Meskwaki Settlement, Iowa

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Coordinates: 41°58′51″N 92°39′01″W / 41.98083°N 92.65028°W / 41.98083; -92.65028

Meskwaki
MesquakieIndians1857.jpg
"Mesquakie Indians responsible for the establishment of the Mesquakie Settlement," 1857 photograph.
Total population
Enrolled members: 1300
Regions with significant populations
 United States Iowa
Languages
English, Meskwaki (historical)
Religion
Christianity (incl. syncretistic forms)
Related ethnic groups
Sac, Kickapoo
Water tower, Meskwaki Settlement.

The Meskwaki Settlement is an unincorporated community in Tama County, Iowa, United States, west of Tama. It is often called "the Sett" by residents.[1] This was part of the historic territory of the Meskwaki, an Algonquian people. (They were known to English colonists and Americans as the Fox.) Since 1857, when Meskwaki and Sac people bought land here, it has been home to a sizable community of Meskwaki Indians. They are enrolled in the federally recognized Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, one of three Sac and Fox tribes in the United States. The others are located in Oklahoma and Kansas.

Government[edit]

The Nation operates a tribal school, tribal courts, public works department, and police force. The settlement includes more than 8,000 acres (32 km2). There are about 1,300 members of this Meskwaki Tribe, of whom about 800 live on the settlement; non-tribal members, including spouses, also live on the settlement.[2][3]

The Meskwaki Casino Resort is located on the Settlement and generates revenue for the welfare of the tribe.[4] The settlement includes land in parts of Indian Village Township, Toledo Township, Tama Township, and Columbia Township. The tribe holds a large Pow-Wow here each year.[5]

History[edit]

The Meskwaki traded with French colonists of the Illinois Country but were forced west by competition in the 18th-century fur trade and later United States development pressures. In the early decades of the 19th century, the Meskawki and Sac were being forced to cede land in Iowa and nearby areas to the United States and to move west of the Mississippi River. The Iowa state legislature passed a law to allow them to buy land, which they did in 1857. In the 21st century, there are three other federally recognized Sac and Fox tribes, who have independent reservations and governments in present-day states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

Notable Meskwaki[edit]

  • Ray Young Bear, writer [6]

References[edit]