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Native American Tribe Finds Slave Cemetery in Little Rock

Discovery follows purchase of property on the city's east side.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A group with Arkansas connections says an unmarked slave cemetery has been discovered in Pulaski County on its newly purchased property.

The cemetery has been found on a 160-acre plot of land near the Little Rock Port Authority on Thibault Rd. that was recently bought by the Quapaw Tribe to preserve its history.

"It's a very important piece of land to us. It's part of our original reservation," says business chairman John Berrey.

Berrey says the site is where the group called home before being forced to move to Oklahoma in the 1800's.

"It's a significant piece because there were a lot of Quapaws who lived in that area," Berrey says.

After buying the site, the Tribe commissioned an archaeological survey to research the property, finding more than historic, important symbols of the Quapaw culture.

"There is also an unmarked slave cemetery on this property that we haven't disclosed the location of because we want to protect it," he says. 

That's why the Tribe is not saying exactly where on the property the graves are located.

The Quapaws are very passionate about preserving history. That's why they are so motivated to find someone or some organization to preserve the gravesites.

"We want to find someone in Little Rock that would like to work with us in understanding how we should treat it, whether there is a community group that is interested in slave cemeteries or someone else, we would like to find them," says Berrey.

As a result of the purchase, the Tribe also discovered several pottery pieces that have historical value to the Quapaws.

If you can help, email reporter Hubert Tate for more information at htate@kark.com.

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