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WCU remembers Cherokee removal, Trail of Tears

A discussion at Western Carolina University on Wednesday focused on past challenges faced by the Cherokee Nation. The event commemorated the 180th year since the forced removal of the Cherokee from their homeland to present-day Oklahoma. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A discussion at Western Carolina University on Wednesday focused on past challenges faced by the Cherokee Nation.

The event commemorated the 180th year since the forced removal of the Cherokee from their homeland to present-day Oklahoma.

The symposium commemorated the Trail of Tears route designated as a national historic trail by the National Park Service, as well as celebrated the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act declaration by Congress.

Students, staff and faculty members heard from a number of speakers about the relocation of Native Americans and its affects.

"I'm so pleased with the turnout. We've had lots of student participation, which means a lot because this campus is an old Cherokee town. It had a mound here, and so we're standing on sacred ground," Susan Abram, president of the North Carolina Trail of Tears Association, said.

Significant locations include sites of military posts, roads used for movements of troops and Cherokee deportees and sites of Cherokee organization and resistance. The National Trail of Tears Historic Trail spans nine states, including North Carolina, and covers 5,043 miles of water and land routes.

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