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Stanley Crooks Talks Shakopee Mdewakanton Sovereignty, Canterbury Deal in Rare Interview Weeks Before Death

Just weeks before his death in August, Crooks granted a rare interview to a Duluth television station.

Stanley Crooks died in August 2012 after leading the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for more than 20 years.

Just weeks before his death, he spoke to the "Native Report" magazine program of a Duluth television station, WDSE. (The interview with Crooks starts at the 17 minute, 40 second mark in the video above.)

His interview touched on the tribe's sovereignty, its history and its deal with Canterbury Park.

"There's only one sovereignty, and it's the ability of a nation to create its own destiny," he says in the video. "As conquered people, we do have limited sovereignty."

When Crooks is asked, "Where do you go from here?" tears come to his eyes and emotion to his throat.

"As we have been able to reach out and help other tribes, it's a great feeling of accomplishment, and we certainly want to continue that," he replies. "We're one with the earth, and we need to maintain that going forward, and our children need to be taught and understand that: We'll always be Indian people."

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