Sioux Tribe on Buying Spree

Fuled by casino cash, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community is buying up sections of Scott County, Minnesota at a rate that has local planners spinning.
May 16, 2009, 7am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"[T]he tribe's land purchases, which are surging as the price of land sags, are turning up a different sort of heat in Scott County. Civic leaders in Shakopee say the pace and pattern of the tribe's land buys -- it has spent more than $100 million -- are making planning a logistical nightmare in the fast-growing community.

And they wonder if the tribe is engaged in a shrewd chess game to block Shakopee's development plans, then move out into open countryside to start reacquiring vast stretches of ancestral land. It's a question emerging from New York to California as tribes riding high on casino profits have begun spending that wealth to reassert control over that ancestral land.

In Shakopee itself, said Mayor John Schmitt, 'It appears they're out to garner as much as they can get, wherever they can get it. And they have the war chest to do that.'"

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Published on Sunday, May 3, 2009 in Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune
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