Friday, February 7, 2014
Native American Tribe Discovers Slave Cemetery in Arkansas
A group from the Quapaw Tribe recently made a discovery of an old slave cemetery in Pulaski County Arkansas. This is an amazing story where this federally recognized community of Native Americans have noted their discovery and are reaching out to the community to show its respect and to honor the dead in an appropriate manner. They have not disclosed the location as yet, in an effort to preserve it properly. The site is located in Arkansas, which is the ancestral home of the Quapaws, and the cemetery is located in that area that became occupied after Quapaws were moved into Oklahoma. This now Oklahoma-based nation is extremely reverent towards burial places, and they are to be commended in their efforts to protect this site. This is one of the first cases, where a Native people are working to preserve an African American burial ground. I shall personally be sharing this story with cemetery preservationists in Arkansas, as well as with others who may be willing to work with the Quapaw Tribe to honor those who are buried in this cemetery. More information can be found HERE.
This afternoon, I spoke with Ms. Carla Coleman this afternoon, who is Vice President of PAAC (Preservation of African American Cemeteries) who is on her way this afternoon, to the burial ground with President, Tamela Tenpenny-Lewis. Ms. Coleman said "I think it is very honorable that the Quapaw Tribe is reaching out to the community of preservationists who happen to be black to preserve this site properly. We plan to do whatever we can to work with them to preserve this site."
The two ladies will also be visiting the burial ground this afternoon, and will share images of this site as they are obtained.