N-Compass, Inc. Land Acknowledgement 

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N-Compass, Inc. acknowledges the Indigenous populations that inhabit and steward the lands and waters of the state of Iowa, both past and present. As an outdoor educational organization, we have a responsibility to recognize the ongoing traditions as well as the spiritual and cultural connections Native populations have with the land and rivers we enjoy annually on our river expeditions. We also acknowledge that colonization dispossessed Native populations and resulted in oppression and exclusion that continues today. 

This year in particular, we acknowledge the Meskwaki Tribe and Settlement which presides on a stretch of the Iowa River where the 2023 Iowa Project AWARE event will be passing through. The 2023 AWARE event, from July 9 to 14, also overlaps the Meskwaki Proclamation Day and their commemorative powwow. On July 13, 1857, a group of Meskwaki purchased what would be the first of nearly 9,000 acres of land across the state of Iowa. Today, the Meskwaki Nation and Settlement is a sovereign settlement. It is very important to make the distinction that it is private property and not a reservation. 

How to Be a River Steward: Education and Action  

Through Iowa Project AWARE, the mission of N-Compass, Inc. is to empower volunteers to be active stewards of their watersheds. Everyone knows the environmental side of being a steward; picking up trash and leaving lands and waters better than how they are found. But a crucial component to being a steward is engaging in continuous education of watersheds and carrying that learned information over to action. A crucial component to this education is learning about the history, culture and current oppression of Indigenous populations. These actions can manifest themselves in a number of ways, primarily those that support the safety and ability of Indigenous peoples to carry out their traditions.  

During the week of AWARE, volunteers will have the opportunity to listen to a talk from Meskwaki Historian, Johnathan Buffalo, tour the Meskwaki Cultural Museum and learn about traditional prairie games. However, education about the Meskwaki and other Indigenous tribes of Iowa can extend far beyond the week of AWARE. Volunteers are encouraged to continue their education on the Meskwaki and other tribes across the state and the country. A great way to turn education into action is to donate to Indigenous causes and organizations. The following are resources that can be used for education and support of Indigenous communities. 


Indigenous Organizations and Causes to Support 

Red Earth Gardens, Tama, IA 

Meskwaki Cultural Museum (donations best in cash or checks)   

Native American Heritage Association  

First Nations Development Institute  

Association on American Indian Affairs  

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society 

Native American Advancement Foundation 

National Indian Child Welfare Association  

Native American Rights Fund 

American Indian College Fund  

Indigenous Environmental Network 


Meskwaki Public Powwow – August 10 – 13, 2023 

Origins of the Powwow  

What to expect and Powwow Etiquette  


Meskwaki Educational Resources 

Meskwaki Culture 

History of the Meskwaki People  

History of the Meskwaki Settlement  

Meskwaki Cultural Museum  

Preserving The Meskwaki Language of Iowa   

Iowa Environmental Council: Meskwaki Nation Leads Creation of Iowa River Watershed Coalition    

Meskwaki Historical Preservation 

A Special Message and Invitation on School Mascots 

Tribal Constitution, Code & Bylaws    

About: Red Earth Gardens  

Meskwaki Remember Action Anthropology  


Indigenous Educational Resources 

Native American Student Association (University of Iowa)  

Why Indigenous Literatures Matter (Book) 

Decolonization and why it is important 

National Museum of the American Indian 

Honoring Nations: Successes in Self-Governance 

The Clio: Walking and Visual Tours 

Indigenous Peoples Day 

Native American: Immigration and Relocation in U.S. History