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    Hmong in Arkansas | AAPI Histories of the South

    Northwest Arkansas is home to 2,143 Hmong, an ethnic group from Southeast Asia. The first group of Hmong to relocate to the United States did so in 1975 after the Vietnam War under the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act. During the war, the Hmong had been sympathetic to the American forces, yet after the U.S. withdrew from Vietnam, the Hmong were forced to flee the country to escape mistreatment. Under the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act, thousands of Hmong refugees were evacuated by the U.S. military and were allowed to immigrate to the States. Many Hmong found their way to Arkansas through the Fort Chaffee temporary immigration center near Fort Smith. Some Hmong Americans who relocated to Arkansas found work at Tyson Foods and in 2006, the Hmong Association, Inc. was formed for those within the community working in the poultry industry. The resources listed below include information on the history of Hmong Americans as well as links to additional resources, all of which can lend important information for curriculum use.

    Resource Highlights: 
    evacuees from se asiaHmong | Encyclopedia of Arkansas

    The Central Arkansas Library System: Encyclopedia of Arkansas is a free, authoritative source of information about the rich history, geography, and culture of the Arkansas state. Text and media galleries as well as links to external historical resources on Arkansas are available to you through this website. Linked above is an encyclopedia entry on the Hmong ethnic group that contains a summary of their migration to the state as well as links to additional information on the subject. The Encyclopedia of Arkansas also offers information on Chinese, Hindu, and Marshallese communities in the state, as well as biographies of Asian Americans who were relocated to Arkansas during the Japanese American internment program of World War II.

    Photo courtesy of the Fort Smith Museum of History


    Recommended Reading List:

    The Hmong Resettlement Study was a national project funded by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. The major purpose of the study was to closely examine how Hmong refugees were faring after immigration to the United States. The study focuses on issues of Hmong employment and adjustment, career areas in which Hmong refugees may have been exceptionally successful, potential impediments to Hmong resettlement, and the role and impact of secondary migration. 


    As we expand our digital presence in 2021, we will be continually adding resources to this guide and others in our AAPI Histories of the South collection.

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    Housed within the Asian Studies Program at the University of Central Arkansas, the Arkansas NCTA aims to empower elementary and secondary school teachers to center East Asian art, literature, history, and culture in their classrooms.

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