Keith B. Anderson was elected chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) on Tuesday, replacing Charles Vig, who is retiring after eight years leading the tribe.
Anderson will be the 10th leader of the community, which has 4,400 acres of land in the south metro and runs the highly successful Mystic Lake Casino.
He was elected to his fifth consecutive term on the tribe’s Business Council, which is responsible for the community’s relationships with members, governmental agencies and more than 4,000 employees.
Elections also were held Tuesday for two other seats on the Business Council. Cole Miller was chosen as vice chairman and Rebecca Crooks-Stratton was re-elected as secretary-treasurer. Business Council members serve four-year terms.
Anderson has served as the tribe’s vice chairman since 2012 and was secretary-treasurer for eight years before that, according to an SMSC news release. He is board chairman for Koda Energy, a partnership between Rahr Malting and SMSC that creates energy by burning dry biomass fuels, and a board member for SMSC’s Hotel Development.
Anderson also has been co-chairman of the Native Farm Bill Coalition, “which successfully advocated for an unprecedented number of Native provisions in the 2018 farm bill,” according to the release.
The community, which is a sovereign nation, is governed by the General Council, which consists of all voting members older than 18.
The Scott County Board this week voted to declare Jan. 27 Charlie Vig Day. His last day will be Jan. 31, the day that the new Business Council takes office. Vig replaced Stanley Crooks when the longtime chairman died in 2012.
In an interview, Vig joked that he missed the deadline to run this year and that he will be “set free” from the many demands of the job.
“My consistent story has been, my wife has been kind of poking me to do something different or slow down,” he said. “I just thought it was time.”
And there’s a new crop of tribal members who are ready to lead, he said.
Vig said he plans to spend more time with family members, including his six grandchildren, as well as fly his plane and travel with his wife.
Officials noted Vig’s ability to forge positive relationships with local government, including promoting dozens of collaborative projects with Shakopee, Prior Lake and Scott County.
Many of those projects have been related to infrastructure, including roads and trails. The SMSC and Prior Lake also opened a joint water treatment plant this fall.
The SMSC completed Hoċokata Ti, an 84,000-square-foot cultural center, during Vig’s tenure. The structure, which is flanked by seven enormous teepees, provides community meeting space and includes a public exhibit on Mdewakanton Dakota history and culture.
Erin Adler • 612-673-1781