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Constitution and Bylaws of the Sac and Fox Tribes in Iowa, December 20, 1937

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Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa, 20 December 1937


After the U.S. Congress created the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, the Meskwaki established their own constitution. This document is the constitution and its by-laws as it was created in 1937. The preamble states, "We, the Mesquakie Indians, enrolled members of the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, hereinafter referred to as the Sac and Fox Tribe in Iowa, now living on the Sac and Fox Settlement located near Tama, Tama County, Iowa in order that we may perpetuate our ancient tribal affairs, transact tribal business, and promote our own and our posterity’s social, economic, educational, and general welfare, with the guidance of Providence, do hereby organize ourselves into one body and adopt this Constitution as the basis of our community self-government." 

Full Transcript of the Sac and Fox Tribes Constitution

Transcribed Excerpt from the Sac and Fox Tribes Constitution 

Source-Dependent Questions

  • What were the powers outlined in the constitution for the Tribal Council? How could those powers be superseded by the federal government?
  • Given the structure of the powers outlined in the Constitution, how might this make it difficult to obtain aid from the federal government during the Great Depression?