Arkansas Lawmakers Oppose Quapaw Attempts To Place Land in Federal Trust
LITTLE ROCK — Four members of Arkansas’ congressional delegation are asking the U.S. Department of the Interior to reject a request by the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma to place a 160-acre tract of land in central Arkansas into federal trust.
U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton, both R-Ark., and U.S. Reps. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs, and French Hill, R-Little Rock, said in June 29 letters to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn that they support earlier letters from Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde opposing the tribe’s request.
Placing the land into federal trust would allow the tribe to exercise jurisdiction over it. Some officials have questioned whether the tribe might build a casino on the land, although the tribe has said it has no plans for a casino and only wants to preserve burial mounds and artifacts dating back to the days before the tribe was removed to reservations in Kansas and what is now Oklahoma.