Trail of Tears: Cherokee women to ride 950 miles to honor ancestors’ devastating displacement

Remember the Removal Bike Ride follows the migration trail where 4,000 citizens of the Cherokee Nation lost their lives.

The 2022 all-women crew for the Remember the Removal Ride
(Image credit: Emily Christie)

In the late 1830s, the Indian Removal Act forced the Cherokee Nation out of their lands between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. The path of their forced relocation covered some 5,045 miles across nine states. Of the approximately 16,000 citizens of the Cherokee Nation who were forced to relocate, about 4,000 died of starvation, disease or exposure to the elements along the long march that would later become known as the Trail of Tears. 

Starting May 30, a group of six Cherokee women will retrace part of the journey by bike to honor their ancestors and ensure they are not forgotten.

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Chiara Kim

Chiara Kim is a freshman studying Journalism in the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, along with Economics with a French minor, at Northwestern University. She was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, surrounded by the racers on her parents’ professional cycling team. She is passionate about using writing to share underrepresented stories and connect with different communities. In her free time, Chiara writes for The Daily Northwestern, rows for the Northwestern Crew team, and is a member of the Chi Omega Fraternity.