Cherokee Nation Commemorates 175 Years Since the Trail of Tears
This Date in Native History: It was 175 years ago that the final group of Cherokees ended the journey across the Trail of Tears. The detachment arrived on March 24, 1839, in Indian Territory near present-day Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
“We will remember and honor the sacrifices made by our ancestors. The Cherokees on the trip gave up so much—homes, lands and local family traditions. They endured unfathomable hardships and tragedy,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Collectively, they never gave up and never relinquished the fortitude to continue another day’s travel, one step at a time, on the trail to modern-day Oklahoma.”
The first detachment of Cherokees was forcibly removed from their homelands in the southeast beginning in 1838.
Baker memorialized the conclusion of the forced removal with a proclamation declaring March 24 as “Cherokee Nation Remembrance Day.”
“We are here today in Tahlequah as a sovereign government with a living culture because of their perseverance. It is a strength most of us cannot imagine today, but it is in our blood and in our DNA,” Baker said. “Our people were stripped of everything, withstood generations of termination policies, and yet that fire to live and thrive would not be extinguished.
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