Dawn Suzanne Wanatee

Meskwaki Traditions, Tama
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Dawn Suzanne Wanatee is from the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, Iowa. She is deeply committed to conserving the natural environment and values the conservation traditional knowledge and skills. Suzanne is a great observer of the little things, the things of value that some people miss.

Meskwaki, literally “the Red Earth People,” are of Algonquin origin from the Eastern Woodland Culture area. Referred to by the French as "Les Renards" (the Foxes) as far back as 1666, tribal members have always identified themselves as “Meskwaki.” In 1735, they allied with the Sauk to fend off Europeans and other Indian tribes, and both tribes moved southward from Wisconsin into Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. The US Government moved the Sauk and Meskwaki to a reservation in northeast Kansas in 1845, but some Meskwaki remained in Iowa. In 1857 the tribe purchased the first 80 acres in Tama County, and ten years later the U.S. Government finally began paying them annuities, which gave the Meskwaki a formal identity as the Sac and Fox of Iowa.


Contact: Dawn Suzanne Wanatee, 1536 305th St., Tama IA 52339