Tahlequah Daily Press


May 29, 2014

CN ‘Removal’ riders embark on journey

TAHLEQUAH — Wednesday morning, the clouds broke over Tahlequah just long enough for a dozen Cherokee Nation youth to embark on a 1,000-mile journey, retracing the paths of their ancestors on the Trail of Tears.

Cherokee Nation “Remember The Removal” riders were honored at a send-off ceremony at the tribal complex before loading into vans to make the trek to Cherokee, N.C. Once they arrive, they will join a half dozen members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee riders and spend the next three weeks bicycling their way back home along the northern route of the Trail of Tears.

“This is a special year for the Removal riders,” said CN Secretary of State Charles Hoskin Jr. “This marks the 175th anniversary of the last group of Cherokees to arrive here along the Trail of Tears, and it’s the 30th anniversary of the Remember The Removal ride.”

District 2 Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd gave the invocation, asked the youth to consider their legacy while returning home.

“I hope you’ll reach back and give credence to what your ancestors have been through,” said Byrd. “I’m proud of you young men and women, and admire your strength and commitment.”

Riders selected for this year’s event include: Cassie Moore, Charli Barnoskie, Jacob Chavez, Jordan McLaren, Kassidy “Tye” Carnes, and Keeley Goodwin, of Tahlequah; Jamekah Rios, of Stilwell; Adriana Collins, Noah Collins, Chance Rudolph, Elizabeth Burns and Madison Taylor, of Claremore; and Zane Scullawl, of Collinsville.

Principal Chief Bill John Baker talked to both parents and the youth about the upcoming journey.

“This is another great day in the Cherokee Nation,” said Baker. “[Parents,] unlike our ancestors, you will stay connected [throughout their journey] by Facebook. You’ll probably have more pictures of them than you can ever imagine. One hundred and seventy-five years ago, Cherokees who were here who knew their relatives were on a journey coming to them had no contact with their loved ones, or even know if they’d ever see their family alive again.”

Baker, having seen a number of Removal rider groups return, knows they will come back changed people.

“Parents, take one last good look at your children, because the next time you see them, they’ll be adults,” said Baker. “The growth these young people are about to achieve is unbelievable. They’ll come back stronger. They’ll come back as lifelong friends. This is a great program.”

Cyclists will put their bodies to the test as they travel an average of 60 miles a day, mirroring the hardships of their ancestors. Baker pointed out that 175 years ago, one in four Cherokees who walked the Trail of Tears died.

“Rely on the strength of our ancestors,” said Baker. “When you’re at 68 miles [for the day] and you’re going 70, remember our ancestors put one foot in front of the other and were not broken. That’s what it is to be Cherokee.”

Will Chavez, father of 2014 rider Jacob, rode in the inaugural event 30 years ago, and offered encouragement to the group.

“I’m proud of you for taking the challenge,” said Chavez. “Riding a bike nearly 1,000 miles through hills and mountains is tough and it will test you, but I know you can do it. It’s one of the toughest things you’ll ever do in life, but also one of the best.”

Chavez said the program was developed to instill leadership in Cherokee youth.

“I think they also wanted to instill confidence and make us bold, bolder for our futures,” said Chavez. “The Trail does not define us as Cherokee people. Be strong and take care of each other. No one can be an island on this journey. You have to work together.”

LaTasha Atcity, Miss Northeastern and 2013 Removal rider, also spoke to the group.

“This is an emotional day,” said Atcity. “You’re about to embark on one of the most amazing journeys you’ll ever experience. You’ll learn as you go our people are strong. You’ll learn to not let fear be the enemy of your future. Don’t be scared.”

Text Only
  • rf-Quilt-1.jpg UKB quilting class touts tribal tradition

    Recently, several women and one man gathered to learn or refresh their sewing skills. They created quilt pieces at the United Keetoowah Band Wellness Center, with instructors Cindy Hair and Ernestine Berry, director of the John Hair Cultural Center and Museum.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Faith-7-29.jpg New opportunity opens door for local pastor

    A unique opportunity for ministry training will begin next year in Tahlequah.
    The River Ministries will be launching The River Training Center, a complete ministry school. The training center will also perform community outreach and sponsor mission trips, all beginning in January 2015.
    The founder of the school, Pastor Brandon Stratton, was raised in Tahlequah and previously pastored Calvary Assembly of God Church.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 22ndAmendment.jpg Presidential terms limited by 22nd Amendment

    The past 30 years have been marked by occasional grumbling from one American political party, and celebration from the other - depending on who occupies the White House - about the disqualification of a president after eight years of service.
    For much of the nation’s history, a presidency could last indefinitely.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • sg-Paperbacks.jpg Paperbacks still survive in the digital age

    In an era when mobile technology is always at hand, most people can access an electronic book at any time. Such literary luxuries weren’t widely available to previous generations until the dawn of the paperback book.
    Wednesday, July 30, is set as a day to celebrate the low-cost, portable book during National Paperback Book Day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA