By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association has donated $5,000 to the Remember the Removal bike ride. Chapter vice-president Carmaleta Monteith, an EBCI tribal member, presented the check to Principal Chief Michell Hicks on Thursday, Feb. 21.
“This donation is greatly appreciated,” said Chief Hicks. “The ride is a great opportunity for tribal members to enjoy the history and put themselves into where we were at a point and time. We appreciate it.”
Monteith said that the idea for the donation arose from a Chapter meeting in which Jeremy Wilson, an EBCI tribal member who participated in last year’s ride, spoke about the ride and its meaning to him. “It just sort of emerged as a good thing to do,” said Monteith.
Anita Finger-Smith, Chapter treasurer, commented, “The North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association’s mission is to promote the remembrance of the removal, and the Remember the Removal ride has that same mission. And, we thought that a joint effort in that would broaden the awareness in the western North Carolina area.”
This year’s Remember the Removal ride is set to start in June at New Echota, Ga. Seven EBCI tribal members have been selected to represent the Tribe on the ride including: Gerri Grady, Kate Cooper, Tighe Wachcha, Joseph “Joey” Owle, Dakota Brown, Marvel Welch and Elias Huskey.
The Trail of Tears Association is made up of nine chapters representing the states the Trail went through including: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
For more information on the Trail of Tears Association, visit https://www.nationaltota.org/.
Congress designated the Trail of Tears as a National Historic Trail in 1987.