Tribe holds ground blessing for new building

Agency Village, South Dakota (AP) June 2011

The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (oh-YAH’-tay) held a ground blessing for a new tribal government administration building.

Construction will be funded with a $31.2 million loan from USDA Rural Development.

USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks says the new building will save on rent and utilities, create efficiencies and provide economic sustainability.

The goal is to help rural communities attract capital investments that lead to homeownership, business development and job creation. 

The new facility at Agency Village will serve just over 6,500 of the Lake Traverse Reservation’s 12,780 members in northeastern South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota.

Tribal officials say the current scatter system of facilities across the reservation is not sustainable. The proposed building will create one location for all tribal service offices.