Corps, Upper Sioux Community Tribe partner on environmental project

By Elizabeth StoeckmannJune 18, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, signed a project partnership agreement with the Upper Sioux Community (Pezihutazizi Oyate) to address erosion issues on their tribal land along the Minnesota River, June 7.

The Pezihutazizi Oyate is located south of the Minnesota River in Yellow Medicine County, approximately 4 miles south of the city of Granite Falls, Minnesota.

The project will result in the stabilization of approximately 3,200 linear feet of eroding Minnesota Riverbanks that will incorporate a variety of practices using rock and vegetation to protect the culturally significant tribal lands. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2025 and is anticipated to take approximately two months to complete once started.

“Together, in partnership with the Upper Sioux Community, we forge a path towards the tribe’s legacy and a sustainable future by improving and protecting their ancestral lands for future generations to come,” said Corps’ Project Manager Kevin Bigalke.

The project is estimated to cost $5.35 million. The Corps of Engineers will cover $5 million, and Pezihutazizi Oyate will provide the remainder.

The Tribal Partnership Program is authorized under the Water Resources Development Act of 2000.The program provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work with Indian nations to study and determine the feasibility of carrying out projects that will substantially benefit Indian nations.