WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Just like Native Americans did in the 1830s, Wichitans took time Saturday morning to walk as they remember the Trail of Tears.
“It’s for the honoring of our elders, our past elders, our past generations. To be honest with you each tribe had their own Trail of Tears,” said Eugne Cameron, Native American Community Resource Coalition member.
The Trail of Tears left thousands of Native Americans dead as tribes were forced to relocate from their ancestral homelands in the southeastern part of the United States in the 1830s.
While the movement only involved a few tribes, the concept is something that relates to all Native Americans.
“We’ve all had to be relocated to a completely different place. We’ve all had to undergo a lot of deaths just because we had to move and were Native American,” said Dizzyahrakeah Jaynesahkluah, USD 259 Princess of Wichita.
Events like the 19th Annual Trail of Tears Memorial mean a great deal to Jaynesahkluah because her family is Cherokee.
“It makes me feel closer to my tribes and everyone in my tribes,” she said.
People both of Native American and non-native descent, young and old all gathered around Saturday to listen to music, dance, and pass on history.
“The main thing is to carry it down to the youngsters and let them learn,” said Ronlald Stumbling.
The memorial event both honored those lost, as well as celebrate those who survived.
“The community can remember that time in history and remember and be thankful that we are still here and we are still around,” said Dal Domebo, Director for the Native American Education Program.
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