National Philanthropy Day Spotlight: The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
Throughout the month of November, the Association of Fundraising Professionals will be highlighting honorees from National Philanthropy Day chapter events around the world, showcasing outstanding donors, volunteers, corporations, foundations and others who are being recognized for their commitment to change and philanthropy.
Today we’re showcasing the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, honored by the AFP Minnesota Chapter.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) is being recognized for their commitment to promoting and empowering healthy, sustainable Native communities. They honor the Dakota tradition of helping others by donating time, money and other resources to a variety of worthy causes during times of both hardship and prosperity.
Extreme poverty and the loss of traditional foods have caused many Native Americans to suffer from inadequate diets, leading to widespread chronic health problems in many Native communities. In response to this crisis, the SMSC launched Seeds of Native Health in 2015 to improve Native nutrition now and in the future. The $11 million campaign focused on three key components—grant-making, research and advocacy—to support tribal food and agriculture policy, community-based nutrition programs, and research that helps move the needle on improving dietary health.
Over five years, the campaign resulted in important successes for tribes and Native communities. Specific efforts included:
- A national coalition that achieved historic wins in the 2018 Farm Bill benefiting Native tribes and agriculture producers.
- The establishment and expansion of nutrition education and community engagement across Indian Country.
- The only academic conference series in the world devoted to Indigenous nutrition.
- A new academic journal section showcasing the best scholarship in the field.
Notably, the SMSC brought new funders to the table to augment their efforts to invest in the field of Native nutrition.
The SMSC has a generous charitable giving program that supports education, youth activities, health care programs, legal aid, community development and infrastructure, women’s health, arts and culture, local communities, environmental protection, and much more.
The AFP Minnesota Chapter hosted a virtual National Philanthropy Day celebration on Thursday, Nov. 12. Read more about the SMSC by clicking here.