November 11, 2005 – Posted at 2:12 p.m. CST
JONESBORO, AR -- Arkansas State University was founded in Jonesboro in 1909 by the Arkansas legislature as a regional agricultural training school. The school has had a rich tradition since 1931 of using Indians as its mascot, but the culture has been much more in Region 8.
The Native American history has been an important part of the tradition at A-State and in an informational meeting Friday, it was a chance to explore the unknown.
“Arkansas probably has a history of Native American history, greater than almost any of the surrounding states. People shouldn't be going there they should be coming here to look at Native American history,” said presenter Timothy Jones.
And it's that look at history that might surprise you.
“They think that the Cherokee history that they have were people who dropped off the Trail of Tears and that kind of stuff. The fact is that when the Trail of Tears occurred, there were over 50,000 western Cherokee living in Arkansas at the time,” said Jones.
And Jones believes there are more Cherokee underground.
“People who have been here continuously are now surfacing and making themselves known. Because of civil rights and minorities ability to begin to surface,” said Jones.