TAHLEQUAH — A dozen Cherokee students plan to depart from the Cherokee Nation on Wednesday to retrace the path their ancestors took during their forced removal from the southeastern United States to present-day Oklahoma.
The journey will take the students more than 950 miles across seven states on bicycles. The group will start in New Echota, Georgia, and spend three weeks retracing the northern route of removal. The Cherokee Nation students will be joined by six riders from the Eastern band of Cherokee Indians. The Eastern Band are descendants of a small group of Cherokees who evaded the removal order and remained in North Carolina.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and other tribal leaders will hold a special send-off ceremony for the riders on Wednesday.