Faulkner County Judge Jim Baker issued a proclamation honoring Chickamauga Indians in the area.
In his proclamation, Baker declared April as Chickamauga Indian Month.
Harold Helton, a local Chickamauga Indian, said he was honored to be recognized as part of this proclamation.
"It means a lot to us, because a lot of people don't realize [our roots in the area]," he said Wednesday.
According to Arkansas Historic Preservation Program records, nearly 800 Chickamauga Indians arrived at the Cadron Settlement in 1834 seeking refuge west of the Mississippi River.
While records show the Trail of Tears began in the 1830s, fear was instilled in many Native Americans long before that — and many were forced to flee what they deemed home prior to that recorded incident.
"[T]he Chickamauga Indians have had to live in hiding since 1809 for fear of being exterminated by their bad brothers (as said by President Thomas Jefferson) who lived East of the Mississippi River," Baker wrote in part in his proclamation, also noting a large number of these people perished after arriving at the Cadron Settlement due to a cholera outbreak.
Baker said the Chickamauga Indians have a rich history in this area, and have "admirably" served Faulkner County since their arrival.
"The Chickamauga Indians have served Faulkner County and the State of Arkansas admirably in elected and appointed positions in government and in the Armed Forces of the United States," the proclamation reads in part. "The Chickamauga Indians are recognized under the Treaty of Hopewell [which was signed] November 28, 1785, and [in] President George Washington's fourth annual address to Congress on November 6, 1792."
Helton said those break-through moments are "very important" to the Chickamauga Indians of Faulkner County.
Baker said the Chickamauga Indians in the area deserved to be recognized and selected April as a month to honor these individuals as he signed an executive proclamation on Monday.
"Therefore be it resolved, by my hand, I, Jim Baker, Faulkner County Judge, do hereby recognize the month of April 2018 as 'Chickamauga Indian Month' to honor the sacrifices made by these aboriginal people of Faulkner County and Arkansas," the proclamation signed on Monday reads.