Welcome to Native Languages of the Americas!
You have reached the
Native American states section of our website,
a new educational project designed to provide information about indigenous people in different U.S. states.
Follow the links to the right of our tribal map for more information about the language, culture and history
of each Arkansas tribe, or scroll below the map for Arkansas Indian activities including a wordsearch,
fact sheets for kids about each tribe, and worksheets teaching words from the different Native American languages
of Arkansas. Feel free to print any of these materials out for classroom use!
American Indians in Arkansas
Did you know the name "Arkansas" is a Siouan Indian word? It comes from Acansa,
which was the name of a major Quapaw village in southeastern Arkansas. Many people believe that Acansa meant "downstream people," but that
isn't true--Quapaw, the tribe's own name for themselves, means "downstream people." Acansa probably came from the Quapaw word meaning
"southern place." Their non-native neighbors frequently referred to the Quapaw as the Acansa, Arkansas, or Alkansea Indians because of this town.
The Quapaw Indians were not the only native people of this region, however.
The original inhabitants of the area that is now Arkansas included:
There are no federally recognized Indian tribes in Arkansas today.
Most Native Americans were forced to leave Arkansas during the Indian Removals of the 1800's. These tribes are not extinct, but except for
the descendants of Arkansas Indians who escaped from Removal, they do not live in Arkansas anymore. They were moved to Indian reservations in Oklahoma
instead. If you click on the link for each tribe above, you can find more information about them.
Other Indian communities and organizations in Arkansas today include: