Meskwaki Tribal

Meskwaki Nation Tribal Court

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



Court Staff

jennifer myers​

Suzanne Buffalo​

Tashina Azure

Jennifer Myers is a graduate of South Tama County High School. After High school she served in many roles including Marshall County Jail as a Jailer.  Jennifer also spent many years as a supervisor in the Food Service Industry including working with customers giving her excellent customer service skills.  Her passion for the Criminal Justice system brought her to the Meskwaki Nation Tribal Court and she is excited to join the court team as a Deputy Clerk of Court. 

Jennifer's main interest include her 2 children, traveling, reading, and just relaxing at home. 


Patrick Bigsby is a 2016 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law. While in law school, Patrick spent two years working for UI Student Legal Services, where he represented clients in criminal, small claims, and other matters in Iowa District and Magistrate’s Courts. He has also worked at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Iowa, the UI Office of the Ombudsperson, and as a private practice law clerk. His practice interests include tribal law and civil rights, and his paper on free speech challenges and remedies under the Indian Civil Rights Act received second place in its category at the 2016 Jakobsen Memorial Conference.

 An on-again-off-again journalist, Patrick has also spent the last six years as a college journalism instructor teaching reporting, multimedia, media law, and other classes. His work has appeared in NBC Los Angeles, the International Tuba-Euphonium Association Journal, Neon Tommy, and several other outlets. He is currently a regular contributor to GradHacker, a professional and lifestyle blog on Inside Higher Ed. Outside of the Meskwaki Tribal Court, Patrick’s main interests are his wife, Kristina, and Hawkeye Wrestling. 

Court Administrator


Patrick Bigsby

Tashina M. Azure, an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota, and a tribal descendant from Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa (Meskwaki Nation), was appointed as the Court Administrator on July 22, 2015.  She received her Bachelors of Arts at Haskell Indian Nations University majoring in American Indian Studies graduating in May 2006. Tashina started her work in Indian Country after her graduation where she worked for Four Winds Native Center as Grant Writer and Youth Photography Coordinator.

In August 2007 Tashina enlisted in the United States Navy as an Aviation Ordnanceman. She has served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was deployed on the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). After her deployment she was transferred to Hell Sea Combat Squadron Two out of Norfolk, VA where she worked as Quarter Deck Manager. She has received numerous medals and accommodations in her Navy Career including a Navy Achievement Medal for her dedication and outstanding service to her Squadron. She completed her tour of duty in May 2012 as an Aviation Ordnanceman Second Class Petty Officer.

After serving in the USN she was selected as a Post-baccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) Scholar and attended University of Kansas where she received her Master’s Certificate in Community Health and Development.  In August 2012 she worked with Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation on their “Return to Healthy Past Project” where she presented her research at the KU Graduate Re-search Conference. In May 2013 she was selected as a PLSI Scholar and attended the Pre-Law Summer Institute through the American Indian Law Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico prior to the beginning of law school at the University Of Kansas School Of Law.  In May 2014 she was selected and started work as a Legal Intern for Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe. After she completed her legal internship she was hired as a private contractor working on Tribal Codes and Statutes for the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe in Northern Wisconsin. In August 2014 she continued her work in the Legal field and Government relations when she was hired at Social Security Administration as a Claims Representative in Kansas City, Kansas.

Tashina's main interest include her family, photography, beading, traveling, and going to powwows near and far. 

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.