Press Release For Immediate Distribution: Meskwaki Nation, Tama, Iowa
MESKWAKI DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AWARDED PUBLIC SAFETY GRANT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
U.S. Department of Justice awards grant for Conservation Initiative
The Meskwaki Department of Natural Resources (MNR), a part of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (Meskwaki Nation), was recently awarded a four year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice in the amount of $373, 511 to be used for environmental protection, education, and law enforcement. It plans to use the funds to enforce laws related to fish and wildlife, forests, waters, and wetlands.
“MNR receives several calls per month concerning hunting, fishing, harvesting, trespassing, and wildlife issues. With the award, we plan to hire a conservation officer to enhance our Conservation Initiative,” explains Meskwaki Natural Resources Director Jarrett Pfrimmer. “The mission of our department is to preserve, conserve, and restore the natural resources of the Tribe so they may uphold their sovereign rights, provide for future generations, strengthen the Meskwaki culture, and protect Grandmother Earth. We are pleased to be able to hire additional staffing to help ensure issues involving our Natural Resources Codes (Tribal Constitution/Title 14) will be handled by an individual who specializes in Natural Resource codes and investigation. It is imperative to supporting the Meskwaki culture and will help to ensure Tribal members can continue practicing their way of life.”
The grant includes allocations for needed law enforcement equipment including a vehicle, uniforms, computers, etc. “The position will ensure we can continue to meet the requirements of the 2001 agreement with the State of Iowa regarding hunting, fishing, and environmental protection,” states Executive Director of Tribal Operations, Bessie Scott. “We are pleased and encouraged that the Department of Justice values the importance of our mission to the Meskwaki people.”
The 2001 agreement with the State of Iowa states, “The Tribe agrees to fairly, uniformly, and diligently enforce the provisions of its laws, rules, and regulations governing hunting and fishing on the Settlement. However, nothing in this Agreement shall preclude the Tribe from enacting and enforcing laws, rules, and regulations, which benefit Tribal members, including special provisions or considerations for customary, traditional, and religious hunting and fishing or provisions which prohibit all hunting and fishing on the Settlement by anyone other than Tribal members”.
Included in the grant is an allocation for programming to increase the number of public education classes offered to Tribal members in the areas of hunting, fishing, personal safety, and overall recruitment and retention of outdoor enthusiasts. Pfrimmer states that furthering public education in these areas has been a frequent request from community members and one of the reasons he submitted the grant application. The department plans to hold a hunter’s education course for community members interested in learning more and/or looking to receive their hunter’s education certificate to hunt off the Settlement.
For questions or to learn more about the Conservation Initiative, contact MNR Director Jarrett Pfrimmer at (641) 484-3511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.