USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Patrice Kunesh recently joined Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribal and community members for the dedication of the Tribe’s new administration building, which was constructed with a $31.2 million Community Facilities loan from USDA. The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe resides on the Lake Traverse Reservation in northeastern South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota, primarily in Roberts County.
“This impressive building is the result of the largest Community Facilities loan that Rural Development in South Dakota has ever made,” Kunesh said. “The building will serve as a central hub to help Tribal members with their social, educational, and housing needs.”
Also speaking to those gathered, South Dakota Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks commended Tribal leaders for their hard work and dedication. “This building is a tribute to the persistence that it takes to see large projects like this one succeed. I am proud to be a part of this important and historic day,” said Meeks.
The new, circular Administration building consolidates 28 public service Tribal departments, programs and agencies in one location. Its circular form reflects the culture, history and symbols of the Sisseton Wahpeton people, and the design includes a “Sacred Hoop” in the center that serves as a gathering place for ceremonies.
The USDA remains strongly committed to the economic stability of Tribal communities. This project in the Dakotas was funded through USDA’s StrikeForce initiative, which aims to increase investment in priority, poverty-stricken rural communities for technical assistance and other resources.
Please visit the USDA Rural Development website to learn more about the programs and services available for American Indian/Alaska Native Tribal communities.