It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Stanley R. Crooks, long-time chairman of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and an instrumental figure in the expansion and protection of tribal sovereignty and gaming rights, from natural causes. He was 70 years old.

Crooks served as Shakopee Mdewakanton tribal chairman for more than 20 successive years and was reelected for a new four‐year term of office this past January. Under his leadership, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community has grown and thrived, with members approving 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.

A national figure in Indian Country, Crooks served as the chairman of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association for many years and was the SMSC representative to the National Indian Gaming Association, as well as to the National Congress of American Indians.

“Over the past twenty plus years, Chairman Crooks showed the courage to always stand up for Indian sovereignty in the halls of Congress, the State Capitol, and at home,” said Ernest L. Stevens, Jr., chairman and national spokesman for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA). “Stanley always stood strong for the integrity of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which he viewed as a modern day treaty.”