2015 Remember the Removal Riders
Published September 25, 2015
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA —The Cherokee Nation is taking applications for next summer’s Remember the Removal Bike Ride.
Cherokee Nation citizens ages 16-24 spend three weeks in June riding bicycles along the northern route of the Trail of Tears. Participants ride more than 950 miles through seven states, testing their physical and mental endurance as they retrace the same path their ancestors were forced to walk more than 175 years ago.
Applications are online at www.cherokee.org/remembertheremoval and require an essay, three recommendation letters and more. Deadline is Nov. 13.
“I encourage any young Cherokee who is interested in our tribal history to consider this unique opportunity. The riders selected for the Remember the Removal program travel the 950-mile journey our Cherokee ancestors were forced to endure. It is a life-changing experience they will remember forever and something they can always take pride in completing,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “It is a physical and mental challenge to push yourself through the hills, the rain and the flat tires, but participants create rewarding lifelong bonds with one another and they have extraordinary access to some of the most important locations and landmarks in Cherokee history.”
The ride started in 1984 as a youth leadership program and for the sixth straight year partners with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to make the ride.
“Memorializing the Trail of Tears through the Remember the Removal Bike Ride is one of the most important things we are doing to educate the public about our history,” said Remember the Removal Bike Ride Coordinator Joseph Erb. “We are not recreating what happened, but continuing to honor our ancestors we lost and those who survived the harsh conditions. It is truly a life-changing experience for every participant, and brings us together and strengthens our resolve to continue on as Cherokees today.”
To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Cherokee Nation citizen
- Between the ages of 16-24 by Jan. 1, 2016
- Must not have previously participated in the ride
- Must attend mandatory weekend training rides and history lessons
- Follow code of conduct policies
Finalists will be selected by a committee to attend training and history courses. Those who meet all the requirements will officially be selected as 2016 riders.
For more information, contact Project Coordinator Joseph Erb at 918-453-5198 or firstname.lastname@example.org.