Published September 24, 2017
TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee Nation is accepting applications for the 2018 Remember the Removal Bike Ride, which follows the northern route of the Trail of Tears over a span of three weeks.
Cherokee Nation citizens ages 16-24 ride approximately 950 miles in June, crossing through seven states as a testament to their physical and mental endurance. Riders retrace the same path their ancestors were forced to walk more than 175 years ago.
Applications are online at www.cherokee.org/remembertheremovaland require an essay, three recommendation letters and more. The deadline is Oct. 31.
“If you are a young Cherokee who hopes to learn more about our tribal history, I would encourage you to consider this program, which will test your perseverance and your endurance through the vast terrain along the route,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “Our Remember the Removal Bike Ride allows participants to remember our Cherokee ancestors and what they overcame. This will be a life-changing experience and one that will create lasting memories and rewarding, lifelong bonds among participants.”
The Remember the Removal Bike Ride was created in 1984 as a youth leadership program and restarted in 2009. For seven straight years, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has joined the Cherokee Nation on the journey that begins in New Echota, Georgia.
“All along this 950-mile journey, the Remember the Removal Bike Ride participants learn important life lessons while seeing firsthand where many historical events in Cherokee history took place,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “This program is also a leadership program, and riders from time to time will find themselves acting as Cherokee Nation ambassadors along their journey, sharing the story of our tribe’s removal to what is now Oklahoma. It is no doubt an unforgettable experience for those who are ultimately chosen to participate.”
To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Cherokee Nation citizen
- Be between the ages of 16-24 by Jan. 1, 2018
- Must not have previously participated in the ride
- Be able to pass a sport physical during post-selection orientation
- Must attend mandatory weekly 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 2018 riders.
For more information, contact Dr. Gloria Sly at 918-453-5154 or[email protected].
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