The Native American/First Nations display recognizes the contributions of Native poets and novelists to the American literary tradition. Prior to the arrival of the American settlers, several native groups lived in Iowa. The influx of the American settlers lead to the forced mass exodus of the indigenous people, as the American settlers continued to push westward. Iowa's woodlands and prairies were the home of many different Indian tribes, including the Ioway, Iowa’s namesake, and the Meskwaki, the largest native tribe in Iowa, whose settlement is located in Tama, IA.
“It's important as a writer to do my art well and do it in a way that is powerful and beautiful and meaningful, so that my work regenerates the people, certainly Indian people, and the earth and the sun. And in that way we all continue forever.” - Joy Harjo (1951– ) from Voices from the Gaps: Women Writers of Color, 1993