Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma

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The Quapaws, a tribe that lived in Arkansas when European settlers first moved into the region, have been given human and cultural remains of their ancestors. The University of Arkansas Museum signed over the remains to the Quapaw tribe of Oklahoma in a campus ceremony April 6. "Because of the repatriation, we're getting our ancestors back where they belong," said Jess McKibben, a tribal leader. The repatriation was the first for the tribe and took place under guidelines of the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act. The remains are from the Parkin archaeological site in Cross County and the Kinkead-Mainard site in Pulaski County. The repatriated cultural items will remain at the museum until the tribe completes arrangements to have them reburied. The remains will be reinterred through the Arkansas Keepsafe program, established to repatriate remains to Indians indigenous to Arkansas. The program was begun by Arkansas State Parks.