The $100,000 grant will enhance physical recreation resources and healthy food education MINNEAPOLIS – Today, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund awarded a $100,000 grant to the Lower Sioux Indian Community. The funds will be used to update an existing recreation center and add a Lacrosse field, and replace equipment and purchase materials for the community kitchen to enhance programs that teach healthy cooking to local youth.
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 yearlong 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 Lower Sioux Indian Community will use the $100,000 to continue its investment in health and wellness programs for youth. The community will upgrade the existing recreation center and add a first-ever outdoor Lacrosse field. The gym floors will be stripped and refreshed and new equipment will be added to the center’s exercise room. The first-ever Lacrosse field in the community will be built to facilitate competitions and practices. Dakota Wicohan, a local non-profit, partners with the Lower Sioux to teach Lacrosse, a sport that has grown in popularity in recent years amongst youth in the community.
The grant will also help enhance the Tribe’s healthy food resolution, adopted in 2016. Older appliances will be replaced and safety controls and equipment will be added to the community kitchen. Canning and food preservation materials will also be purchased and used to teach healthy food preservation techniques.
“The 52 Weeks of Giving grant will help us continue teaching the Lower Sioux Indian Community how to pursue a healthy lifestyle and help our children establish habits that lead to long-term health and wellness,” said Brian Pendleton, President, of the Lower Sioux Indian Community Council. “Our population has grown 70 percent in the last 17 years and one-third of our population is under 18. Investment in programs and activities focused on cooking and eating healthy and that put focus on an active lifestyle are a priority for us. Access to these lifestyle resources are difficult in our rural community, but this grant will help us significantly improve that access for many generations of our youth.”
The services this grant will enhance impact people of all ages. The Lower Sioux Indian Community is part of The Bemidji Area of Indian Health Service, which has the lowest life expectancy of America Indians in the nation. Nearly one-third, of Lower Sioux members live at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. Therefore, investment in and access to facilities and resources that promote physical recreation and healthy nutrition are critical for this community. There are no income requirements for youth to access the Tribe's recreation facility or programs.
At a special grant event today, children and families from The Lower Sioux Indian Community participated in a traditional game of Lacrosse to celebrate the grant and the investment it will enable in the recreation center and health foods initiative.
“The 52 Weeks of Giving campaign helps communities improve the health and wellness of their kids because we want to make sure that hosting the big game in the Bold North has a positive impact on our young people,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships at the MNSBHC. “The Lower Sioux Community is dedicated to investing in children. We are pleased this grant will contribute to improving access to physical activity and also teach the community to prepare and preserve healthy food and meals.”
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, nonprofit 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.
About the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund is a 501©3, community advised fund of the Minnesota Community Foundation. Working in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and based on the recommendations of SHIP’s community health boards, the Legacy Fund is providing 52 grants to 52 community projects across our state over the 52 weeks leading up to Super Bowl LII. The work of the Legacy Fund is made possible by Minnesota’s philanthropic community, including foundations, corporations, and individual donors who share our passion for improving the health and wellness of kids from every corner of our state. Its goal is to build awareness of, and invest in solutions for, a healthier generation of Minnesota kids across the state. Through its grant making and awareness initiatives, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee's Legacy Fund will leverage this single event into a lifetime of good health for the next generation of Minnesotans. For more information on the MNSBHC’s Legacy Fund, including an introductory video, please visit www.mnsuperbowl.com/legacy.
About The NFL Foundation The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit: www.NFLFoundation.org.
About the Lower Sioux Indian Community The Lower Sioux Indian Community is a federally-recognized sovereign Dakota Nation located in southwestern Minnesota in Redwood County. Located on bluff lands overlooking the Minnesota River and surrounded by small towns and agricultural prairie lands, the tribe’s land base is approximately 1,743 acres held in Trust by the Federal government. The total population of Lower Sioux members is 1,118 with 88% of members living on the reservation and within the surrounding ten-mile service area.
While “Lower Sioux” was the name given to our band and our homeland after treaties with the United States in 1851, members of the Lower Sioux Indian Community are part of the B/Mdewakanton Band of Dakota. The Dakota, which translates closely to “friend” or “ally” in our language, referred to our traditional Minnesota River Valley homeland as Cansa’yapi or “where they marked the trees red.” Pride in our history and our culture are the heart and spirit of everything we do.