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USDA Invests $3.69 Million to Create Economic Opportunity in Underserved Rural and Native American Communities

Michael Frye
Release Date

HURON, S.D., December. 21, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development South Dakota State Director Nikki Gronli today announced five projects to improve infrastructure, housing and economic conditions for underserved rural and Native American communities across South Dakota.

“Everyone deserves access to clean water and quality education, regardless where they live,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Nikki Gronli. “These investments will have a lasting impact on Tribal lands across South Dakota. We know when we invest in these projects, we build opportunity and prosperity for the people who call South Dakota home.” [Audio: MP3; 17sec; 480KB]

USDA is making investments in several programs specifically designed to bring federal funding and resources to people and communities in underserved rural areas. The projects will benefit hundreds of thousands of people in 42 states, Puerto Rico and the Marshall Islands.

For example:

  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe received two grants totaling $2,655,000 to replace asbestos cement water mains and service lines in the Spring Creek community. This will ensure safe drinking water for nearly 270 residents.
  • Sinte Gleska University received $352,000 to replace the roof at the Wakinyan Wanbli multipurpose building in Mission. This project will also replace heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at four additional campus buildings and installation of two security camera systems. These improvements will help keep the college facilities in good condition and benefit approximately 1,182 rural residents.
  • Oglala Lakota College received $352,000 to replace the roof on the Oglala Lakota College multipurpose building. It will also replace the flooring in the Piya Wiconi facility, with low maintenance vinyl plank flooring; the building is used as their primary administration building. Additionally, the college will purchase two vehicles for student transportation. This project will help the tribal college continue to provide quality education in the rural tribal community.
  • Sisseton Wahpeton College received $352,000 to purchase equipment for administrative, Information Technology, academic staff, maintenance, and support services to meet the demands of increasing enrollment and additional educational programs.

Investments are being made through the Water and Waste Facility Loans and Grants and Tribal College Initiative Grants programs.


Rural Development provides loans, grants and loan guarantees to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.


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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.