Court Staff

Suzanne Buffalo​

Dakota Crosswhite is a Tribal descendant from Standing Rock Reservation. She graduated from Coe College in 2011 obtaining her B.A. degree in Business Administration and Public Relations minoring in Communication Studies. She is currently a student at the University Of Oklahoma College Of Law, working to get her masters in Legal Studies, specifically in Indigenous Peoples Law. Dakota has one son who keeps her busy. She loves to be active, going on hikes, boating, doing water sports, rock climbing and biking. She says she is looking forward to learning more about the Meskwaki Nation and being of assistance in helping the community.


Dakota crosswhite 


Court Administrator


Vacant Position

​​Hello, my name is Joy Mauskemo and I am the new Clerk of Court for the Meskwaki Tribal Court. You may know me from my time with Meskwaki Nation Child Support Services where I was in Case Management for just over 3 years until I transferred to the Court. Prior to that, I was a Teacher Associate at the Meskwaki Elementary School from 2011-2014. Both of these positions provided wonderful experiences for me and, I believe, prepared me in various ways for my current position.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services and Psychology, and hope to pursue a Master’s in a legal field within the next couple of years in my “down time”. Outside of work, I enjoy spending my time with my husband, Trevor, our 2 daughters, Teya and Sloan, and our family and friends. One of our favorite things to do is attend local sporting events – Go Warriors! Go Trojans! Go Hawkeyes!! Please feel free to give me a call or stop in to see me if there is anything I can do to assist you with your Tribal Court needs.

Joy Mauskemo

The Clerk's office performs various jobs and duties for the Tribal Trial Court, Court of Appeals, the bar, and the public. It is responsible for filing cases, briefs, motions, petitions, and other documents that are presented to the courts for decision. Once the decisions have been made, the staff is also responsible for disseminating the opinions, orders, and per curiam orders to the press, attorneys, trial court judges, and the public. The office provides information and guidance to judges, attorneys, and the public about appellate practice and the appellate process. The Court Administrator is the financial officer of the courts and the office provides payroll and other fiscal services for the personnel of both courts and the Court of Appeals. The office also administers the budgets of both courts as appropriated by the Tribal Council of the Sac and Fox Nation of the Mississippi in Iowa. The Clerk's Office licenses and collects annual dues for attorneys, court reporters, and professional associations, and is responsible for the funds collected.

My name is Dawn Suzanne (Wanatee) Buffalo and I’m one of the Deputy Clerks of Tribal Court.  I began working in the Tribal Clerk of Court’s office in 2007 and also worked for a short while in Meskwaki Nation Child Support Services until returning to Tribal Court in 2014 where I served in temporary positions until being recently hired as Deputy Clerk.

I’m originally from the Settlement but later lived in the American West for a time where I received an Office Administration Certificate from the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe in Las Vegas, Nevada, and then worked for an advertising and public relations firm having a clientele base of business, political, and non-profit organizations.

After returning home to Iowa, I’ve worked for the Meskwaki Tribe in various roles in tribal government offices and businesses, and also doing special projects requiring research, data capture and analysis, report preparation, policy development, and public presentations.  Over the past 20 years I have served on the Tribe’s Repatriation Committee which assists the Historical Preservation Department in implementing the National Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (106 Process).  In 2013 I was appointed by the State of Iowa to serve as a Commissioner on the Iowa Commission on Native American Affairs, and in 2014 I was appointed to serve on the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist’s Indian Advisory Council.

For many years I have enjoyed providing education and outreach to the general public at the Meskwaki History Exhibit Tent, along with my husband Johnathan Buffalo, at the Tribe’s Annual Pow Wow and other events.  I have also served in volunteer capacities at the Meskwaki Museum and for special historical preservation projects such as the Meskwaki Symposiums.  I’ve co-authored a Meskwaki History CD and have been actively involved in many other outreach activities in partnership with organizations such as the Iowa State Historical Society – Special Collections and Library, the Office of the State Archaeologist, and Humanities Iowa.

My greatest joys in Life are my grandchildren …. And my husband along the rest of my family are a close 2nd.


Meskwaki Nation Tribal Court

307 Meskwaki Road Tama, IA 52339 • (641)484-9300 • fax (641) 484-2221