The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community said Saturday that SMSC Chairman Stanley Crooks has died, reports the Prior Lake American.
In a statement, SMSC said Crooks "passed away this morning at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, from natural causes surrounded by his loving family and friends."
Crooks, who was 70, was chairman of the SMSC since 1992. He also served as chairman of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association for many years.
Under Crooks' leadership, tribal members approved community donations of more than $243 million to tribes and charitable organizations since 1996 -- as well as tribal loans of more than $450 million for economic development and community development.
Reacting to Crooks' death on Twitter, Shakopee Mayor Brad Tabke tweeted, "Sad to hear of the passing of SMSC Chairman Stanley Crooks today. Our deepest condolences to his family and the entire SMSC."
In a statement after Crooks' death, SMSC Vice Chair Charlie Vig said that Crooks was "a true mentor and a true leader."
Editor's note: BringMeTheNews.com raised $3 million in capital from the SMSC last month. The SMSC has been a sponsor of the pioneering online broadcast news curator for nearly two years, and have a minority ownership in the company.
In a statement about the investment, Crooks said, "(We) look forward to generating more awareness about the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community – both our history and traditions and our efforts to apply those traditions today through our philanthropy and environmental initiatives."