Prairie Island Indian Community Breaks Ground on Elder Assisted Living Center

Welch, MN (June 1, 2017) The Prairie Island Indian Community, a federally-recognized Mdewakanton Dakota Tribe, broke ground today on an elder assisted living center that will serve members of the Tribal community.

The 38,000 square foot single story building will be located on 18 acres of Tribal land located in Welch. The design and operation of the facility will focus on incorporating Dakota culture and community into the assisted living setting.

With this project, Prairie Island wishes to celebrate its Dakota elders through honor, care and respect while encouraging family and community involvement. “The elder’s assisted living facility will allow for those who have raised us, taught us and made us into what we are today, to continue living their lives comfortably and safely within our own Community,” said Shelley Buck, President of the Tribal Council.

Residents have the benefit and independence of their own apartments and confidence that professional staff is there 24 hours a day.

Ebenezer Management Services, which specializes in senior housing and care, has been chosen to operate the elder center. Jon Lundberg, Chief Operating Officer of Ebenezer stated, “As the largest senior housing operator in Minnesota, Ebenezer Management Services is proud to partner with the Prairie Island Indian Community on this exciting project.” Knutson Construction who has been the designer-builder of choice for the Community’s Treasure Island Resort & Casino will be leading this project. RSP Architects is the designer of this building.

The building design highlights Native American respect and reverence for nature. Natural materials that incorporate the textures of the surrounding landscape will be used. The outside of the building will have two formidable limestone slabs that will take on the textured character of the nearby river bluffs and protect the recessed center entry.

A circular drive will bring guests to the entry plaza where the bollard lights and creative landscaping will serve as a welcoming approach to the building entry. The drop off zone for visitors is under a lowered canopy that provides coverage from the elements.

The first phase of the project contemplates up to 20, one-bedroom apartments. Each of the apartments will have a kitchen, living room, bath room, washer and dryer and a private patio. All the apartments will face gardens with the inner apartments facing a large courtyard garden.

The inside will be spacious and inviting with a dining area to provide meals and a common room with a fireplace. The courtyard garden and common room will be divided by a floor to ceiling wall of glass with operable panels that can be opened as weather permits.

About the Prairie Island Indian Community

The Prairie Island Indian Community, a federally recognized Indian Tribe, is located in southeastern Minnesota along the banks of the Mississippi River, approximately 30 miles from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Prairie Island Indian Community members are Mdewakanton Dakota. The Mdewakanton have persevered through repeated attempts at extinction, including the largest mass execution in United States history ordered by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. The Community owns and operates Treasure Island Resort & Casino, which began in 1984 as Island Bingo and has evolved into one of the premier entertainment destinations in the Midwest. The success of the Community’s business holdings has allowed it to provide for its members, achieve self-governance, and donate to thousands of causes as well as surrounding communities. The Prairie Island Indian Community also owns and operates Mount Frontenac Golf Course and the Dakota Station. For more information visit or