Quapaw Tribe opens new meat product distribution center

(JUNE 2016) By Kimberly Barker  kbarker@miaminewsrecord.com

Quapaw Tribe reintroduces buffalo via nutrition program

Chris Roper, Agriculture Director of the Quapaw Tribe, stands next to a variety of products sold at the new Quapaw Mercantile distribution center in downtown Quapaw. The distribution center opened last week and is located in the heart of Quapaw for customer convenience.

QUAPAW — The Quapaw Tribe opened up the new Quapaw Cattle Company distribution center last week.
Called Quapaw Mercantile, it is located in their office space in downtown Quapaw.

Quapaw Mercantile provides a variety of Quapaw Cattle Co. beef and bison products including ribeye steaks, beef bacon and bratwursts. The store is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Chris Roper, agriculture director for the tribe, said the new distribution center recently opened and offers convenience to its customers.

“It’s more convenient for local folks because they won’t have to travel very far to get local products,” Roper said. “All of our beef is hormone free and all Angus. We don’t put any additives into the meat at all. Our bison is the same way.”

The Quapaw Cattle Co. has more than 150 bison and 500 head of cattle dispersed along 1,500 acres of land throughout Miami and

Quapaw. Their meat products are sold in Quapaw convenient stores located in Miami and by Downstream Casino.
Roper said the Quapaw Tribe currently serves its own meat products at their daycare centers, elder’s center and all of the restaurants inside of their casinos.

“We currently sell our beef sticks and our beef jerky in about 40 different retail outlets, which is always growing,” Roper said.

“We’re constantly promoting our products to grow that entity.”
Later in 2016, the tribe plans to build its own red meat processing plant located by Quapaw Casino and East 66 Road. The cattle company’s meat is currently processed at Four State Meat Processing LLC in Big Cabin, but the tribe hopes to start processing its own meat products by the end of the year.

“We have secured one grant for that already, and we have actively applied for several others,” Roper said. “We’ll be able to raise our animals, feed our own animals and process our own animals.”
Roper said they plan to expand the tribe’s processing, but it is based on demand. Last year, the tribe processed over 750 animals.

“That’s not bad, but we’ve slowed down the processing a bit this year,” Roper said. “As markets continue to open up, we’ll continue to expand our market area.”

Quapaw Tribe agricultural programs
The tribe is also looking to expand its agricultural programs, where they work with green houses and approximately 50 beehives with various different species.
The tribe hopes to grow their own crops to feed to their cattle and bison later this year.

“We want to be able to grow our own feed products for our animals,” Roper said. “Currently, we have to purchase all of that, which is a pretty large expense. We’re looking to produce our own hay and crops.”



More on the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, visit their site.
Quapaw Tribe reintroduces buffalo via nutrition program

GLOBE | ROGER NOMER Flanked by the Downstream Casino and Resort, Tom Hardcastle, agricultural manager for the Quapaw Tribe, checks on a herd of buffalo as they feed in one of two fields used for pasture. The tribe acquired its first 12 buffalo about two years ago. The herd now numbers 81.



BY RYAN RICHARDSON rrichardson@joplinglobe.com
Ryan Richardson
Posted on Feb 15, 2015by Ryan Richardson

QUAPAW, Okla. — When buffalo all but disappeared from the plains of Oklahoma in the the late 1800s, so did the meat source upon which so many area tribes depended.
But thanks to an initiative from the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, buffalo meat will soon be back on the menu for Native Americans served by the tribe’s Title 6 Nutrition Program operating out of the tribal elder center in Quapaw. Buffalo, which has a texture and taste similar to beef, is much leaner and is considered much healthier to consume regularly. The first delivery of buffalo was made at the beginning of February to the elder center and to the O-Gah-Pah Learning Center where elementary age students will enjoy what was long ago their ancestors’ primary source of protein. Rhonda Weaver, Title 6 program director, said that the buffalo meat will appear on the center’s menu starting in March.
“Buffalo is nutritious and much healthier than over-processed meats that could go on our menu, and we are excited to put this into rotation for the tribal members’ diets,” Weaver said. “Some of our elders are facing diabetes and heart problems and providing a leaner choice, but allowing them to still have a great source of protein like their ancestors sustained on, will give them a healthy option while improving their quality of life.”

The elder center serves lunch five days a week to about 75 regulars at that location and sends out an additional 80 meals each day. Participants must be at least 55, but do not have to be members of the Quapaw. The meals are open to members of any tribe.
Weaver said that the buffalo will be used in a variety of dishes, including stews, meatloaf and bison burgers.

“The excitement isn’t only on our end, but for the people who eat with us,” Weaver said. “This is part of the tribal history and this is what they lived on.”

The tribe’s agriculture program is located and operated mostly on property near Downstream Casino Resort. About two years ago the tribe put a dozen buffalo in two herds on 360 acres, and the number has grown to 81 head now. The initial bison arrived from the Wichita Mountain Buffalo Refuge in Lawton and from Badlands National Park in South Dakota.
Earlier this month, the first two buffalo were processed by McFerron Meats in Nowata, yielding 800 pounds of meat.


This, the southernmost tribe of the Dhegiha group, occupied several villages west of the Mississippi, near the mouth of the Arkansas. When the closely allied tribes had removed from their ancient habitat in the upper valley of the Ohio, and had arrived at the mouth of that stream, the Quapaw are believed to have turned southward while the others went northward. The name of the tribe, Quapaw, signifies ” downstream people; ” Omaha being translated ” those going against the wind or current .” As a people they seem to have been known to the members of the De Soto expedition about 1541 , probably occupying villages on or near the sites of the settlements visited by the French during the latter part of the next century.


Weekly Raleigh RegisterRaleigh
North Carolina 8 May 1818

William Clarke & Augustus Chouteau, Commissioners for holding a treaty with the Quapaw tribe of Indians.

Alexandria Gazette 18 Nov 1818
From the President (extract)

In conformity with the appropriations of the last session, treaties have been formed with the Quapaw tribe of Indians, inhabiting the country on the Arkansaw, and with the Great and Little Osages north of the White river; with the tribes in the state of Indiana; with the several tribes within the state of Ohio, and the Michigan territory; and with the Chickasaws; by which very extensive cessions of territory have been made to the United States. Negotiations are now depending with the tribes in the Illinois territory, and with the Choctaws, by which it is expected that other extensive cessions will be made. I take great interest in stating that the cessions already made, which are considered so important to the United $ States, have been obtained on conditions very satisfactory to the Indians.

Richmond Enquirer 2 Jul 1833
Treaty with the Quapaw

We tender our acknowledgments to Maj. Hannuin, Sub Agent for the Quapaw Indians, for the interesting information contained in the following communication, in relation to Indian Affairs. We had previously heard of the Treaty recently concluded with the Quapaws, residing in Jefferson county,  60 miles below this place,  but inadvertently forgot to mention it:

PINE BLUFFS, May 27 1833.
Dear Sir- It gives me pleasure to inform you that Mr. Scherinerborn, on the part of the United States, has entered into a supplementary Treaty with the Quapaw tribe of Indians. They will be removed into the Indian country after the ratification of the Treaty, or soon thereafter as may suit the convenience of the Government. Mr. Scherinerborn has pursued dint liberal and enlightened policy always observed by the present administration, in its intercourse with all the Indian tribes, and has partially remunerated them for the injury they have heretofore sustained. Indeed, there was no alternative left between their extinction and their removal into the Indian country. He has given them such terms as has fully satisfied the nation. They have a bright prospect in advance, and I doubt not, at no distant day, they will become a respectable portion of the Indian population.

The Indian business is one of great perplexity. At the time the Treaties were made with the Choctaws, Creeks, and Cherokees, the Government was not in full possession of the topography of the country. There was no good map of its extent. The consequence was, that, in the allotment of the land to the different tribes, the lines frequently interlocked with each other. Of course, great confusion and dissatisfaction prevailed among the Indians of those tribes interested. It was a delicate matter to fix the lines in such a manner as to satisfy all the parties concerned. Indeed, it was almost a hopeless matter; yet the commissioners, by pursuing that derisive and just course of policy, that has governed them in all their transactions with the Indians, have succeeded in permanently fixing the lines so as to be satisfactory to each tribe.

Gov. Cass, in his very able and satisfactory report of February 16th, 1832, advanced a proposition as true as any ever solved, viz; that the plan of emigration offers to this race the only hope of ultimate security and improvement, is a  truth which the experience of every day renders more and more obvious. I doubt not if his advice is rigidly observed, but that the happiest consequences will not only result to the Indians, but to the citizens of the United States.


Vermont Telegraph 23 Jul 1833

Floods. We regret to learn from Arkansas, that the rains have brought upon that young and thriving Territory a devastation like that which marked the overflowing of the Ohio last year. The misfortune is, that danger does not subside with floods. The great overflow of the waters in this hot season of the year, brings, as a consequence, disease as fatal to human existence, as the deluge itself to vegetable life. Pestilence and famine both threaten the Territory. Extract of a letter from Little Rock, Arkansas, dated June 19: “I regret to inform you, that nearly all the settlements upon the Arkansas river have been destroyed by the freshet, and that much distress will be suffered in consequence, by our citizens, as well as by the Quapaw Indians. The corn crops upon the river hear been ruined, and vast bodies of improved lands have been entirely washed away. The mud and water will render all the river lands which are left unfit for cultivation for at least one year: and indeed I fear this Territory has sustained an injury, from which it will take several years to recover.


Apache – Arapaho – Blackfeet – Carrizo Comecrudo – Cherokee – Cheyenne – Chickasaw – Choctaw

Comanche – Cree – Crow – Kickapoo – Kiowa – Modoc – Osage – Quapaw – Senaca – Shoshone – Sioux Lakota – Sioux Oglala – Tejas

Bison Conservation Among Native Tribes  –  Horned War Bonnet or Headdress  –  The Great Buffalo Hunt at Standing Rock