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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).

Meskwaki Family Services Fall Festival

Meskwaki Family Services Fall Festival
Grab & Go Pumpkin and Goody-Bag Pickup
Wednesday, October 20th
Meskwaki Youth House (1641 305th St, Tama)
Meskwaki Family Services is hosting a fall festival for community members and their children. Come “pick” a pumpkin and a goody bag for your child!
This will be a grab-and-go event. There will be large pumpkins to choose from and a children’s goody bag available while supplies last. **Please limit one per person and to be mindful of social distancing recommendations.
Should you have any questions, please contact Meskwaki Family Services at 641-484-4444.
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Meskwaki Trick or Treat Night

🎃👻 Meskwaki Trick or Treat Night 👻🎃
Saturday, October 30th
Meskwaki Settlement
*Remember to wear a mask, wash or sanitize hands frequently, stay 6ft apart, and please stay home if you are feeling sick.
**If you choose to participate in handing out candy don’t forget to leave your porch light on.
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SettFit Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the following WINNERS, who were drawn by raffle, based on their accumulated SettFit Challenge points through the Wellable App!
Points Raffle for PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:
$100 Visa Gift Card goes to Jordan Kapayou.
Points Raffle for NUTRITION LOGGING:
$100 Visa Gift Card goes to Lana Roberts.
$100 Gift Card goes to Misty Jefferson.
Winners of the raffles for watching the remaining videos:
$25 Visa Gift Card Raffle for watching ENVIRONMENTAL WELLNESS
video goes to Mary Jane Shuckahosee.
$25 Visa Gift Card Raffle for watching INTELLECTUAL WELLNESS
Video goes to Shirley Noline Ward.
$25 Visa Gift Card Raffle for watching FINANCIAL WELLNESS
video goes to Oceana Papakee.
*Gift cards will arrive in your email boxes within 24 hours.
EVERYONE WHO COMPLETED THE CHALLENGE: Please stop by the Health Clinic to pick up your tee-shirt!
THANKS to everyone for participating in our last challenge with Wellable. We will not be utilizing the Wellable programming app for future challenges, but look for more information about SettFit opportunities in the near future! We’ll post on this page! Keep up the great work!!!!!
~ SettFit Challenge Team
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Meskwaki Health Services Receives Heroes in Health Award

For Immediate Distribution: October 4, 2021




The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) will be awarding the Meskwaki Health Clinic with its most prestigious award, the “Heroes in Health Award”, virtually on Wednesday, October 6th, 2021.  Located in Washington DC on Capitol Hill, the non-profit organization provides a variety of services to tribes including advocacy, policy formation, regulatory tracking, and Indian health research.  Annually, they recognize a small group of people/organizations who demonstrate outstanding service in the quest to improve Native health and seek to honor the good work being done all around Indian Country.

One of only a handful of agencies receiving this year’s award, the health care team at the Meskwaki Health Clinic worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, providing more than 6,000 COVID-19 shots to the Settlement’s residents and staff, as well as to under-served communities throughout central Iowa.  As a tribe of just over 1,450 people, the health clinic served more than four times their tribe’s population, providing life-saving shots to anyone wishing to be vaccinated.  For this, the NIHB seeks to thank and award the Meskwaki Nation for their outstanding service to Tribal communities amid the trying times of the coronavirus pandemic.

Health Director Rudy Papakee stated, “It takes a great team to lead in an enormous project like this, and we have an outstanding staff who really stepped up to take on the challenge.  When the pandemic hit, we brainstormed about how we could help.  With those initial planning efforts, the staff was ready to help be a part of the solution early on.”

Leading the way, Papakee and his team by-passed the state’s mandates to get earlier shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine via the federal government’s Indian Health Services.  “I felt the connection with the Indian Health Service was going to be much stronger,” Papakee said. “They made some promises right from the beginning that once they got it, they’d get it into our hands.  Looking back, that decision was integral to our early success.”

With an early vaccination supply and a willing community ready to receive the shot, the Meskwaki Settlement as a whole held a much higher vaccination rate than much of the U.S. early on and was able to remain virus free for most of the summer.  Additionally, staff was able to expand services, offering shots to people of all ages outside of the Settlement and throughout central Iowa.

Through federal COVID-19 funding, the clinic purchased a mobile vaccine clinic (see picture) serving local school districts like North High School in Des Moines, Newton High School, and locally in schools including Marshalltown, East Marshall, and South Tama.  Staff worked extended hours and traveled to numerous locations ensuring the vaccine reached as many individuals as possible, particularly under-served populations, elders, and youth. They provided walk-in clinics at multiple locations including their own clinic, Toledo Heights, Des Moines’ downtown Juneteenth Celebration and locally through the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel.  Moreover, Meskwaki staff continues to work through the evolving landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to offer the vaccine to anybody requesting one. Their goal is to provide accurate vaccine information and help dispel anti-vaccine hesitancy issues through leadership and support.

Clinic Nurse Manager Sara Augspurger stated, “Initially, organizing it seemed a bit overwhelming, but completely worth every bit of effort we’ve put in so far.  I’m super proud of our staff, I feel they deserve this award.  We’re grateful to the NIHB for recognizing our work.”

Papakee, concluded, “ I’d like to thank all our health staff, Meskwaki leadership, and the entire community for their support and assistance as we continue to navigate the pandemic together.  While we continue to meet the health care needs of the Tribe, we will begin offering vaccination boosters per CDC recommendations soon.”

He also stated that while COVID-19 has been an ongoing concern, he continues to worry about staff burnout and impacts to staff with the ongoing pandemic.  “Staff have shown significant resilience and have continued to rise to the challenges presented in the fight against COVID-19. Receiving such an award affirms their efforts are recognized and appreciated not just locally but on a national level.”

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Meskwaki Nation Recreation Center Job Fair, October 13

A Meskwaki Nation Recreation Center Job Fair will be held on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 from 10:00AM until 2:00PM at the Convention Center in the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel.

The purpose of this Job Fair is to share opportunities, application process, and requirements for hire. If appropriate, we would encourage on-site applications and possible interviews.

Miron Construction is currently looking for the right candidates to fill the following trade positions:

  • Masons
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Pipe Fitters
  • Sheet Metal Workers
  • Plumbers
  • Ironworkers
  • Operators
  • Mechanical / HVAC
  • Roofing
  • Fire Protection
  • Glazing / Windows
  • Painting and Wall Coverings
  • Flooring and Acoustical Ceilings
  • Landscaping
  • General Labor

Items for Consideration:

  • Employment is not guaranteed.
  • There are physical requirements of construction workers.
  • Pre-employment drug testing is required.
  • Employment needs fluctuate throughout construction duration.

Application Process:

  • Complete and submit an inquiry form. Miron Construction Co., Inc. Employment Inquiry Form
  • Applications will be shared with appropriate union / subcontractor representative.
  • Union / subcontractor representative will follow up with employment opportunities.
  • OR A representative will follow up with employment opportunities.

Miron Construction Co., Inc. Employment Inquiry Forms will be available on-line (Miron Construction Co., Inc. Employment Inquiry Form), at the Meskwaki Tribal Center Front Desk, and also in the Meskwaki HR Office.

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New Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program to Launch in October

New Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program to Launch in October

As part of an ongoing effort to address the financial impact of COVID-19, Iowa has received over $10 million in federal aid to help households that have fallen behind in water bills and are facing disconnection of service or have already been disconnected.

What is Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)? 

The new federal Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) will provide assistance in the form of benefit payments made directly to water vendors on behalf of households for past-due charges, fees, and taxes for drinking and wastewater services.  The program will be administered by the Iowa Department of Human Rights and locally through Iowa’s Community Action Agencies that serve all 99 counties.

What is the application process? 

Iowans may apply by contacting their local Community Action Agency starting October 8, 2021. To locate the agency nearest you, please visit https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply or call the Iowa Department of Human Rights at 515-242-3861.

Program eligibility mirrors that of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), meaning applicants must qualify to receive federal LIHEAP benefits, total household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, and a current water crisis must be present.

When will the program end?

The application period is open year-round.  LIHWAP will run through September 30, 2023, or until funds are exhausted.

To learn more about LIHWAP, visit https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/programs/lihwap or contact your local community action agency.


Sonya Streit, Public Information Officer, 515-242-5640, sonya.streit@iowa.gov
Christine Taylor, Division of Community Action Agencies, 515-281-4565,

Iowa Department of Human Rights
321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319

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Tribal Council Meeting, October 13, 2021

The next Tribal Council Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 beginning at 5:00PM in the Tribal Chambers.
With Covid-19 precautions in mind, Tribal Council Members, key staff and individuals on the agenda will only be allowed in the meeting. This will be a temporary arrangement until further notice.
*Meetings are held on a bi-weekly basis.
**Meeting dates/times are subject to change at the discretion of the Tribal Chairperson.
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MY Leadership Council Informational Meeting to be held on October 5, 2021

Meskwaki Youth is looking for Youth in Grades 5-12th to sign up for the MY Leadership Council.  The Mission and Goals for the Leadership Council are:


To build purpose driven leaders in and around the Meskwaki Community.


  • Youth will feel empowered as leaders to make change in their community through community service lead projects.
  • Youth will set goals and determine how to measure success of their community service experiences.
  • Youth will take healthy risks and build supportive relationships with their peers.

There will be an information Meeting held on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 from 5:30PM until 6:30PM at Meskwaki Apprenticeship (3138 H Ave).

If you have any questions, please contact Meskwaki Youth Development Program at 641-484-5369.

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