AMES, Iowa -- With care and attention given to learning the culture, building relationships and developing trust, Iowa State University has over the past year begun to offer research-based financial education classes to residents of the Meskwaki Nation in Tama.
“The Meskwaki community is one that we have been trying to reach for several years,” said Suzanne Bartholomae, an assistant professor in human development and family studies and state specialist in family finance with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach. “A key to our success with the Meskwaki Nation is to build a relationship with community leaders and members that establishes trust and respect. Because there are unique needs and cultural practices, we have worked with the tribal council to make adjustments to our educational materials.”
The Meskwaki Nation, also known as the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, is the only federally recognized Native American tribe in Iowa. The tribe enrolls about 1,300 members, including about 800 who live on the 8,000-acre settlement in Tama County. Non-tribal members, including spouses, also live there.
The community is home to rich Native American culture, traditions, and values — including a deep respect and care for elders, and persistence in overcoming barriers.
See the complete story from the College of Human Sciences to learn how Jeannette Mukayisire, a human sciences specialist in family finance with ISU Extension and Outreach who works with 12 counties in northeast Iowa, is building a new relationship between Iowa State and the Meskwaki.
Photo caption:Jeannette Mukayisire (in striped dress), a human sciences specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, works with Christina Blackcloud (first on left), director of Meskwaki Senior Services, to offer financial education classes to residents of the Meskwaki Nation. Contributed photo.