Prairie Island Indian Community Pledges $500,000 to National Eagle Center

New Center Expected to House Up to 10 Rescued Eagles, Attract Up to 100,000

Visitors a Year

Aug 21, 2006, 01:00 ET from Prairie Island Indian Community

    WELCH, Minn., Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Prairie Island Indian
 Community presented a $500,000 check to the National Eagle Center in
 Wabasha, Minn. This donation nearly completes the organization's
 fundraising goal of $4.3 million to build the first-ever
 nationally-recognized center dedicated to honoring and preserving the
 United States' symbol of strength and freedom -- the eagle. The
 groundbreaking ceremony took place this morning near the Mississippi River
 in Wabasha.
     Prairie Island's donation is earmarked specifically for construction of
 the National Eagle Center's new facility, which will be the
 first-of-its-kind in the nation and has an expected completion date of fall
     "This donation has assured us that the cost of the bricks and mortar
 will be covered," stated Don Jacoby, vice president of the Wabasha Port
 Authority and co-chair of the National Eagle Center Capital Campaign.
 "Without this assistance we would not be able to continue our mission of
 honoring, preserving and experiencing our nation's most majestic creature."
     The new 14,000-square-foot National Eagle Center expects 100,000 annual
 visitors and will eventually house up to 10 rescued eagles that are unable
 to survive in the wild. This is a vast improvement over the current
 2,000-square-foot structure, which houses three eagles and receives
 approximately 28,000 visitors annually.
     Featuring an observation deck with an exceptional view of the
 Mississippi River, the new center will offer exhibits and educational
 programs including the importance of the eagle to Native American culture.
 With close spiritual ties to the eagle, the Prairie Island Indian Community
 hopes their support of the National Eagle Center will help ensure that
 future generations will have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate
 this important piece of their culture.
     "The eagle and its feathers are sacred and highly revered in our
 traditions, culture and religion," said Audrey Bennett, Prairie Island
 Indian Community tribal council president. "They represent balance, truth
 and strength as well as courage, wisdom and freedom."
     As they have done for nearly a decade, the Prairie Island Indian
 Community and the National Eagle Center will continue to strengthen their
 valuable relationship and work together in their educational efforts. "We
 are proud to now be in a position to support organizations such as the
 National Eagle Center," remarked Bennett. "We are pleased with their
 efforts and appreciate their willingness to work to preserve such an
 important piece of our cultural heritage."
     Since 1994, the Prairie Island Indian Community has donated more than
 $12 million to many Indian and non-Indian causes. The Prairie Island Indian
 Community is a federally recognized Indian Nation, located 35 minutes
 southeast of the Twin Cities along the Mississippi River. The Prairie
 Island Indian Community owns and operates Treasure Island Resort & Casino.

SOURCE Prairie Island Indian Community