Quapaw Tribe works on agreement for ancestral Arkansas land

The Downstream Casino Resort in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Photo from Facebook

The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma is working on a land-use agreement with the Port of Little Rock in Arkansas.

The agreement calls on the two parties to work together on any land use changes at the 160-acre site. The provision could address the tribe's pledge not to engage in gaming on its ancestral territory.

"This agreement puts four corners around what we can and cannot do around that port," Chairman John Berrey told The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "We don't want to create any controversy around the port. We want to be a good neighbor."

Berrey also has offered to sign a binding agreement against a casino. But he told the paper that local officials haven't approached him about one.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is reviewing the tribe's land-into-trust application for the property. Since the tribe does not intend to use the site for gaming the application is not being treated to a potentially stricter and more cumbersome review process at the agency.

Once the land is in trust, though, the tribe could change its mind. That's what happened when the tribe announced plans to expand the Downstream Casino Resort into Kansas.

In that situation, the land-into-trust application did not include gaming but the National Indian Gaming Commission determined that the property could be used for gaming. The state of Kansas is now litigating the issue in federal court.

Get the Story:
Quapaw tribe, port draft good-neighbor policy (The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 11/8)

Relevant Documents:
NIGC Indian Land Opinion For Site in Kansas (November 2014)

Related Stories
Quapaw Tribe still vows no casino on ancestral land in Arkansas (11/3)
Quapaw Tribe still willing to sign no-casino pledge in Arkansas (08/31)
Quapaw Tribe willing to sign agreement barring Arkansas casino (07/13)
Quapaw Tribe sees more opposition to Arkansas land-into-trust (7/10)
Quapaw Tribe blames non-Indian track in Arkansas for opposition (06/08)
Quapaw Tribe looks to dispel concerns about casino in Arkansas (05/27)
John Berrey: Governor in Kansas turns back on Quapaw Tribe (5/19)
Quapaw Tribe still facing questions about casino in Arkansas (05/13)
Editorial: State needs assurances from Quapaw Tribe on gaming (04/23)
Quapaw Tribe aims to dispel concerns about casino in Arkansas (4/21)

Join the Conversation