Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
PRYOR LAKE, MINNESOTA The Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Pryor Lake, Minnesota is mourning the loss of Tribal Chairman Stanley Crooks, 70, who walked on Saturday, August 25.
He Journeys to the Spirit World
Stanley Crooks served as Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for more than 20 successive years and was re-elected for a new four year term of office in January. Under his leadership, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has grown and thrived. Known for his decisiveness, quick humor, fierce defense of tribal sovereignty and self-determination, Chairman Crooks always put his Community first.
Under his leadership, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community members have approved Community donations of more than $243 million to tribes and charitable organizations since 1996 and tribal loans of more than $450 million for economic development and community development.
Chairman Crooks often was heard to say:
“We feel we have an obligation to help others. It's part of our culture as Dakota people. It is who we are.”
“Stanley Crooks, the late chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Minnesota, takes his place among the thoughtful, far-seeing and decisive tribal leaders that Indian Country has produced throughout history,”
commented Acting Assistant Secretary of the Interior-Indian Affairs Del Laverdure in a statement from the US Department of the Interior on Monday.
“Chairman Crooks was a very dear friend of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Stanley exemplified the very best in Native generosity. He believed that all of us in Indian country, especially the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation, should stay connected and pull together to help each other,”
stated President John Yellow Bird Steele of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
“Some of our projects could not have come to fruition were it not for the generosity of Chairman Crooks and the Mdewakanton Sioux Community.”
In recent weeks Chairman Crooks provided unprecedented interviews with local media outlets where he spoke publicly about Dakota history, culture, the Dakota Conflict of 1862 and its aftermath which was ever present on his mind this year, the 150 year remembrance of that tragic time in Dakota history.
Vice-Chairman Charlie Vig issued the following statement regarding the passing of Chairman Crooks,
“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. We join with his family, friends, and all those who were privileged to know Chairman Crooks in mourning his passing. We offer our deepest sympathies to his family in this difficult time.”
As he journeys to the Spirit World, Chairman Crooks leaves his wife of 48 years, Cheryl; two daughters, Cherie Crooks and Alisa Crooks; four grandchildren: Joe Bathel, KC Bathel, Dakota Crooks, and Jesse Crooks; three great grandchildren, Neveah Bathel, Dreamma Crooks, and Aiyanna Bathel; uncle, Clifford Crooks, Senior; brothers, Mike (Renate) Crooks, Danny "Skip"(Laurie) Crooks, and George Crooks. He was preceded in death by his parents Norman and Edith Crooks, and brothers Norman Woodrow Crooks, Alex Crooks, and Alfred Crooks.
A national figure in Indian country, Chairman Crooks served as the Chairman of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association for many years and was the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community representative to the National Indian Gaming Association, as well as to the National Congress of American Indians. A United States Navy veteran, he served during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His father, the late Norman M. Crooks, was the first Chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.
For his service to Indian country, Chairman Crooks has been bestowed with honors from across the country:
Pursuant to the constitutional procedures which govern the Community as a federally-recognized Indian tribal government, Vice-Chairman Charlie Vig succeeds Chairman Crooks and Secretary/Treasurer Keith B. Anderson assumes the office of Vice-Chairman. A tribal election will be held to fill the office of Secretary/Treasurer which is now vacant.
Funeral services are pending.
posted August 28, 2012 7:00 am edt