'Remember The Removal' Cyclists Prepare For 950 Mile Trail Of Tears Ride

Wednesday, May 25th 2022, 6:26 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A group of cyclists are getting ready to begin a nearly 1,000 mile bike ride through the Trail of Tears.

This is the first Cherokee Nation group, made up of entirely women, to participate in the ride.

Madison Whitekiller is on the all-female team and said they're more than ready to go.

They'll start in Georgia, riding about 60 miles a day, through Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas and end in Tahlequah, totaling 950 miles.

Madison said this all to honor their ancestors.

"Our Cherokee people are incredibly strong, still to this day, but that wouldn't be able to happen without those who made the sacrifice to get us to where we are," she said.

While the group is doing the ride to honor the past, they are also thinking about the future.

Cyclist Kayce O'Field said she wants other Cherokee girls and boys to look up to them and encourage them to learn about the history of the Cherokee people.

"It's important to not forget, where we come from and why we are here, because we come from such resilience and perseverance, and I think that's important for younger kids to see as well as adults," she said.

Both Kayce and Madison say they are overwhelmed by the support from so many people and know their ancestors would be proud.

"We are doing this to remember them and to honor them, for the ones who made it, and the ones who couldn't," she said.

The group will be back in Tahlequah on June 17.