All posts by Shannon Mitchell

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.

Powwow Information

Tribal Operations will be closed on Thursday and Friday afternoon for the Annual Pow Wow.  Please note, the Executive Office respectfully consulted with the family and obtained their permission to proceed with the Annual Pow Wow as they indicated their loved one would have wanted the Pow Wow to continue.  Please keep the family in your hearts and minds as we move forward with this event.

 

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

 

Tribal Membership Audit Reminder

PURPOSE
Pursuant to the Constitution and Bylaws of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa “Any member of the Tribe who resides away from the reservation for a period of ten years and who has not within that time signified to the Tribal Council his desire to continue his membership in the Tribe but may later be adopted into the Tribe under the same membership status as previously enjoyed, by a majority vote of the Tribal Council after residing on the reservation for one year.”
For financial purposes the Tribal Council mandated an audit of all enrolled tribal members to occur every five (5) years to verify addresses, bank information, and update tribal identification. In order to accomplish this, all enrolled tribal members are required to present themselves in person to Tribal Council representatives.

PROCEDURE
The next membership audit will be July 29, 2019 through August 9, 2019 to accommodate all out of town tribal members.

• July 29, 2019 through August 2, 2019 from 8:30am-4:00pm
• August 3, 2019 from 9:00-1:00pm
• August 5, 2019 through August 7, 2019 from 8:30am-4:00pm
• August 8, 2019 through August 9, 2019 from 8:30am-11:30am

August 2019 per capita payments will be available in paper check format only. Members must complete the audit to be eligible to pick up their check. Checks will be available on August 5th. Checks that are not picked up in person will be mailed to members that have completed the audit. Direct Deposit will resume with September 2019 per capita payments.

If you have any questions or need further assistance regarding per capita please contact Vestana Lasley at 641-484-4678 or email forms@meskwaki-nsn.gov.

Special arrangements can be made to accommodate those members who have been identified as legally incompetent, active duty, incarcerated, or handicapped.

Documents needed for tribal audit: Picture ID such as: Current State-issued ID, Current Tribal ID, Passport, Military ID and original Social Security Card.

Documents needed for children:
Original birth certificate and Original social security card.

Any questions regarding the Membership Audit, please contact Merona Jefferson at 641-484-4678 or email forms@meskwaki-nsn.gov.

A block of rooms has been set aside at Meskwaki Casino for individuals coming to complete the audit. This is on a first come first serve basis. Please reserve your rooms by July 1, 2019.