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Corps, Tribes to sign programmatic agreements

Published Jan. 14, 2009
LITTLE ROCK, ARK. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Memphis District and four affiliated American Indian Tribes will sign two programmatic agreements at 1 p.m. on Jan. 13 at the Double Tree Hotel, 424 West Markham, Little Rock.

The purpose of these agreements is to protect significant cultural resources and fulfill tribal trust responsibilities for the Grand Prairie and Bayou Meto projects in eastern Arkansas.

“Once signed by the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Arkansas State Historic Preservation Officer and the affiliated Tribes, we will construct these two projects without having to coordinate individual project components as normally required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966,” said Dr. Robert Dunn, Corps of Engineers, Memphis District Tribal liaison.

The Corps’ Memphis District Commander, Col. Tom Smith, will sign the two agreements on behalf of the U.S. government with leaders from four federally recognized American Indian Tribes.

“These programmatic agreements are designed to allow the Corps’ to continue working on two important water resource management projects, while respecting the concerns of affiliated American Indian Tribes,” Col. Smith said.

“We want to ensure these projects are completed properly and in a timely manner. By signing these agreements the Arkansas State Historic Preservation Officer and the participating affiliated Tribes are supporting our efforts,” he added.

By signing the agreements, the affiliated Tribes formally concur with the Advisory Council’s approval of our management approach and become partners in protecting their cultural heritage. The agreements put these water resource projects in full compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

Representatives from the Quapaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma, the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, and the Thlopthlocco Tribal Town (Creek Nation ) are scheduled to sign the agreements as part of the ceremony.

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town (Creek Nation) and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma will not be present at the Little Rock ceremony, but plan to sign the agreements later.
Public Affairs Office

Release no. 09-01