The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) has begun to build Hocokata Ti, their newest building that will serve as a cultural activity site, a community gathering space, and a public exhibit highlighting the history of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux. Scheduled to open in 2019, Hocokata Ti will help the SMSC to continually interpret and encourage the Mdewakanton Dakota language, history, and cultural heritage. The name means "the lodge at the center of the camp."
“It’s time to tell our story,” said SMSC Chairman Charles R. Vig. “The most important part of this building–besides our culture, our teachings, and our history–is that it will help tell our story, as Mdewakanton Dakota, to others.”
The 76,000 square foot building will have walking trails, a Dakota language learning space, an archery range, medicinal gardens, a public exhibition of Dakota artifacts, talking circles, and community gathering rooms. The design of the building includes seven 40 foot tipis bordering the property, as well as a custom made Dakota pattern for the chairs.
“I don’t know of a single building like it,” said Carolyn Wolf, project manager for McGough Construction, which is building Hoċokata Ti. “Every aspect of the space is unique, from the building materials to the floor pattern to the three-tiered roof system. There is only one 90-degree corner in the whole building enclosure. It’s truly a remarkable design.”