Trail of Tears monument dedicated in Ozark, Ark.
Junior Miss Choctaw Nation Jade Cossey and Cathy Burns – friend of Ozark, Arkansas, resident Jay Logan, who donated much of the funding for the town’s Trail of Tears monument – remove a blanket covering the monument during a Sept. 24 dedication ceremony. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The Trail of Tears monument dedicated Sept. 24 in Ozark, Arkansas, is a stone slab that is 6 feet by 4-1/2 feet wide that sits on a 14-foot-by-16-foot stone-stamped, concrete slab. Also mounted in the concrete in front of the standing monument are four pieces of diamond-shaped Cherokee Marble 1 foot in size from a quarry in Tate, Georgia. The words “Trail of Tears” in English and the Cherokee syllabary and the years 1832-1840 are engraved on the monument along with images of a steam ship, covered wagon and people walking. Also engraved are the words “Arkansas River Valley Routes” and the names of the Five Civilized Tribes. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Seminole Nation Assistant Chief Lewis Johnson speaks during the Sept. 24 dedication ceremony for a Trail of Tears monument in Ozark, Arkansas, that honors the people of the Five Civilized Tribes who traveled by the town during the forced removals in the early 1800s. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Next to the Trail of Tears monument dedicated on Sept. 24 in Ozark, Arkansas, are five flat plaques that list the main stopping points for each of the tribes that traveled by the town. For instance, Park Hill, Indian Territory, is listed as the main stopping point for the Cherokee people. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
OZARK, Ark. – The Arkansas River is a part of Ozark’s history, and that history includes the forced removal of tribal people in the early 1800s from their Southeastern homelands. Five of those tribes, the Cherokee, Seminole, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Chickasaw, either passed by Ozark on boats or walked by it on their ways to Indian Territory. To commemorate those passages, the Main Street Ozark group dedicated a monument on Sept. 24.
The monument is a stone slab that’s 6 feet by 4-1/2 feet wide that sits on a 14-foot-by-16-foot stone-stamped, concrete slab. Mounted in the concrete in front of the standing monument are four pieces of diamond-shaped Cherokee Marble 1 square foot in size from a quarry in Tate, Georgia. This is the same marble used for the Lincoln Memorial and other U.S. government buildings, project coordinator and Trail of Tears historian Dusty Helbling said.
“Ozark is on the bank of the Arkansas River where the tribes passed by on riverboats and is between two land routes that passed north and south of the city,” Helbling said.
He helped design the monument after monument sketches he had drawn in the 1990s were found in the Ozark Museum. He updated his sketch to make it more personal and symbolic for the five tribes, and at the same time, reflect the monument site that was part of the Western Cherokee Reservation (1819-29) in Arkansas.
“We used Sequoyah’s syllabary as part of the marker because he completed it while living near Scottsville, Arkansas, on this reservation, and it was the only Native American written language during the removal period,” Helbling said.
The words “Trail of Tears” in English and the Cherokee syllabary, as well as the years 1832-1840 are engraved on the monument along with images of a steam ship, covered wagon and people walking. Also engraved are the words “Arkansas River Valley Routes” and the Five Civilized Tribes’ names. On the ground next to the monument are five flat plaques listing each tribe’s main stopping point in Indian Territory. Park Hill is listed as the stopping point for the Cherokee people.
National Trail of Tears Association President and Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Jack Baker attended the ceremony along with Seminole Nation Assistant Chief Lewis Johnson.
Johnson said the Seminoles were brought from Florida, and a majority of the men were prisoners of war and in metal shackles.
“Everyone who passes through this community will be reminded that many folks passed through this area. Not only did they pass through this area they reached what was considered their destination, and they still thrive today in places like Tahlequah, Tishomingo, Tuskahoma, in Muskogee or Okmulgee,” Johnson said.
TOTA Executive Director and CN Supreme Court Chief Justice Troy Wayne Poteete said the “cultural offering” from Ozark would bring tourists to see the monument.
“Every once in a while someone suggests and says ‘that this is just crass commercialism and opportunism.’ No, it’s cultural tourism, and it’s an opportunity for we as tribal people, every time we have an event like this, to talk about a broader story,” Poteete said. “As Cherokee people, why do we dwell on such a sad story that is such a blot on this great country? We don’t do this because we want to capture the image of our ancestors miserable on boats going through here. Certainly, they were victimized. And it sure isn’t about somehow we want to appropriate that victimization to ourselves. We do this because it’s an opportunity for us to honor the tenacity, the resilience and the perseverance of our ancestors.”
Helbling said a donation from the Jay Logan family and work by Main Street Ozark made the memorial possible. “Otherwise, we would have had a very small project here, and they (Logan family) were very generous. Also, Main Street Ozark was the umbrella that we worked underneath to do everything. They coordinated and handled the fundraising and paid the bills for us.”
Ozark is about 40 miles from the Oklahoma state line on I-40. Use Exit 37 to get to the monument at 103 E. River St.
OZARK, ᏚᏯᏓᏛᎢ. – ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏚᏯᏓᏛᎢ ᎡᏉᏂ ᎤᏪᏴᎢ ᎢᎦᏓᏃ ᎢᎸᎯᏳᎢ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᏅᎢ Ozark’s ᎧᏃᎮᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎸᎯᏳᎢ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏓ Ꮎ ᏥᏗᎨᏥᎢᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᏂᏍᏓᏢᎢ ᏴᏫ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ 1800s ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎤᎦᏅᏮᎧᎵᎬᎢ ᎢᏗᏜ ᏧᏁᏅᏒᎢ. ᎯᏍᎩᏃ ᏱᎦᎢ ᎢᏳᎾᏓᎴᎢ ᎠᏂᏍᏓᏢᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ, ᎠᏂᏏᎻᏃᎵ, ᎠᏂᏣᏔ, ᎠᏂᎹᏍᎪᎩ (ᎠᏂᎫᏏ) ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏥᎦᏌ, ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᎤᏂᎶᏎᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎾᎥᎢ Ozark ᏥᏳᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎡᎳᏗ ᎤᏂᎶᏎᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ ᎤᎾᏤᎵᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏓᎾᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ Ꮎ ᏯᏂᎢ ᎤᏂᎶᏒᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏂᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ ᎦᎳᏅᏛᎢ Ozark ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ ᏅᏯ ᏚᎾᎴᏔᏁᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᏚᎵᏍᏗ. 24.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏅᏯ ᏥᎩ 6 ᏱᎳᏏᏗ 4-1/2 ᏱᎳᏏᏗ ᎢᏯᏖᎾ ᎥᎿ ᎠᏍᏛᏡᏍᏗ 14- ᏱᎳᏏᏗ -16- ᏱᎳᏏᏗ ᏅᏯ-ᏚᎾᏐᏅᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎪᏪᎳᎾᎥᎢ, ᏅᏯ ᏯᏖᎾ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏅᏔᏅᎢ ᏅᏲᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎢᎬᏱᏗᏢᎢ ᏅᏯ ᎨᏛᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏅᎩ ᏱᎦᎢ ᏗᎪᏍᏓᏱ-ᏫᏚᏛᏅᎢ ᏚᏅᏏᏴᎢ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏓᏲᏍᏗ ᏅᏯ 1 ᏅᎩ ᎢᏧᏅᏏᏯ ᏱᎳᏏᏗ ᏁᏈᏴᎢ Tate, ᏅᏯ ᏧᏂᎴᏍᏗᎢ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᎢ, ᏣᏥᏱ. ᎯᎠᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏠᏱ ᎦᏓᏲᏍᏗ ᏅᏯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏅᏛᏅᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Lincoln Memorial ᎠᎴ ᏗᏐᎢ U.S. ᏩᏥᏂᎢ ᏓᏓᏁᎸᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏟᏙᎯ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎨᏥᎢᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎸᎢ ᎠᎦᏔᎯ Dusty Helbling ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ.
“Ozark Ꮓ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏚᏯᏓᏛᎢ ᎡᏉᏂ ᏄᏪᏴᎢ ᎤᏬᏝᎥᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎥᎿᎿᎢ ᎢᎩ ᎥᎿᎾᏂᏃ ᎠᏂᏍᏓᏢᎢ ᎤᏂᎶᏌ ᏥᏳᎢ ᏗᎦᎦᏪᎯᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎦᏙᎢ ᏓᎲᎢ ᎤᏴᏢᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎦᏅᏮᎢ ᎥᎿ ᎦᏚᎲᎢ,” Helbling ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᎵᏍᏕᎸᎭ ᏓᎾᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏅᏯ ᏚᏂᏍᏆᏓᏃ ᏅᏯ ᏫᏚᎾᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ 1990s ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᏧᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Ꮓ Ozark ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎪᏗᏓᏅᎢ ᏚᏂᎾᏫᏛᎲᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏚᏤᎯᏍᏔᏅᎢ Ꮎ ᏧᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Ꮩ ᎤᏩᏌ ᏧᏤᎵᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏱᏛᏟᎶᏍᏓᏁᎭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏍᏓᏢᎢ ᎤᎬᏩᎵ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᏧᎳᎭᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏑᏰᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏅᏯ ᎤᏁᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᎵᎪᏎᏍᏗ ᏭᏕᎵᎬᎢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᎾᏤᎵᎪᎯ (1819-29) ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏚᏯᏓᏛᎢ.
“ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏏᏉᏯ ᏧᏬᎷᏩᏛᏗ ᏧᏬᏪᎳᏅᎢ ᏙᎬᏔᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᎵᎪᎯ Ꮎ ᎪᏪᎳᎾᎥᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Scottsville ᏚᏯᏓᏛᎢ ᎾᎥᎢ ᎦᏁᎸᎢ, ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Ꮓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏤᎵᎪᎯ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏩᏌ ᏁᎯᏴᎢ ᎠᎹᏰᎵ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎪᏪᎳᏅᎢ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏥᎨᏥᎧᎲᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Helbling.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎧᏁᎢᏍᏗ “ᏥᏗᎨᏥᎢᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ” ᎩᎵᏏ ᎬᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ ᎬᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᏚᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ 1832-1840 ᎾᏍᎩ ᏕᎪᏪᎳ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏅᏲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏕᏍᏗ ᎠᏥᎳ ᏗᎦᎦᏪᎯᎯ ᏥᏳ, ᏙᏆᎴᎳ ᎠᎴ ᏴᏫ ᎠᎾᎢᏒᎢ. ᎾᏍᏊ ᏗᎧᏁᎢᏍᏗ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ “ᏚᏯᏓᏛᎢ ᎡᏉᏂ ᎤᏪᏴᎢ ᎤᎨᏓᎵᏴᎢ ᏗᏜ ᎡᏓᏍᏗᎢ” -- ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏓᏂᏍᏓᏢᎢ’ ᏚᎾᏙᏍᏛᎢ. ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎦᏙᎢ ᎾᎥᎢ ᏅᏯ ᎤᎾᎴᏛᎢ ᎯᏍᎩᏃ ᏱᎦᎢ ᏚᎾᏙᎥᎢ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ ᎠᏂᏍᏓᏢᎢ ᎢᏴᎢ ᏚᎾᎴᏫᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᏍᏛᎢ ᎤᎾᏤᎵᎪᎯ. ᎠᏫᏭᏂᏴᏍᏗ Ꮓ ᎢᎪᏪᎳ ᎥᎿ ᎤᎾᎴᏫᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏴᏫ.
National Trail of Tears Association ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏗᎦᎳᏫᎩ Jack Baker ᎤᏪᎳᏗᏙᎸᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏓᎾᏠᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎠᏁᎸᎢ ᎠᏂᏏᎻᏃᎵ ᏔᎵᏁ ᎠᏓᎴᏁᎢ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Lewis Johnson.
Johnson Ꮓ ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏂᏏᎻᏃᎵ ᎠᏟᏲᎷᎲᏍᎩᎢ ᏂᏗᎨᎦᏘᎿᏫᏛᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᏭᏂᎪᏛᎢ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ ᏓᎿᏫᎢ ᏗᎨᏥᏴᎩᏛᎢ ᎨᏒᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎷᎩᏍᎩ ᏕᎨᏥᏅᏠᎲᎢ.
“ᎾᏂᏴᎢᏃ ᎠᏂᎶᏏᏙᎲᎢ ᎠᎭᏂ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎠᎾᏅᏓᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏣᏘ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏂᎶᏒᎢ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎡᏍᎦᏂ.
ᎥᏝᏃ ᎤᏂᎶᏒᎢ ᏱᎦᎢᏭ ᏱᎩ ᎠᏂ ᎡᏍᎦᏂ ᎤᏂᎷᏨᎢ ᎨᏒᎩ, ᎠᎴ ᎪᎯᏴᎢ ᏥᎩ ᎠᏏᏊ ᎠᏁᎭ ᏓᎵᏆ, ᏘᏌᎻᎪᎯ, ᏛᏍᎬᎰᎹ, ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᎫᏐᎢ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎣᎦᎹᎵᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Johnson.
TOTA ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏌᏕᎩ ᏗᎫᎪᏔᏂᏙᎯ ᎠᎴ CN ᎤᏔᏅ ᏗᎫᎪᏙᏗᏱ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ ᏗᎫᎪᏗᏍᎩ Troy Wayne Poteete ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ “ᎢᏯᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏓᏁᏗ” Ozark ᏂᏛᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᏱᏓᏘᏃᎦ ᎠᏂᎦᏖᏃᎵᏙᎯ ᎤᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮎ ᏅᏯ ᎦᏙᎬᎢ.
“ᏳᏓᎵᎭᎢ ᎩᎶ ᎢᎧᏁᎢᏍᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎪᎢ ‘ᎯᎠᏃ ᎠᏎᏭᎢ ᎨᏐᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎨᎬᏗᏍᎬᎢ.’ ᎥᏝ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᎩ ᏂᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎣᎩᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏥᏅᏍᏓᏢᎢ, ᏂᎪᎯᎸᎢ ᏲᎩᏍᏆᎸᎡᎳ ᎯᎠ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ, ᎦᎬᏃᎮᏢᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ,” Poteete ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎣᏥᏣᎳᎩ ᏴᏫ, ᎦᏙᎲ ᎤᏰᏟᏗ ᎤᏲᎢ ᎢᏗᏃᎮᏍᎪᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎡᏍᎦᏭ ᏳᏮᏁᎯ ᎯᎠ ᎦᎸᏉᏗ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎢᏕᎲᎢ? ᎥᏝᏃ ᎯᎠ ᏱᏃᏣᏛ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᎦᏚᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎣᎩᏂᏗᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᏂᏚᏅᏁᎸᎢ ᏦᎦᏤᎵᎢ ᏦᎩᏚᏓ ᎤᏲᎢ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎲᎢ ᏥᏳᎢ ᎠᏁᎬᎢ ᎠᎭᏂ. ᎤᏙᎯᏳᎯᏯᎢ, ᎣᏲᎢ ᏂᎨᎬᏁᎸᎢ. ᎠᎴ ᎥᏝ ᏲᎦᏚᎵᎠ ᎤᏲᎢ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎢᏲᎦᎵᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ. ᎯᎠᏃ ᏃᏣᏛᏁᎰᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎣᎦᏟᏅᏓᏕᎰᎢ ᎣᎩᎵᏉᏙᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏙᎩᏂᏴᎲᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦᏳᎾᏛᏁᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏃᎦᏟᏂᎬᎬ ᏦᎩᎦᏴᎵᎨᎢ ᎡᏘ ᏣᏁᎮᎢ.”
Helbling ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Jay Logan ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᏟᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ ᎦᎳᏅᏛᎢ Ozark ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏅᏓᏗᏍᏙᏗ ᏥᏄᏍᏗ.” “ᎠᏗᏅ, ᎠᎦᏲᏟᏊ ᏲᎩᎮᎢ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎠᎭᏂ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ (Logan family) ᏙᏳᎢ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏘᏳᎢ ᎨᏒᎩ. ᎠᎴᎾᏍᏊ, ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ ᎦᎳᏅᏛᎢ Ozark ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎫᏍᏓᎥᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏙᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲᎢ ᏂᎦᎥᎢ ᏃᏣᏛᏁᎲᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏗᏎᎢ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎠᏂᏟᏏᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎪᎩᏚᏍᎬᎢ ᏓᎾᏈᏱᏍᎬᎢ.”
Ozark Z ᎾᏍᎩ 40 ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎢᏴᎢ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏍᏓᏅᏅᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ I-40. ᎥᎿ 37 ᏯᏕᏘᏂ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏫᎦᎷᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏅᏯ ᏗᎨᏛᎢ ᎥᎿ 103 E. River St.
– Translation by David Crawler