Shelley Buffalo (she/her) is an enrolled member of the Meskwaki tribe and lives on the Meskwaki Settlement with her two sons. Currently, Shelley is working with Great Plains Action society as a consultant though her firm, Water Panther Consulting. She and Sikowis Nobiss are creating a framework for land back/land defense in the upper midwest through research in best practices & models to hold returned land and reMatriate Indigenous landscapes, through outreach & education to landowners by sharing the vision of an Indigenous future.
Prior to Water Panther Consulting, Shelley joined Seed Savers Exchange for the 2021 growing season as a Seasonal Seed Steward. She gas served her community in coordinator roles at Red Earth Gardens and with the Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative. It was through this work that Shelley found the healing power of rematriation by becoming a seed keeper.
The Meskwaki are unique in that their land based community is a settlement, not a reservation. Established in 1857 with the purchase of 80 acres near Tama, Iowa, the Meskwaki Settlement has grown to over 8,600 acres. Here’s a link to learn more about the Meskwaki: https://www.meskwaki.org/history/