All posts by Shannon Mitchell

Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation signed in Tama and Toledo

Toledo, Iowa – On Monday, October 14, 2019, the cities of Tama and Toledo honored the Meskwaki Nation by coming together jointly to proclaim the second Monday of each October to be recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in their respective cities.

The proclamation states, “The day is meant to recognize the land now known as the cities of Tama and Toledo as home to Indigenous People since time immemorial, and without whom, the building of the two cities would not have been possible.  The day also recognizes and honors the relationship between the two cities and the Meskwaki Nation.”

Both Mayor Mike Carnahan (Tama) and Mayor John Lloyd (Toledo) read from the proclamation, thanking the Meskwaki Nation for sharing its cultural, spiritual, technological, philosophical, and environmental knowledge and wisdom with the community.  Acknowledging that Indigenous People have suffered historical injustices as a result of colonization and continue to suffer to this day, the cities seek to eliminate racism toward Indigenous Peoples and strive to promote policies and practices that honor the state’s Indigenous roots, history, and contributions.   Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be designated as a time to reflect on the experiences of Indigenous Peoples while working to ensure greater access and equitable opportunity is afforded to them.  The cities strongly encouraged school systems to include teaching of Indigenous history in its curriculum and encouraged businesses, organizations, and institutions to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The cities strongly support that beginning through the proclamation, each Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be an opportunity for community members to reflect on the continued struggles of Indigenous Peoples within our country and communities, as well as celebrate the thriving cultures and values of Indigenous Peoples of the region.

Dozens of Meskwaki community members attended the proclamation ceremony at the Reinig Toledo Civic Center.  Following the signing, Toledo Council Member Darvin Graham was gifted a beaded medallion by Tribal Operations Deputy Executive Director Oliviah Walker for his part in initiating the ceremony.  Tribal Council member Delonda Pushetonequa and Tribal Council Chairman Anthony Waseskuk both spoke at the ceremony thanking Mayor Carnahan and Mayor Lloyd for their friendship and continued partnerships with the People of the Red Earth.

Click here to view pictures from the event.

Deer Tags Needed if Transporting Deer off of the Settlement

Meskwaki Natural Resources has FREE transportation deer tags at the South Farm office for deer harvested on the Settlement. It is required by the Tribe’s Memorandum of Understanding Agreement with the State of Iowa that you attach a tag onto a deer if you are transporting the animal outside of the Settlement’s boundary, onto a public road (e.g. HWY E49) or to a meat locker. This tag provides proof that the deer was legally harvested on Tribal Land. If you have any questions or concerns, call the MNR office at (641) 484-3511 or email Megan at tech.mdnr@meskwaki-nsn.gov

 

Meskwaki Nation is 1st in Region to Receive Authority to Administer Water Quality Standards

Press release from the EPA (Lenexa, Kan., Aug. 15, 2019) – Tribal leaders of the Meskwaki Nation joined U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 officials in a signing ceremony today as the Tribe assumes responsibilities to administer the Clean Water Act’s Water Quality Standards and Certification programs.

EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford and Meskwaki Chairman Anthony Waseskuk signed certificates at the Meskwaki Nation Settlement, located northeast of Des Moines between U.S. Highway 30 and the Iowa River.

“Today, we celebrate the Meskwaki Nation’s achievement as the first tribe in Region 7 to receive the authority to administer the Clean Water Act’s water quality standards and certification programs,” said Gulliford. “The Meskwaki Nation’s leadership and commitment to water quality efforts light a path for others to follow.”

“The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa is honored to be joined by our friends, neighbors and partners in celebrating this historic moment of achieving Treatment as State (TAS) authority for development of Water Quality Standards (WQS),” said Jarrett Pfrimmer, director of Natural Resources. “Many years of hard work from community members, staff, EPA, and multiple valued partners have made the passing of this milestone possible. We look forward to continuing this hard work in the company and counsel of these and many more partners as we begin developing Tribal WQS and an Iowa River Watershed Consortium. Through these collaborative ventures, we hope to improve the quality of not only our waters, but those of our neighbors throughout the watershed.”

The Meskwaki Nation applied to EPA for Treatment in a Similar Manner as a State (TAS) for the Clean Water Act Section 303(c) Water Quality Standards and 401 Certification programs for all currently held tribal trust lands. After carefully reviewing the Tribe’s application, EPA determined that the Meskwaki Nation met the necessary requirements and approved their application for TAS to administer these programs.

With this authority, the Meskwaki Nation can develop water quality standards for waterways within their reservation, similar to the process used by states under the Clean Water Act. After the Tribe develops the standards, and EPA approves, the Tribe will then administer surface water quality standards, building upon existing successful environmental programs.

Several federal environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, authorize EPA to treat eligible, federally recognized Indian tribes in a similar manner as a state for managing certain environmental programs. The requirements for applying for TAS are that the tribe must be federally recognized; have a governing body carrying out substantial governmental duties and powers; have appropriate authority; and be capable of carrying out the functions of the program.

For more information on Treatment as a State, and a list of tribes with the same designation, please visit EPA’s website.

 

 

See photos here.