PRIOR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) - The chairman of the Shakopee Mdewaketon Sioux Community has died.
According to Tessa Lehto, a representative of the Shakopee Mdewaketon Sioux, Stanley Crooks died of natural causes Saturday at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee. He was 70 years old.
Crooks was Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community since 1992. Under Crooks, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community donated more than $243 million to tribes and charitable organizations since 1996, and has gave tribal loans of more than $450 million for economic and community development.
In recent weeks, Chairman Crooks spoke publicly to the media, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Dakota Conflict of 1862, while highlighting Dakota history and culture.
Chairman Crooks leaves behind his wife Cheryl, two daughters, four grandchildren, three great grandchildren.
Charlie Vig, Vice Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewaketon Sioux Community, spoke highly of his predecessor.
“Chairman Crooks was a leader in every sense of the word. I am honored to have worked with Stanley over the last 20 years and especially over the last eight months on the Tribal Council. He was a true mentor and a true leader,” Vig said.
A national figure in Indian Country, Chairman Crooks served as the Chairman of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association for many years.
A United States Navy veteran, he served during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Funeral services are pending.