sequoyah national research center

2801 South University Avenue, Little Rock

Located on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock campus, the center is the largest assemblage of Native American expression in the world, including tribal newspapers, poetry, history books and art. The mission of the program is to acquire and preserve the writings and ideas of Native North Americans. The center is open to the public Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. In addition to archived materials for research, there’s an adjacent art gallery with rotating exhibits. Not far from the center is Trail of Tears Park, with commemorative plaques explaining the site’s relevance for the removal of Choctaw and Chickasaw, and planted with native grasses and plants they may have seen on the trail.

Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park

toltec mounds archeological state park

490 Toltec Mounds Road, Scott

The 185-acre National Historic Landmark, cooperatively managed by Arkansas State Parks and the Arkansas Archeological Survey, preserves the site of a mound-building culture known as the Plum Bayou people, who inhabited the surrounding area and used the site for ceremonies and civic events during AD 650 to 1050. Three mounds remain where 18 once stood, in alignment with solstice and equinox, and are surrounded by an earthen embankment 8 to 10 feet in height, a portion of which is still visible today. Two barrier-free trails with interpretive panels wind through the impressive grounds, including a boardwalk over Mound Pond. An exciting new feature of the park is the Plum Bayou Garden, a living demonstration of the plants and raw materials the ancient culture drew upon for their sustenance. Extensive exhibits inside the visitor center provide further history of this fascinating glimpse into the distant past.


Historic Arkansas Museum

200 East Third Street, Little Rock

A trove of Arkansas’s historical artifacts and information concentrating on the pre-Civil War era, Historic Arkansas Museum has a permanent exhibit devoted to Native American life in The Natural State called “We Walk in Two Worlds: The Caddo, Osage & Quapaw in Arkansas.” The exhibition contains 158 objects, such as pottery, clothing and weapons, but most important is the dominant presence of the Native American voice, from each of Arkansas’s three prominent tribes, who were extensively consulted and interviewed.


The Gravestone and Memorial of quatie ross

1200 South Broadway, Little Rock

Much myth and mystery surround the life of Quatie Ross, the wife of Cherokee chief John Ross. According to reports, she died near Little Rock on February 1, 1839, during the forced march of the Trail of Tears, reputedly freezing to death when she gave her covering to warm a child. Her original marker was thought lost until discovered in Little Rock’s historic Mount Holly Cemetery. The original stone is preserved now in Historic Arkansas Museum, and a replica is in Mount Holly, along with a memorial, where visitors often leave tokens in the American Indian tradition.


petit jean state pArk rock house cave

1285 Petit Jean Mountain Road, Morrilton

Not a true cave but a large rock shelter, the walls here contain more than 100 spectacular examples of prehistoric rock art by Native Americans, accessed by an easy .25-mile trail. The site was occupied off and on from the late Paleoindian period (8000 BC) to the Mississippi era (AD 900-1600), but the exact date of the art has not been determined.


Cadron settlement park

6200 Highway 319 West, Conway

Cadron Settlement Park is on the National Register of Historic Places and played a significant role in the Trail of Tears for Native Americans. In 1834, a group of Cherokees emigrating to Oklahoma were felled by a cholera epidemic when stopped here. The Faulkner County Historical Society conducted a cemetery census in 1991 and identified almost 50 Native American graves and more that were unidentifiable.


reed's bridge battlefield heritage park

Arkansas Highway 161, Jacksonville

This park encompasses a battlefield of the 1863 Little Rock campaign during the Civil War, but the military highway through it was also a route of the Trail of Tears. Narrative historical markers highlighting the site’s interest for Native Americans include information about the crossing by the John Bell detachment of some 660 Cherokees in December of 1838.