Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research17:155-63 (Fall 2007). Copyright ©2007 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


The economic issues that often arise from Native land acquisition and development can strain relationships between American Indian tribes and non-Indian local governments. As Indian tribes expand their landholdings, political and economic landscapes are transformed. This paper examines intergovernmental relationships and the characteristics and impacts of recent land acquisitions made by two Dakota Indian communities in the Minnesota River Valley of Minnesota. The Upper Sioux Community has enjoyed a level of cooperation from local communities in their rural land acquisitions, while the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota Community has experienced vigorous opposition to their urban land acquisitions. Geographic situation may help to explain the variation in level of opposition or support for Native land acquisition, as well as the possibilities for Native land "possession" vs. "ownership."