Native American Remains Discovered in Craighead County to be Returned to Northeast Arkansas for Reburial

MAY 22, 2006 - Posted at 11:48 a.m. CST

TULSA, OK - The remains of some ancient Quapaw Indians unearthed approximately four decades ago in Craighead County are to be returned to northeast Arkansas by a Tulsa, Oklahoma museum, for reburial.

The Gilcrease Museum found the unassembled remains of 161 Quapaws, who possibly lived between 1170 and 1300 A.D., in storage six years ago.  Museum officials say its the first time that the Gilcrease has planned a return of remains and artifacts to an American Indian tribe, but it probably won't be the last.

The process is being aided by the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act, or NAGRA.  When the remains are reburied in northeast Arkansas, they will be at a site near Wynne in a plot set aside for the purpose by the Parkin State Park, which is known for its archeological sites and artifacts.

The Quapaws lived in northeast Arkansas before they were moved west to Indian Territory, which later became today's Oklahoma, in the 19th century.

The remains and other artifacts were discovered in the mid-1960s on a farm near Lunsford, in eastern Craighead County.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)