published Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Cherokee youths complete Trail of Tears bike ride

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Fifteen Cherokee high school and college students from Oklahoma have completed the Remember the Removal bicycle ride along the Trail of Tears to commemorate the forced move of Cherokees from Georgia to Oklahoma in 1838.

The 15 left May 30 and met with seven riders from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians before starting the 950-mile ride in New Echota, Ga.

They arrived Friday in Tahlequah.

The group rode the trail’s northern route across Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas. Rider Jon Ross told the Tulsa World that the ride was “amazing” but only a small sample of what his ancestors experienced.

Ross is a descendant of former Principal Chief John Ross — who was chief during the relocation in which an estimated 4,000 Cherokees died along the trail.

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