FORT TOTTEN The Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Prior Lake, Minn.
The funds will be used for a library enhancement project with technology upgrades, shelving, and publications/media materials on Dakota culture and language.
"One project of significance for us is the remodeling of our small, public library toward the enhancement of materials on native cultures but specifically on Dakota people. We hope to become a premier institution that teaches Dakota history, culture, and language, and include genealogy software programs to help our families understand their heritage and hopefully become conversational Dakota speakers," said President Cynthia Lindquist Mala in the request letter.
The Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe owns and operates the college. This spring semester the college had an all-time high enrollment of 288 students, with an additional eight high school students via a dual-credit program. The 2011 graduating class is expected to have more than 30 students. Nearly 99 percent of the student body is American Indian.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has financial resources from gaming and non-gaming enterprises. Through its charitable-giving program, the community has donated millions of dollars and also made loans to other tribes for economic development projects and other needs.