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Meskwaki Native Americans

With a name meaning "Red Earth People", the Meskwaki Indians are one of the major Native American tribes of Iowa. After the French almost defeated the society in 1730, the Meskwaki created a safe alliance with the Sauk Indians, merging their name as the Sac and Fox (despite the groups still being separate, the U.S. government treated them as one unit). The Meskwaki tribe settled in eastern Iowa near the lead mines of Dubuque (1731-1732), with other villages along the Cedar, Iowa and Wapsipinicon Rivers (1740-1765). After the death of Black Hawk, the Meskwaki were forced to relocate. From 1833-1842, the Meskwaki lived on the Des Moines and Iowa rivers, and by the second Fort Des Moines from 1842-1845. In 1846, the Meskwaki and Sauk were removed to a Kansas reservation by the United States government. Upset about their poor treatment and homesickness, the Meskwaki living on the reservation planned to buy back their lost land. After selling their horses to raise money, they were given permission from the Iowa General Assembly in 1856 to live nearby the Iowa River (this area is considered private property, not a reservation). From 1867-1901, the tribe was able to make an income through trapping and annuity payments to purchase more land. The Meskwaki today still reside near Tama, Iowa, but are legally known as the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi (the only federally recognized tribe in Iowa). Total, the Meskwaki own more than 8,199 acres in the counties of Tama, Marshall and Palo Alto. In many ways the Meskwaki were similar to the Ioway Indians. Each functioned on a clan system and had a diet based on farming (beans, corn and squash) and hunted animals such as buffalo, deer and fish. The tribe lives in bark or cattail mats known as wickiups.
U.S. Chronology
Iowa History Eras
Relational Notes
Resource is related to the following objects, which can be found by searching the catalog number in the advanced search section: Catalog #: 2018.029.002- Cradleboard 2018.039.003- Arrowhead 2018.039.002- Pottery 2018.039.004- Axe Head 2018.039.006- Brooch
Iowa County