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MESKWAKI NATION - NEWS & EVENTS

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).

“Going Live” at the Museum

Due to COVID-19 we are unable to host the Meskwaki Annual Powwow this year so in honor of the powwow, which traditionally starts on Thursday, we’re hoping to share with you a little bit about what is truly distinctive about the Meskwaki way of life.

Join Historic Preservation Director Johnathan Buffalo for a virtual tour of the museum. You will hear stories about Meskwaki history, learn about the annual powwow, and more!

Tune in to the Meskwaki Nation Facebook page as he “goes live” both Thursday and Friday (Aug. 6 &7) at 10:30 AM!

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School Holds On-line Registration

This year the Meskwaki Settlement School will start transitioning to Online Registration.  You must have a Parent Portal account set up through Infinite Campus to be able to access registration.  If you have problems logging into your account or do not have one set up, please call the building registrar at (641) 484-9000 for assistance.
The registration window will be open from August 5th through August 14th.  To gain access, sign into your Parent Portal  account, click “more” and then click “Online Registration” to do your child’s registration from the convenience of your home/work computer, table, or other device.   You will be able to submit additional documents from your device or mail/fax it to the school.
CLICK HERE to link to our Infinite Campus Parent Portal:
https://bie.infinitecampus.com/campus/portal/meskwaki.jsp
Elementary Registrar:  (641) 484-4990
Middle / High School Registrar:  (641) 484-9000
Email:  registrar@msswarriors.org
Mailing address is:  108 305th Street, Tama, IA  52339
Fax:  (641) 484-9090
NEW STUDENTS:  Please contact the building registrars.
We encourage you to do this as soon as you are able to, as it helps us plan for the upcoming school year.  You DO NOT need to physically go into a building to do the updates.  If you do not have access to a device, contact us.  A time will be set up for you to come to the school.
CLICK HERE to link to our Infinite Campus Parent Portal:
https://bie.infinitecampus.com/campus/portal/meskwaki.jsp

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Masks Required at Home Visits

MESKWAKI NATION EMPLOYEES ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS DURING HOME VISITS AND ASKING RESIDENTS TO DO THE SAME.

Due to COVID-19 safety concerns and recommendations from the CDC, all employees, residents, clients, customers, and vendors who come in contact with others are required to wear a mask.  This includes visits to administrative buildings as well as contact for work related home visits to Settlement locations.  Meskwaki Nation employees, who are required to wear a mask, are also required to ask all residents, clients, customers, and vendors to also wear a mask during any/all home visits.  If no mask is available, staff will provide a mask to everyone they come in contact with during their visit.

 

Before entering a home, employees will call (or ask before entry if no phone is available) and be provided with the following information:

 

  1. Do you or anyone in the home have COVID-related symptoms?
  2. Has anyone in the home been directly exposed to a known positive individual in the last 14 days?
  3. Does anyone in the home have an active case of COVID-19?

 

If the household answers “yes” to any of the above questions, the employee will reschedule their visit unless circumstances require immediate attention.

 

If a resident, client, customer, or vendor refuses to wear a mask when in contact with an Meskwaki Nation employee, they will NOT provide the scheduled service or work to those individuals and return to their workplace.

 

NOTE:  Even while wearing a mask, any Close Contact with a known positive individual requires a quarantine of a minimum 14 days.  “Close Contact” is defined as being within 6 feet of someone for at least 15 minutes.

 

We thank you for your understanding and support.

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Meskwaki Settlement School Updates

From the Superintendent on 8/3/20:

(Visit their website at www.msswarriors.org for complete details.)

Good afternoon MSS Families,

We know how challenging this time has been for our communities, our state, and our country. Please know, we are working hard to prepare for the start of the school year and to determine the best actions to support our students and staff. With each day, we learn more and identify something else to be considered. We recognize as we move forward there will be more questions to be answered. Thank you for patiently working with us through these uncertain times.

Last week, members of the MSS leadership team had the opportunity to meet with the Tribal Council to review our options noted in the attached Return to Learning Plan. The following information is a brief summary of our work. As we’ve discussed and shared previously, we have been preparing for three options:

  1. Return with everyone in school
  2. Returning with some in-school learning and some virtual learning opportunities
  3. Everyone participating in virtual learning

A safe and effective reopening of the Meskwaki Settlement School in the fall requires the commitment of our Meskwaki Settlement School family members- staff, students, families, and community- to do our part. Our mission is to prepare students to be responsible, independent life-long learners, preserving the language and culture of the Meskwaki Tribe. By working together in a safe environment, students will grow culturally, intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially.

The following principles guided the work of the reopening leadership team:

  • Foster overall health of students and staff while mitigating the risk posed by COVID-19
  • Provide high-quality teaching and learning experiences for students and staff, regardless of delivery mode
  • Make decisions that are driven by data and expert recommendations

Federal, State, and Local Guidance
The district has relied on federal, state, and local guidance in developing its plans, policies, and procedures for a safe reopening this fall. In developing this plan, the Meskwaki Settlement School re-entry teamed reviewed guidance from the Iowa Departments of Education and Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Tama County Department of Public Health, Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), Meskwaki Health Clinic, area educational leaders, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We have also reviewed guidance from additional professional organizations, including the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU), and Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA).

Throughout the summer, fall, and if necessary-the whole 2020-21 academic year- the district will continue to work closely on its COVID-19 health and safety protocols with the Tama County Department of Public Health and our Tribal Health Department in order to best respond to the specific needs of our school community.

Here is a summary of the work from our Return to Learn plan:

Beginning of the School Year
At this time, the District plans to start staff PD on August 10th and students will start August 17th. Given our current information, we are planning to begin the school year with the Hybrid Model.

  • At this time we will be planning for instruction for students in K-12.
  • Due to the difficulty of providing in-person instruction with supported social distancing guidelines, there will be no Early Childhood and PreK classes through the 1st semester of school. We will provide virtual instructional learning opportunities to our EC-PreK students through the first semester. Decisions regarding 2nd semester will be made as we near the start of the 2nd semester.
  • Students will be split into two groups (taking families into consideration and balancing each grade level) and assigned into cohorts to attend classes on campus either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday.
  • Students will participate in required online learning the three days they are not on campus. In some situations, students requiring additional support will report to school on additional days in small groups to provide them direct specific support.
  • Wednesday will be utilized for extra cleaning, professional development for staff, lesson development.

We will adjust our instructional delivery to less or more restrictions based on the information that we have available.

Virtual Learning
We know there are families ready for their students to return to school for direct instruction for educational and social benefits while there are others who do not feel comfortable with their child(ren) returning for direct instruction at this time. While virtual learning is not the recommended return to learning approach, parents may elect this option for their students by completing a Virtual Learning Application. Every student will automatically be scheduled into the hybrid learning model unless the family completes the application in early August. Virtual Learning Application link below.

Health and Safety Guidelines
The following Health and Safety Guidelines are being implemented and will continue to be adjusted as needed:

  • Beginning of the day screening for temps and other symptoms for staff and students
  • Facial PPE (Masks and/or where appropriate-face shields) will be required for all staff and students
  • Plastic barriers in certain areas will be used as additional protective barriers
  • Arrange learning spaces to account for 6ft of social distancing wherever possible
  • Limited movement of students throughout the building
  • Increased cleaning and sanitization procedures
  • Assigned small groups with limited to no interactions with other groups
  • Frequent breaks for hand-washing
  • Additional safety adjustments to routines (meals, expanded learning outside, staggering of class dismissals, etc.)

Transportation

Families who are able to transport their own students to school and from school will be asked to do so temporarily, but bussing will be provided to families that need the bus. Masks, social distancing, and symptom screening will be required each morning for students riding the bus.

Band, Choir, PE, Athletics & Extra Curricular Activities

Increased space, utilizing outdoor space, and other modifications are continuing to be identified. More updates will be forthcoming in August.
The whole Return to Learn Plan is attached to this email and will be posted on the district website. Although the whole plan has significantly more details, please know we will continue to modify and adjust the plan based on the best available information in order to support the needs of our students and staff.
Thank you,

Willie Barney, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Meskwaki Settlement School

Meskwaki Settlement School Return to Learn Plan.docx (1)

Virtual Learning Application Link

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MNR Bat Survey Update

Meskwaki Natural Resources is fulfilling grant requirements by performing acoustic bat surveys on the Settlement. Acoustic bat surveys utilize highly specialized microphones for listening to bats in the surrounding areas. Every bat species has a characteristically different call (that cannot be heard from the naked eye) and this equipment paired with specialized software is able to determine what kind of species are present on the Settlement.

If you see something that resembles a microphone on a tripod or stand on a trail or in an area you are meandering through please leave it alone. It will be labeled for wildlife surveys and they are being utilized by MNR staff. This equipment will be deployed from July 31st through August 9th. If you have questions about this equipment or come across something that you are unfamiliar with feel free to talk to Megan at (641) 484-3511.

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Meskwaki Inc Job Announcement

Senior Accountant

We are looking for an experienced Senior accountant to oversee general accounting operations by controlling and verifying our financial transactions. Senior accountant responsibilities include reconciling account balances and bank statements, maintaining general ledger and preparing month-end close procedures. This position requires an individual with inherent leadership qualities and the attention to detail necessary to ensure accurate reporting in all areas.  The successful candidate will be able to work independently and in a team environment. A successful Senior accountant combines excellent analytical skills with a thorough knowledge of accounting principles to analyze financial reports and forecasts. The ideal candidate has experience collaborating and/or managing a team of accountants and junior accountants. Senior accountant duties include ensuring accuracy and effectiveness in all of our accounting tasks.

Responsibilities

  • Verify, allocate, post and reconcile accounts payable and receivable
  • Produce error-free accounting reports and present their results
  • Analyze financial information and summarize financial status
  • Spot errors and suggest ways to improve efficiency and spending
  • Provide technical support and advice on Management accountant
  • Review and recommend modifications to accounting systems and procedures
  • Manage accounting assistants and bookkeepers
  • Participate in financial standards setting and in forecast process
  • Provide input into department’s goal setting process
  • Prepare financial statements and produce budget according to schedule
  • Assist with tax audits and tax returns
  • Direct internal and external audits to ensure compliance
  • Plan, assign and review staff’s work
  • Support month-end and year-end close process
  • Develop and document business processes and accounting policies to maintain and strengthen internal controls
  • Ensure compliance with GAAP principles
  • Liaise with our Financial Director to improve financial procedures

 

Skills

  • Proven experience as a financial accounting supervisor or senior accountant
  • Thorough knowledge of basic accounting procedures
  • In-depth understanding of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Awareness of business trends
  • Familiarity with financial accounting statements
  • Experience with general ledger functions and the month-end/year-end close process
  • Hands-on experience with accounting software packages
  • Advanced MS Excel skills including VLOOKUP’s and pivot tables
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Aptitude for numbers and quantitative skills
  • BS degree in Accounting, Finance or relevant
  • Relevant certification (e.g. CMA or CPA) will be preferred
  • Willingness to work with a wide variety of businesses; wholesale, retail, professional services, and construction.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with multiple priorities.

Qualifications – Preferred

  • Experience working with Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • CPA license or demonstrated progress toward securing a license.

Salary

Dependent on Qualifications

Work Location

Meskwaki Business Centre in Tama, Iowa 52339

Please send Resumes to Human Resources email address hr@meskwakiinc.com or mail resume to the following address:

Meskwaki Inc. Human Resources

Attn. Holly Youngbear-Schrock

1496 Hwy 30

Tama, Iowa 52339

Phone # 641-484-9551 ext. 2617

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Important News – Unsolicited Seed Packages

Meskwaki Natural Resources has received information from the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) of recent unsolicited packages being shipped to various locations across the country including the Midwest. These packages contain unknown seeds. DO NOT open these packages and even more importantly, DO NOT open the pouches or packets that hold the seeds. Please keep all seeds contained and call MNR at (641) 484-3511. MNR staff will pick up the seeds and send them to a local office for identification.

At this time, the motive for this act is unknown and the Federal Government is taking a cautious approach to prevent potential disastrous effects of introduction of unknown plants to our ecosystems. USDA is the Federal agency that controls and monitors the entry of seeds and plants into the United States.

Click here for news notification from the USDA.

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Services and Support for COVID Recovery

COVID Recovery Iowa is a group paid for by a FEMA grant that Iowa received in order to offer services and supports to individuals and families who have been impacted by COVID-19.

This grant offers emotional support, education, and basic counseling to those in need. We are reaching out to community professionals, so our services can be shared with Iowans who need it. We offer support groups, counseling, debriefing, and educational and supportive information over the phone, zoom, email, and via social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

Helpful Links:
https://covidrecoveryiowa.org/
https://www.facebook.com/covidrecoveryIowa/
https://www.instagram.com/covidrecoveryiowa/

 

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Annual Powwow Canceled

In regards to the 2020 Meskwaki Annual Powwow, Tribal Council and MAPA have agreed to cancel this year’s powwow in concern for the safety and well-being of the people during this pandemic. We hope to sing and dance together again in the future to come as the days get better. Ketebi and hope everyone is still dancing and singing at home.

Although the Meskwaki Annual Powwow for 2020
has been canceled, Tribal Offices will still be closing at noon
on Thursday, August 6th and Friday, August 7th

 

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