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


Economic Development

Providing concepts and entry strategies to promote the economic growth of the Meskwaki Nation by empowering entrepreneurship and promoting economic diversification.


The Economic Development Department facilitates the mobilization of community assets to diversify employment, increase entrepreneurship, and promote financial empowerment within the Meskwaki Nation.  Its vision is to continually advocate for the development of a healthy, self-sufficient economy while strengthening and building upon Tribal values.

Focus Areas:

  • Business Development
  • Organizational Development
  • Workforce Education and Training
  • Development FinancingBusiness graph with grid

Tribal members with a dream, idea and/or business concept seeking professional development, empowerment and resources are encouraged to contact the Economic Development Department.

Achieving entrepreneurial success can be within your reach.   Our strategies include sustainable economic development through micro-enterprise, skill development and capacity building.

Through mentoring, business connections, development financing and assisting potential business owners overcome barriers, the Economic Development Department is working to help the Meskwaki Nation reach their goals by finding solutions to help smooth the road to success for its members.

FREE Income Tax Preparation Services

Free income tax preparation services are offered through the AARP Tax Aide Program.

Click here to see the tax appointment preparation list and learn more!

Entrepreneurship Training:

Entrepreneurship Training is held annually and assists community members thinking of starting a business and/or to assist a business with some aspect of their operations. The areas covered during this 2-day training include:

  • Setting personal goals
  • Identifying skills needed to run a business
  • Overview of the components of a business plan
  • Describing your products and services
  • Marketing research and market analysis
  • Developing a marketing plan
  • Identifying a location
  • Form of ownership – legal issues, insurance, taxes, leases, intellectual property
  • Record keeping – startup budget, cash flow statement, balance sheet, profit/loss statement
  • What the numbers tell you – how to do a break-even analysis
  • Small business financing
  • Management and operations – leadership team, operational plan
  • Your path to business ownership – putting you plan into action

Financial Literacy:

Working in collaboration with the Meskwaki Youth Development Program Financial Literacy training is part of the Summer Youth Enrichment Program (SYEP) and include one hour sessions held over a six week period. The training utilizes the curriculum from Building Native Communities – Financial Skills for Families and covers the topics of:

  • Building a Healthy Economy
  • Developing a spending plan
  • Working with checking and savings accounts
  • Understanding credit and your credit report
  • Using credit
  • Be a smart consumer

Promoting Tribal Economies Course

Promoting Tribal Economies Course (PTEC) is a workforce development course through MFSI for Meskwaki Community Members interested in farming or related business. Participants build their resumes while hearing from local speakers, going on field trips, learning about food and farming, and building workplace skills during on-the-job training.
Access the 2016 PTEC outcomes report HERE!

Call for information about the next class! Contact Shelley Kapayou to find out more at (641) 484-9501.

Economic Development Staff
Director Shelley Kapayou (interim)
Administrative Assistant  Shoshonis Brown
Farm Production Manager Grant Shadden
Permaculture Specialist Adam Ledvina
Farm Crew Leader Dewey Youngbear Bass
Workforce Development Coordinator Shelley Kapayou
Physical Address: Mailing Address: Phone: 641.484.9501
1496 Hwy 30 Suite 500
Tama, IA 52339
349 Meskwaki Road
Tama, IA 52339
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