Red Lake skateboarders ready to roll

Young people on the Red Lake Indian Reservation will soon have new places to exercise and hangout with friends. The Red Lake Nation this week received a $750,000 community development grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community south of the Twin Cities.

Red Lake will use the money for youth projects, including construction of a skateboard park and basketball court, as well as amenities for the Ponemah Community Center.

Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd “Buck” Jourdain says the tribe’s goal is to provide a safe environment for youth and to develop their interest in outdoor sports.

“We have a diverse set of needs when it comes to youth activities, with skateboarding being the highest in demand,” Jourdain wrote in a letter requesting the funds. “Once completed, the center, skateboard parks, and basketball courts will provide a safe environment for the whole community to engage in community activities, provide a healthier alternative for our youth’s free time, and promote a healthier lifestyle.”

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which operates large casinos in the metro area, has assisted Red Lake several times in the past. In 2009, the SMSC loaned Red Lake $31 million to construct its newest Seven Clans Casino and Hotel, a tribal law enforcement center and a greenhouse.

In 2010, SMSC loaned Red Lake $3 million and gave them a $1 million grant to fund several Red Lake economic enterprises, as well as a health care center and a youth center.

Lakeland Public Television has more on the skate park that is scheduled to be completed this fall.

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