Meskwaki Nation invites the public to a powwow Tuesday through Thursday
in recognition of the tribe's Proclamation Day.
holiday recognizes the anniversary of July 13, 1857, when the tribe
purchased the first piece of land in the area of Iowa now known
as the Meskwaki Settlement.
tribe originally lived in the St. Lawrence River Valley that is
now the east coast of Canada. Over the years, the tribe was forced
by wars, treaties and other means to move west to Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas.
July 13, we said enough; this is where we want to stay," said
Johnathan Buffalo, tribal historian.
tribal members were in Wisconsin, the French declared a holy war
on them that led to their genocide, according to Buffalo. He said
it was in Iowa that they found refuge and safety.
a treaty in the 1840s required tribal members to move to Kansas.
Buffalo said they went but could not find happiness in the plains.
just wanted to go back home, which is the woodlands," he said.
has been a nice place to live, according to Buffalo. He said the
foreign-born Americans who immigrated to the state around the 1850s
were more neighborly than those in other parts of the country whose
families had been there for generations.
first reaction seeing us wasn't to shoot us," he said.
Day is a time for all Americans to appreciate their rights to own
land and feel safe in their homes, according to Buffalo.
intertribal powwow will be Tuesday at 1 and 7 p.m., Wednesday at
noon and 7 p.m. and Thursday at noon. Admission costs $10 for all
three days or $5 per day.
event will be at the powwow grounds, located four miles west of
Tama on Highway E-49.
one way, we're a very ancient people," Buffalo said. "We
have a lot of history - a lot of events that changed the direction
of our movement - and we remember those."