In this Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 photo is a propane tank outside a home on the Standing Rock Reservation in Fort Yates, N.D. The reservation is on the wind-swept Northern Plains where there is little to block the icy gales that whip in from the northwest and create wind chills as low as 50 below. Many residents live in homes, some with ill-fitting doors, others with boards tacked up where the windows should be, or deteriorating roofs that leak much-needed warmth.

Shakopees Donate $870K to Tribes Coping With Propane Shortage


Shortly after the death of Standing Rock Sioux Tribal member Debbie Dogskin, 61, as a result of the midwest's propane shortage amid below-zero temperatures, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) of Minnesota donated $870,000 to help the tribe, and others, manage the crisis, reported the AP. 

RELATED: Standing Rock Sioux Woman Dies During Propane Shortage in Sub-Zero Temperatures 

Propane Shortage + Arctic Cold = State of Emergency on Standing Rock Sioux Reservation

The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation straddles North Dakota and South Dakota, and nearly 90 percent of residents or 5,000 homes rely on propane for heat. The SMSC has donated $500,000 to help Standing Rock Sioux members buy propane, also giving the Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota $300,000, and the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, $70,000. 

“The thought of people struggling during such a harsh winter is unbearable,” SMSC Chairman Charlie Vig said in a statement. “We are happy to provide these grants, which will help ensure these tribes’ members are warm and cared for.”

Due to federal budget cuts, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has received $1.5 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding this winter, down from $2.5 million last winter.