Meskwaki Settlement, Tama, Iowa – Out of an abundance of caution for our community members and employees, Tribal Council has approved the closure of Tribal Operations beginning on Wednesday, March 18th. The closure will remain in effect until June 15th as of now and will be re-evaluated at a later date to determine if closure should be extended. For the benefit of the community, the Meskwaki Health Clinic, Behavioral Health Services (MADAC), the CHR Program, Pharmacy, and the Meskwaki Travel Plaza will remain open.
Judith Bender, Tribal Council Chairwoman stated, “To minimize exposure to infected individuals, it is up to every single community member to do their part. Profound and significant steps have been made to limit the spread of the coronavirus in our community. Stay home and stay safe.”
Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel
Tribal efforts to slow the spread of the infection of the COVID-19 virus onto the Meskwaki Settlement began to go into effect with the closure of the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel which temporarily closed for business on Tuesday, March 17th .
Meskwaki Settlement School
Starting Thursday, March 19th the Meskwaki Settlement School, including offices, will be closed. Please see the schools website at www.msswarrior.org for more information.
During the temporary closure, all employees will be compensated with base pay rates and benefits. Staff are implored to stay at home, practice social distancing, and avoid social gatherings of groups of more than 10 people. To assist enrolled members and their descendants during the closure, food, and health assistance will be available including:
The Senior Center will provide lunch through home meal delivery each weekday. Seniors who would like a meal should call the center at (641) 484-9222 before 10 AM for delivery.
Children Curbside Grab-N-Go Meals
Starting Monday, April 13, there will be a change to our curbside lunch distribution. In order to decrease the number of times that families have to go out to get lunches, we will be covering multiple days with less lunch pick-ups. Our lunch pick-ups will now only be on Mondays and Thursdays. The Monday lunches will have enough food to cover Monday through Wednesday and the Thursday lunches will cover Thursday and Friday.
So starting next week, we will begin our curbside lunch pick-ups on Monday and Thursday only from 11 am – 12 pm. Just a reminder that meals CAN ONLY BE PROVIDED TO THE CHILD. Simply arrive WITH YOUR CHILDREN (ages 18 or younger) to the elementary school front entrance curb and we will bring the lunches to you. Stay Safe!!
Meskwaki Health Services
The Meskwaki Health Clinic, the CHR Program, Pharmacy, and Behavioral Health Services will remain open normal business hours. PLEASE CALL AHEAD FOR APPOINTMENTS AT (641) 484-4094.
Red Earth Gardens
Red Earth Gardens continues to have organic, farm fresh eggs, beans, and rosemary for sale at the Health Clinic. Eggs are also available for purchase at the Meskwaki Travel Plaza. Go to their website at www.redearthgardens.com for more.
Protection and Public Works
During the closure, emergency services will remain. The Meskwaki Police Department will continue regular patrol hours and emergency Tribal Court Services will be scheduled accordingly. Public Works will continue services as needed including snow removal and garbage pick-up. For emergency Housing Department assistance contact Director Kent Scheid at (641) 481-0335. For broadband/internet issues, contact (641) 481-0344 or (641) 481-5501 to leave a message.
“The most important thing we can do as a tribe,” stated Tribal Chairwoman Bender, “is to protect our most vulnerable, our children and our elders. So please STAY HOME. Be smart. Pray with good energy. Take care of yourself and keep panic in control. Fear has a spirit, do not feed it.”
At this time, there are no known cases reported on the Settlement or in Tama County. IF YOU EXPERIENCE SYMPTOMS, PLEASE CALL THE HEALTH CLINIC AT (641) 484-4094 FOR FURTHER GUIDANCE. For more information, contact Executive Director JoAnn Youngbear at (641) 484-4678.