Service to commemorate Cherokee removal’s 175th anniversary
4/3/2013 8:39:07 AM
BY STAFF REPORTS

CALHOUN, Ga. – A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on May 18 at the New Echota historic site in Calhoun to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the removal of Cherokees from Georgia that began in May 1838. 

The “175 Years: Cherokee Trail of Tears Memorial Service – Honor and Remember” is free and open to the public. However, regular admission applies to the museum/site tour.

Presenters will include Cherokee tribal representatives and Trail of Tears Association President Jack Baker, who is also a Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor. The All Nations Warrior Society Honor Guard accompanied by the Medicine Ridge Singers from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians will conduct flag and honor ceremonies and place a wreath at the Trail of Tears Monument. 

Tommy Wildcat will represent the CN as its tribal emissary. Wildcat is a cultural educator, historical storyteller and an internationally known recording artist and performer. 

Sammy Still will represent the United Keetoowah Band. Still serves as the UKB’s public information officer and editor of the Cherokee Gaduwa News. He is also a founding member of the Turtle Island Liars Club, a group that preserves the tradition Cherokee storytelling. 

The 1835 New Echota Treaty relinquished Cherokee claims to land east of the Mississippi River. The majority of the Cherokee people considered the treaty fraudulent. On May 26, 1838, the U.S. government and the state of Georgia began the forced removal of more than 16,000 Cherokee people from their homelands to Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. 

Although the exact number is not known, disease, exposure and sickness claimed thousands of Cherokee lives during the course of their capture, imprisonment and removal. Their ordeal became known as the Trail of Tears. 

Opportunities are available to become involved or volunteer. For more information, call 706-624-1321. Tax-deductible donations to support these efforts may be made to Friends of New Echota State Historic Site and mailed to FONE, P. O. Box 643, Resaca, GA 30735-0643.

The host hotel for the May 17-18 memorial event is the Baymont Inn & Suites at 189 Jameson St., in Calhoun. For more information, call 706-629-8133 or 1-800-526-3766 or visit calhoun.ga@cphosp.com.
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