In 1857, a small number of determined Native Iowans from the Sauk & Fox tribes returned to Iowa to buy back about 6,000 acres, establishing, what is today known as, the Meskwaki Nation in Tama County in East Central Iowa. To our Native Iowan brothers and sisters, thank you for the kiowa (this is the place) heritage we share with you today! We are all richer because you have come back home!
On the personal side, one of my fondest memories was attending the many Miller Family Reunions, always held on the Johnson County farmland of Benedict Miller, who walked from Ohio to Iowa in the early 1850’s to secure the land. In his 1979 book – The Deer Creek Story by Glen R. Miller, Dr. Miller, of Goshen, Indiana shares this picture (above) from the 1966 family reunion when the Miller family invited Chief Young Bear and the Meskwaki tribe from nearby Tama to join us. The tribal celebration at that reunion is a memory I have long cherished – and today, I tip my hat in thanks to the Meskwaki people – who have now returned to this beautiful land that was once rightfully theirs.
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While I Appreciate your sharing good memories of tribal and white collaborations, I was struck by the use of “the land was originally owned by…The Millers shared their land” etc. Language is a powerful reminder of the legacy of white dominance which continues to pervade American culture. Was the land originally owned by a white man or was it used by First People and unowned? As we strive for diversity and inclusion, we should all pay attention to details. I do applaud your contributions and photographs to recall this rich aspect of Iowa history. Thanks
Ceanne – thanks for the good reminder. Language matters. We’ve re-worked that paragraph and hopefully it does a better job at honoring those who preceded us on this land. Blessings!