Phone: (641) 484-4678 Toll Free: 1-800-944-9503 Fax: (641) 484-5424


Category Archives: In The News

This information posts to the main posting page (blog) for the website called “In The News”. This information automatically posts to the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa Facebook page (@MeskwakiNation).

Meskwaki Tribal Health Clinic Now Offers Full-Time Mental Health Counseling

The Meskwaki Tribal Health Clinic is pleased to offer full-time mental health counseling. The Clinic recently hired licensed counselor, Caitlin Silveira, who began seeing patients just after the first of the year. Appointments are Monday through Friday and can be made by calling the Clinic to schedule. Caitlin can see patients of all ages and can provide individual, couples, and family therapy.                

My name is Caitlin Silveira and I recently joined the staff at the Tribal Health Clinic as a mental health counselor. I am a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Iowa, and have been a practicing therapist for 8 years. My background is in community mental health, and I have done most of my work with individuals who have experienced trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, I have experience working with people with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, dual-diagnosis issues, and schizophrenia. My clinical background is in cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as process-oriented and trauma focused treatment. I believe in meeting people where they are at and walking alongside the people that I work with on their journey to greater mental health and wellness. Previous to employment on the Meskwaki Settlement, I was working managing a community outreach team in the greater Boston area.  I have a passion for community mental health and am excited to join the team at the health clinic.


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Fundraiser: Indian Taco & Bake Sale

Indian Taco & Bake Sale Fundraiser:

Friday, January 25th from 11:00 AM until Sold Out at the Tribal Center Snack Bar!

Indian Taco – $6.00

Frybread – $3.00

Softshell Taco – $3.00

All proceeds will go towards planning for the MMIW: Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s March on Feb. 14th in Minneapolis, MN.

MMIW: Missing & Murdered Indigenous Peoples March

For more information contact Dara Jefferson at (641) 484-4444

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New Reward Offered for Missing Person Rita Janelle Papakee

Meskwaki Settlement, Iowa – Four years ago today, on January 16th, 2015, Tribal member Rita Janelle Papakee was last seen at the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel.  She has not been heard from since.

Over the years, extensive searches on the Meskwaki Settlement and in nearby towns failed to turn up any clues to her whereabouts.  Her suspicious disappearance caused tribal officials to offer a $25,000 reward but no one came forward with any credible information as to what may have happened to her.  Since that fateful day, there has not been a single trace of Rita.

Today, on the 4th anniversary of her disappearance, tribal officials, the Meskwaki Nation Police Department, and her family are asking for renewed help in finding her.  The Meskwaki Tribal Council would like to announce that they have approved an increase in the monetary reward for her return and have increased allocations to $50,000 for anyone willing to come forward with new information that leads to finding Rita.  They urge the people with that knowledge to speak out.

The family is spearheading a number of new initiatives with the full support of council. The tribe has approved a grid field search training to community members and volunteers. Tentatively scheduled for the first week in May when snow and weather issues have improved, efforts will revolve around a meticulous search of the entire Meskwaki Settlement.

The community as a whole is invested in raising awareness of the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Indian Country. “Native American women are victims of violence far greater than any population in the country,” said Tribal Chairman Anthony Waseskuk. “And they are more likely to be assaulted by people who are not Native American.”

According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database, even though they only represent 0.8 percent of the U.S. population, Native Americans and Alaska Natives make up 1.8 percent of ongoing missing cases. “It’s tragic,” commented Chairman Waseskuk. “Rita’s disappearance has touched us all, individually and as a community.  We are hoping for answers.”

Over the next few months, volunteers are encouraged to help with fundraising efforts and support as we help keep Rita’s memory alive.

One such way is by attending the upcoming Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s March (MMIW) to be held on Thursday, February 14, 2019 in Minneapolis.  The event, held by a collaborative of Minneapolis Native organizations, seeks to bring awareness to missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, boys, two spirit and transgendered persons by holding an annual community walk on the streets near the Minneapolis American Indian Center each Valentine’s Day.  Participants are asked to wear red as a visible sign of support for the MMIW movement.

Community members wishing to support Rita by attending the march are asked to RSVP to Dara Jefferson, R.I.S.E. Victim Advocate, at (641) 484-4444.  Jefferson will be coordinating efforts for community members to travel to the event.  Anyone wishing to donate gas cards to family members and supporters driving to Minneapolis and people willing to donate red material and/or sew red skirts for the march are asked to contact Jefferson at the number above.  In preparation for the march, an Indian taco and bake sale fundraiser will be held on Friday, January 25th from 11 am to 2 pm and sign painting will be held on Monday, February 4th from 5 pm to 8 pm, both at the Meskwaki Tribal Center.

Rita is a daughter, a mother of four, a sister, an aunt, and a friend.  She is missed and loved by many people.  Rita’s mother, Iris Roberts stated, “There isn’t a single day that goes by that we don’t think about Rita.  Her children, brothers and sisters, and extended family grieve every single day and hope for the chance to bring her home.”

If you know something, it is time to come forward and tell someone.  It is time to do the right thing.  It is time to bring closure to the Papakee and Walker/Roberts families.  It is time to bring her home.

Rita Janelle Papakee has been missing since January 16, 2015.  She was 41 years old, 5’4” tall, had brown hair, brown eyes, and weighed between 145-170 lbs. when she disappeared.  Contact the Meskwaki Nation Police Department with information at (641) 484-4844 or by texting/calling (641) 481-6002.

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Photos: Washburn Visits Meskwaki Nation

Meskwaki Nation recently welcomed back Kevin Washburn to the Meskwaki Settlement for a special visit on Thursday, January 10that the MBCH Veteran’s Memorial Convention Center. Washburn spent time working with the Meskwaki Nation as a Justice of the Appellate Court from 2008 to 2009. Since then he has served as the Dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law and as the Assistant Secretary to the Bureau of Indian Affairs under the Obama Administration from 2012 to 2015.


Washburn returned to the State of Iowa in 2018 when he was named the Dean of the University of Iowa College of Law.


Members from the Meskwaki Tribal Council, Executive Management, Meskwaki Tribal Court, MBCH Management team, along with several Tribal Operations Directors and staff were in attendance for the luncheon with Dean Washburn. After the meal, the group toured the Settlement to give Dean Washburn an update on local developments over the past 10 years.


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Meskwaki Housing Program Relocating


Meskwaki Housing Program, Realty and GIS will be relocating to our new offices located at 100 East Village Road on Monday, January 28th. Our phone number (641) 484-4972 will remain the same.

We will be closed from 12:00 pm Friday, January 25th through Monday, January 28th to complete this task.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

In case of an emergency during this period, please call (641) 481-0335.

We will be open normal business hours beginning Tuesday, January 29th at 8:00 am at our new location.

Meskwaki Apprenticeship Program will remain at the 3134 H Ave location. Their phone number is (641) 484-9388.

Thank you,

Meskwaki Housing Program, Realty and GIS.

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The Hunters Are Feeding Us (Hunter’s Feast)

Please join us for our upcoming community meal Dideneniwaki ketadamekonana – The Hunters Are Feeding Us – an evening celebrating seasonal foods and stories.

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, January 30th at 5:00 pm, hosted at Meskwaki Senior Services.

In the past, this event has been known as our Winter Wild Game Feast, so come prepared for a delicious community meal and the opportunity to try a variety of dishes featuring Meskwaki seasonal game meats.

Meal will be served at 5:30 pm. This event is free and open to all community  members.

Contact MFSI staff at 484-9501 with any questions. We look forward to seeing you there.

*The alternate date for this event will be February 6.

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Tribal Council Meeting

The next Tribal Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd starting at 5:00 pm in the Tribal Chambers.

Enrolled Tribal Members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

*Meetings are held on a bi-weekly basis.

**Meeting dates/times are subject to change at the discretion of the Tribal Chairman.

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