Upper Sioux Community

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 147
5738 Highway 67 East
Granite Falls, MN 56241

Website

http://www.uppersiouxcommunity-nsn.gov/

Casino(s)

Cultural History

Pejuhatazizi Kapi is the place where they dig for yellow medicine. It has been their people’s homeland. For many years, it has been their nation or what they call Dakota Oyate. This area is bordering the Minnesota River Valley and they inhabited that place. In 1862, there has been a Dakota conflict that exterminate them there and even transferred them to reservations. Some people even voluntarily left the place. During those years, Lots of Dakota died. The remaining members who survived did not stay at the assigned reservations which are located outside Minnesota. They even decided to return in the Minnesota River Valley that they consider as homeland. 

746 acres of lands has been returned to Dakota people since they originally own it. There arouse the Upper Sioux Indian Community. They adopted provisions for their government and elected a board of trustees so that there will be people who could take care of the obligation in their community. There was a modification in these provisions in 1995. They called the governing document then as the Constitution of the Upper Sioux Community. 

By the time they were recognized as an Indian community, Upper Sioux has experienced poverty, continuous racism, and lack of health care and substandard housing. The members of the tribe worked real hard to improve their living standard in the reservation.  The number of their population was just small that is why Upper Sioux got a minimal share from the Federal government. However, the tribal leaders who are elected by people were still able to maintain their goal of providing health services, high education, and “bare-bones” program in housing. There was a little improvement that occurred in their tribe after some years. They continued persevering in order to survive their difficult life along the Minnesota River. 

The tribes were acknowledged legally as sovereign nation in the highest federal courts by the late 1980s. They built and opened Firefly Creek Casino to exercise their rights as sovereign nation and gain profit on their financial opportunity. The Upper Sioux Community was not the first ones who did it. There are lots of tribes who set examples in doing their best in order to live. 

The Upper Sioux Community’s businesses helped them to improve their financial assets and also gave life to them. Their improvements made their energy rise and continue their opportunity to get the economic independence that they want. By then, they were able to acquire 654 acres of Dakota ancestral lands which really helped them to meet their housing needs for the growing number of population in their tribe. Today, their population is growing and already reached 482. In the years to come, they are looking forward to finding ways to preserve their culture and traditions, dignity, as well as the freedom from lots of problems they might be experiencing. 1,440 acres are the total land base of the Upper Sioux Community. Throughout the years, they worked hard to obtain this land that they truly deserve.

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