New Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Business Council Takes Office

Keith B. Anderson (pictured) replaces Charlie Vig, who stepped down after eight years as Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

After 8 years of leading the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community as its Chairman, Charles R. Vig  has turned over the role to newly elected Chairman Keith B. Anderson. Vig, 60, who has served in various capacities for the Tribe for 30 years, did not seek re-election. He will continue to contribute to the Shakopee government through a Tribal advisory group. 

A new three-person business council took office today. In addition to Anderson as Chairman, SMSC Business Council members include Cole Miller as Vice-Chairman and Rebecca Crooks-Stratton as Secretary/Treasurer.

Chairman Anderson, Vice-Chairman Miller, and Secretary/Treasurer Crooks-Stratton (SMSC)

The three officials will serve four-year terms, overseeing day-to-day operations of the Tribal government and its relationships with its members, other governments and elected officials, and its more than 4,000 employees.

Chairman Keith Anderson was elected to his fifth consecutive term on the SMSC Business Council and his first as Chairman. He has served as the Tribe’s Vice-Chairman since August 2012 and previously served as Secretary/Treasurer for eight years. 

On behalf of the SMSC, Anderson has served as Co-Chair of the Native Farm Bill Coalition, which successfully advocated for an unprecedented number of Native provisions in the 2018 federal Farm Bill. He is the board chairman for Koda Energy, which produces environmentally friendly biomass energy, and a board member for the SMSC’s Hotel Development LLC, which owns the JW Marriott hotel at Mall of America.

Vice-Chairman Cole Miller was elected to his first term on the Business Council. Currently, Miller is the community liaison for Mdewakanton Public Safety, the Tribe’s full-time fire department, paramedic-level ambulance service and fully operational emergency management organization. Miller has been active in the Community for many years, chairing the Tribe’s Wacipi (Pow Wow) Committee for the last two years.

Secretary/Treasurer Rebecca Crooks-Stratton was elected to her second term as Secretary/Treasurer. Crooks-Stratton leads Understand Native Minnesota, the Tribe’s $5 million, three-year strategic initiative and philanthropic campaign to improve the Native American narrative in Minnesota schools. She has also led projects such as the Minnesota Tribal Nations Plaza at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and helped launch a Montessori classroom as part of the SMSC’s daycare program. 

Crooks-Stratton is a representative to the National Congress of American Indians; serves on the Board of Directors of Indian Country Today and the University of Minnesota Foundation’s Board of Trustees; and is Vice Chair of the Prior Lake Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee.

As a sovereign nation, the SMSC is governed by the General Council, consisting of all voting members ages 18 and older. The General Council sets policies for the Tribe and is tasked with electing representatives to the Business Council, as well as the Gaming Commission and the Gaming Board of Directors.

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