WELCH, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today awarded a $100,000 grant to the Prairie Island Indian Community (PIIC) to help create a culturally-relevant recreation space and establish one of the first community gathering areas in a neighborhood a few miles from the main reservation. The PIIC is working closely with language and culture experts to incorporate Dakota words and picture signage into the space’s design and theme, which will be built in the Upper Island at Dakota Circle.
The grant is part of the Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, which is made possible each year by a $1 million contribution courtesy of the NFL Foundation and is complemented by the Super Bowl Host Committee. Through its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, the MNSBHC has launched a year-long effort to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event by awarding 52 communities with grants that will help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.
The playground and gathering area will be conveniently located near the homes of the kids and young people who reside in the community. Many families in the Upper Island area live about five miles from the heart of the reservation, making it difficult to regularly visit its main community center, fitness center and playground.
“We are thankful to the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund for this important grant,” said Shelley Buck, president of the Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal Council. “These funds will enable us to establish a safe recreational destination for the young people of the Upper Island community. We are committed to providing resources to our children that help them lead more active lives. The Dakota-themed playground is a crucial investment in helping to share healthier futures for our kids.”
The play space will be built with high-quality equipment and a pour-in-place, sustainable rubber surfacing that lasts longer than alternative materials. The playground and recreation equipment will be built and installed in the spring of next year.
Tribal council leadership, community members and children of the Prairie Island Indian Community gathered with Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund members at a special dedication event today that included song and football games and activities for local young people.
“The purpose of the 52 Weeks of Giving campaign is to provide more kids in Minnesota with access to resources that improve their health and wellness,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships, MNSBHC. “We are so excited to join the families of the Upper Island community in a celebration of this new gathering space and playground that will encourage kids to be play and be active, and will impact many future generations of the Prairie Island Indian Community.”
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.