Thursday, March 26, 2015

Meet Native America: Donald Wanatee, Council Member, Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa

Meet Native American. The National Museum of the American Indian.

"In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native peoples today." 
-Dennis Zotigh, NMAI 

Donald Wanatee, Sac & Fox Tribal Council member. Photo courtesy of the Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa/Meskwaki and the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
Donald Wanatee, Sac & Fox Tribal Council member. Photo courtesy of the Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa/Meskwaki and the National Museum of the American Indian's Blog.
"Where is your community located? Where are your people originally from?

The Sac and Fox—the Meskwaki—originated along the St. Lawrence in southern Canada, near Montreal and Three Rivers. To get here I surmise was quite a march for our people. After running around from government troops, we settled in Tama County, Iowa. We, the tribe, in the year 1857 bought 80 acres of land along the Iowa River, which we eventually expanded to 10,000 acres, thus increasing the legitimacy of our land holdings and governmental structure. A so-called "self-governing" tribe, we should have been given instruction in "self-government." Receiving no guidance from federal lawmakers, we stand."

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