Prairie Island Community of the Minnesota Mdewakanton Sioux

Mailing Address

5636 Sturgeon Lake Road
Welch, MN 55089

Contact Information




Cultural History

The Prairie Island Community of the Minnesota Mdewakanton Sioux is the nation who is the primary settlers of the Mdewakanton Sioux Indian Community. The tribal reservation is located on the Goodhue County in Minnesota. The tribal reservation area is actually along the banks of the Mississippi River and is just around the city of the Red Wing. The tribal reservation area was established in the year 1899.

The Mdewakantonwan are actually part of the Isanti and the Dakota. They are considered to be the sub-tribe of these larger tribes. The tribal ancestral dwelling is in the Mille Lacs Lake located in the central portion of Minnesota. The tribal name came from that of the Dakota Language which was called the mde waken or the mystic or spiritual lake. The tribe used to be a huge tribal nation composed of several tribal people until they split into smaller groups. The split's purpose was to spread out the tribal tradition and keep it alive. The tribe has then split into several divisions namely that of the Santee, the Flandreau, the Sisseton-Wahpehton and the Uppet Sioux who were then known as the Dakota and the Ojibwe. Likewise, several communiies branched out from this huge tribe such as the Lower Sioux, the Shakopee-Mdewakanton and that of the Prairie Island Indian Community. Many of the divisions are not yet federally recognized such as the Prairie Island Indian Community who is still in search for the tribal recognition from the United States Federal Government.

The tribal reservation area has boundaries which were modified after the establishment of the reservation that took place on the year 1889. However, due to the construction of the Lock and Dam No. 3, the tribal reservation area was then lost along with the river because of the United States Army Corp of Engineers who insisted that this had to be done so as to improve the navigation. Later on, the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant was then built on a nearby area. Because of the construction of such important landmarks, the tribe was placed on the headlines. The tribe has also denied the decision to store the radioactive waste which was to serve as the link for the above-ground steel casks. The tribe's primary reservation area is only one of the other off reservation settlements of the tribal members. There are tribal lands held in trust by the government which are in the Welch township in the northern portion of the Goodhue County as well as that of the Ravenna Township in the Eastern Dakota County. These lands held in trust are twice as large as that of the primary reservation. The tribe currently owns and operated the Treasure Island Resort & Casino located in Welch, Minnesota. This business venture is already enough to keep the tribal economy booming as it generates millions in revenues every year.

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