Mesquakie Maintain Culture

Time Frame: 1976

In 1976 a Mesquakie man discussed how his tribe managed to keep their heritage and culture alive.
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“First People of the Prairies,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 1, Iowa Public Television, 1979.

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The Mesquakie’s tribal ownership of land is unique among American Indians. No other tribe has succeeded in making such an arrangement. Over the years the white man’s attempts to change the Mesquakie culture have not been very successful. Missionaries tried to convert them to Christianity in 1905, but most Mesquakie’s held on to their own religious beliefs.

(drums and singing)

A lot of the tribes have lost a lot of their ways, old Indian traditional ways. Young kids are starting to mix their languages. I’ll say maybe they’re using about 50 percent of English. They’re mixing the two languages together, that’s the way they talk nowadays. So there may come a day in the future when it’ll be all English; all the way through, so… That would be the—I could say—the ruination of our people. But right now we’re still on, we’re doing all right.


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