith Anderson. “We are glad that the U.S. Department of the Interior is taking this step and recognizing our tribal government authority over this land.”
“I’m proud of the fact that the Shakopee Mdewakanton Tribe has leveraged its tribal government status to become the largest employer in Scott County and an economic powerhouse in the 2nd District,” said U.S. Representative Angie Craig (D-MN). “The Shakopee Tribe could do this only by recovering its trust land base, and so I welcome the Interior Department taking further action to put the Shakopee Reservation back together at this time when the Tribe’s economic recovery from the pandemic is so critical to my District.”
“This is the right step for the Bureau to take, and it’s the right step to help the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community,” said U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN). “I appreciate the Bureau moving forward with this long-standing request to restore parts of the Shakopee Mdewakanton reservation, and we must continue to uphold our commitments to Tribes in Minnesota and across the country.”
The total acreage is comprised of two separate parcels adjacent to the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux reservation in Scott County:
- The Whipps 2 parcel containing 3.98 acres, more or less, which was brought into trust status in 2016, and
- The Inyan Ceyaka Otonwe (ICO) parcel containing 218.65 acres, more or less, which was brought into trust status in 2017.
A reservation proclamation is a formal declaration issued by the Secretary of the Interior, delegated to the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, proclaiming that certain lands acquired for an Indian tribe are a new, or are being added to an existing, reservation. The request for a proclamation must originate from the tribe.
Restoring tribal homelands helps support tribal sovereignty because a tribe’s capacity to govern itself stems, in part, from exercising its sovereign powers over its reservation and increasing its economic land base to meet the needs of its citizens.
The Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs advises the Secretary of the Interior on Indian Affairs policy issues, communicates policy to and oversees the programs of the BIA and the BIE, provides leadership in consultations with tribes, and serves as the DOI official for intra- and inter-departmental coordination and liaison within the Executive Branch on Indian matters.