Friday, June 19, 2015

UPDATE: Hutchinson's objection to the BIA: Are those really Quapaw graves?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 4:23 PM

click to enlarge The area in red is owned by the Quapaw Tribe; the purple road to the east of the property leads to the new headquarters of the Little Rock Port Authority.
  • The area in red is owned by the Quapaw Tribe; the purple road to the east of the property leads to the new headquarters of the Little Rock Port Authority.

Quapaw Tribal Chairman John Berrey has responded to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's raising doubt on whether the graves on Quapaw land near the Little Rock Port Authority are actually Quapaw. Hutchinson raised the question in his comment to the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the tribe's request for the government to put the land in trust for the tribe. Berrey:

The graves have been established as Quapaw for many years by historians and scientists — authorities who specialize in such things — and the federal government agreed and returned the artifacts to the Tribe under the guidelines of Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Generations of Quapaws have grown up knowing those are Quapaw graves. We really don't understand the point of anyone even bringing this up. What is the point? It just piles insult onto the negativity. 

Hutchinson released his June 11 letter objecting to the tribe's request to put its 160 acres in trust, which would grant it Quapaw jurisdiction. Hutchinson and others fear the tribe will one day establish a casino on the property, though the tribe says it has no plans to do so. Hutchinson:

The Tribe's application asserts the burial remains are that of the Quapaw. However, the report provided by the Tribe does not offer definitive proof identifying the remains as that of the Quapaw people. Further, the Tribe asserts that there are also burial remains of African American slaves on the land in question. I am assured that the Tribe is interested in protecting the burial remains and that the Tribe has conferred with the Preservation of African American Cemeteries Inc. regarding protection of the African American slave remains. I have no doubt Chairman Berrey has a genuine desire to protect Quapaw remains. However, this desire alone is not sufficient to allay my concerns.

The non-Quapaw burial remains and historical presence which deserve state protection on the land at issue, coupled with the question of whether the earlier remains discovered on the land are Quapaw or that of an earlier people, gives me great pause. If the land were placed into trust, the state would lose the ability to protect the interests of the decedents of the original inhabitants and any other historical presence or artifacts discovered on the land. I am concerned about whether there is a rational basis to place the land into trust given these unrequited issues.

Berrey's initial response to Hutchinson's letter (in full on the jump) was that the U.S. intended the land to be occupied by the Quapaw. "This is land that was deeded and promised to the Quapaw Tribe as a homeland as compensation for our giving up millions of acres from the Mississippi River to Western Oklahoma. It was intended to serve as a permanent homeland. This will not deter the Quapaw Tribe from returning to our home in Arkansas. It's our destiny and we see this as just another temporary obstacle in the path." He also wrote,

The beauty of this process is the comment period that allows all pertinent governments to be heard. The Governor's response was very well written in the expression of some concerns, and we see that as an opportunity to further educate the state which we enjoy. The fundamental legal analysis is one concern we have, and the State's perspective is from a misunderstanding of definitions in this federal code. We see this as a concern by the State about something we aren't doing. 

Asked if the graves would determine the issue, Nedra Darling, a spokesperson for the BIA, would only cite the guiding law, U.S. 25 CFR 151. She did say that comments are very important. 

Tags: , ,


Speaking of Quapaw, Hutchinson

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Say, it's sweet potato pie contest time again!

    An ingredient that shaped Little Rock's culture for years was Robert "Say" McIntosh's famous sweet potato pies. The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center pays homage to Say and his pies with its annual "Say It Ain't Say's" sweet potato pie baking contest, now in its fifth year.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • Leg room soon at The Root Cafe

    People who love dining at The Root Cafe but shy away because of the crowds will be happy to learn that the new dining area likely will be open by the end of next week. Corri Bristow Sundell, who owns and operates the Root Cafe with her husband, Jack Sundell, said the restaurant is waiting on the city plumbing inspector for the second bathroom the restaurant was required to install when it added three shipping container units.
    • Oct 26, 2016
  • Cheese dip champs, highest hog roasters: Here are the winners

    The city's sages in the secrets of great cheese dip and whole hog roasting showed off last weekend, at the 6th annual World Cheese Dip Championship, held last Saturday, Oct. 22, at the River Market pavilions, and the 4th annual Arkansas Times Whole Hog Roast on Sunday, Oct. 23.
    • Oct 26, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • War. What is it good for? Tom Cotton has an idea

    Twenty-four hours after meddling in President Obama's talks with Iran, hawkish Sen. Tom Cotton scheduled an off-the-record meeting with defense contractors, who'd be happy to supply goods for U.S. armed incursions in the Middle East.
    • Mar 9, 2015
  • Marriage is so sacred in Arkansas people do it over and over again

    Arkansas leads the country in multiple marriages, including in the percentage who've been married three or more times. And they say it is the gay people who are ruining marriage.
    • Mar 13, 2015
  • Not everyone is in Tom Cotton fan club

    Conservative New York newspaper labels Tom Cotton and others "traitors" for injecting themselves into presidential diplomacy with Iran.
    • Mar 10, 2015

Most Shared

  • Hutchinson administration resists accountability in child rape case

    After a nightmarish revelation about serial rapes by a state-approved foster parent, the Hutchinson administration, from the governor on down, resist talking about how it happened.
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
  • Ted Suhl loses another bid for new trial; faces stiff sentencing recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation