Student documentary to tell stories of the Quapaw Tribe - KOAM TV 7

Student documentary to tell stories of the Quapaw Tribe


Some students from Arkansas film a new documentary about the Quapaw Tribe in northeast Oklahoma.  The students say they are honored to have this project and Quapaw members say they are eager to tell of their heritage.

Through this documentary there are hopes of raising awareness, acceptance, and togetherness.

"Back in the late 50's we had black and white TV, and because of that we saw Tonto and the Lone Ranger, Native Americans were the bad guys," says Sonny Glass, a member of the Quapaw Tribe.

Growing up, Glass did not realize he was a Native American.

"I did not know this until the late 60's," Glass says.  "My dad was in the Air Force so we traveled and while living in England I had to go to an English school, and there was a young man who called me an Indian.  I disagreed with him and we wrestled in the floor.  And I ran home, five miles, and both of my parents said 'you are Indian'".

Glass and his daughter, Kristal Glass, now dance with pride and detail.

A design shows two arrows coming together and falling apart, symbolizing there is suppose to be peace and understanding not only between tribes, but all people.

Glass and his daughter dance to teach history and honor.

A group of 12 college students from Northwest Arkansas Community College in Nentonville aim to document those stories and feelings.

The Quapaw Tribe is now in Northeast Oklahoma but was first located in Northwest Arkansas.

"The thing that is the most interesting, is the saddest thing I think, is there's so much of the Quapaw Tribe that is lost," says D'etta Mason, a student at the college.

Also, Quapwaw isn't as widely known as other tribes, like Cherokee.

"They need awareness, tey need the public to know that they are there," says Mason.  "They need their history told, their culture told."

There's past strength and future perseverance.

"They say we're one of the 'lost tribes', well, I don't know if we're lost, we're all here," says Glass.

A copy of the documentary will be given to the Quapaw Tribe, letting the Tribe use it for history lessons and other presentations.

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