The National Judicial College and the National Tribal Judicial Center received a $5,000 grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, a federally recognized sovereign Indian tribe located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

The grant will be used for tribal judiciary scholarships. Any American Indian and Alaska Native tribal judge or member of a tribal judicial system will be eligible for scholarship funds for tuition and conference fees.

“By providing access to superior education for their judges and court personnel, these funds are a crucial ingredient to ensure tribal sovereignty and justice for all tribal nations,” said Christine Folsom, director of the National Tribal Judicial Center. “We’re grateful to the trust the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has shown by providing this contribution.”

With a focus on being a good neighbor, good steward of the earth, and good employer, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is committed to charitable donations, community partnerships, a healthy environment and a strong economy, according to the tribe.

The tribe and its gaming enterprise (Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Little Six Casino) are the largest employer in Scott County. Out of a Dakota tradition to help others, the community has donated nearly $300 million to organizations and causes since opening the gaming enterprise in the 1990s and has contributed millions more to regional governments and infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer systems, and emergency services.

The NJC founded the National Tribal Judicial Center in 2002, becoming one of the first organizations to address the distinctive needs of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal law practitioners. Judges, peacemakers, court personnel and multidisciplinary teams from many nations across Indian Country come to the NTJC to learn with and from each other.