Meskwaki Tribal Operations Reopening Press Release


For Immediate Distribution: Thursday, May 27, 2021

Meskwaki Nation, Tama, Iowa:  Due to the high vaccination rates in our community and the substantial decrease in the number of positive Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Iowa and across the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (Meskwaki Nation), the Tribal Council will lift all restrictions across the Meskwaki Settlement.

The Meskwaki Nation’s mission is “To rely on the knowledge and experiences of the past, along with the will to survive to advance the people, culture and well-being of the Meskwaki Nation.”  With this mission as its foundation, the Tribe now seeks to move forward toward normal operations following a year of COVID-19 protocols including mask mandates, restrictions on social gatherings, and mandatory temperature checks.

The Tribe slowly and methodically began bringing back its day-to-day operations back in June of 2020. The Tribe followed the guiding principles as decisions were made in the best interest and safety of the community during the height of the pandemic including:

  • Served and supported the needs of the Meskwaki community with compassion and flexibility.
  • Prioritized and reopened programming and services with regard to their impact to the community based on the health and safety of the Meskwaki people, community members, staff, and visitors – with extra care and consideration of the most vulnerable populations on the Settlement, its elders and youth.
  • Followed medical advice and directions from Meskwaki Health Services and CDC guidelines.

Beginning June 1, 2021, Tribal Council will lift all restrictions put into place by the approved Meskwaki Nation Reopening Plan. In order to continue to serve the Meskwaki community in a more expanded capacity, the following activities are included:

  • Administrative buildings will open at pre-COVID-19 status with access to anyone. Temperature checks will no longer be required.
  • Only those community members and staff who are NOT fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be required to wear a mask. The “honor system” for mask requirements will be put in effect.   All non-Settlement visitors to the community will still be required to wear masks.
  • Buildings will no longer hold limits on capacity. Programmatic activities may resume full-time as deemed fit by the program director.
  • All social, community, recreational, leisure, and sports gatherings and events are now allowed at all locations and venues on the Meskwaki Settlement.
  • In-person meetings may resume in all Tribal buildings. Non-vaccinated employees and guests must wear masks for the duration of the meeting unless eating or drinking. Fully vaccinated employees and guests are not required to wear masks unless they choose to do so.
  • The Tribal Center gym and snack bar will re-open for community use.

Tribal Council is grateful to every community member who has demonstrated incredible resolve and support for one another during the pandemic.  The Tribe vows to continue taking the necessary actions to promote safety on the Meskwaki Settlement and seeks to re-enlist the community’s ongoing support to keep the coronavirus at bay through ongoing education, communication, and vaccine availability.

For more information and/or questions on the Meskwaki Tribal Operations Reopening Plan, contact Executive Director Lawrence SpottedBird at (641) 484-9229.

*The above information relates to administrative buildings and departments associated and connected to the operations of the Meskwaki Tribal Government.  Guidelines for the Meskwaki Bingo Hotel and Casino, the subsidiaries included within Meskwaki, Inc., and other Tribally owned entities may and will differ.



Shannon Mitchell

Media Services Director

Ph: (641) 484-9435 / (641) 750-7656

E-mail: [email protected]