The Prairie Island Indian Community Fact Sheet
The Prairie Island Indian Community is a Native American tribe federally recognized under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.
Prairie Island Indian Community’s Constitution and by-laws were adopted by tribal members on May 23, 1936, and approved by the Secretary of the Interior on June 20, 1936.
Prairie Island Tribal members are Dakota and descend from the Bdewakantunwan (Mdewakanton) Band of Eastern Dakota.
As of February 10, 2023 there are 1,100 enrolled members of the Prairie Island Indian Community (nearly half of which are under 18 years of age).
Prairie Island is governed by a five-member Community Council (referred to as the Tribal Council).
The Tribal Council, elected to two-year terms, consists of a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and assistant secretary/treasurer.
- The current Tribal Council includes:
Johnny Johnson, President
Shelley Buck, Vice President
Valentina Mgeni, Secretary
Michael Childs Jr., Treasurer
Cody Whitebear , Assistant Secretary/Treasurer
Prairie Island is located on the shores of the Mississippi and Vermillion Rivers, just north of Red Wing in southeastern Minnesota’s Goodhue County.
The Prairie Island reservation was created in the late 1800s when approximately 120 acres of land were purchased and put into trust by the Secretary of the Interior for the landless Bdewakantunwan residing in Minnesota. Additional lands were put into trust for the Tribe following the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.
The reservation consists of approximately 534 acres of original reservation land and 2,774 acres of other trust land.
Prairie Island Indian Community is a land-poor Tribe because of a series of events that led to the flooding of a portion of the Tribe’s reservation and the locating of a nuclear power plant and nuclear waste storage site withing 700 yards of community homes.
With housing a major priority for the Tribe, Prairie Island has purchased additional lands, including more than 1,000 acres near Rochester, MN and more than 300 acres near St. Paul, MN. The Tribe is working with the Department of the Interior to put the land into trust for the Tribe.
The Tribe operates a number of businesses, including Treasure Island Resort & Casino, Mount Frontenac Golf Course, Dakota Station, and Tinta Wita Tipi – a senior assisted-living community.
At 788 guest rooms and suites, Treasure Island Resort & Casino is the second largest hotel property in Minnesota.
Prairie Island is the number one employer in Goodhue County with more 1,500 employees across the government and business operations.