© 2022 Iowa Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Meskwaki Nation On Overcoming 2020 Challenges And Reconnecting With Tribal Tradition Through Food

Cale Stelken
Shelley Buffalo is the Local Foods Coordinator for Meskwaki Food Sovereignty, located on the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama County, Iowa. She grew up in rural, central Iowa and on her tribal lands. Buffalo has straddled two very different cultures: the Meskwaki and the settler-colonizer. She says she has spent a lifetime seeking a deeper understanding and sense of belonging within the social complexities of being indigenous in the “heartland."

The year 2020 has been difficult for the Meskwaki settlement near Tama. COVID-19 has made people sick, cost them their jobs and the settlement was in the path of the derecho that swept across the state in August. The storm destroyed trees, knocked out power and damaged crops.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Shelley Buffalo, local foods coordinator with Meskwaki Food Sovereignty and Meskwaki Workforce Development. Buffalo delivered a virtual lecture on food sovereignty through the State Historical Society as they mark National Native American Heritage Month.


· Shelley Buffalo, local foods coordinator, Meskwaki Food Sovereignty, Meskwaki Workforce Development

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa