Wednesday, August 23, 2023 - The Cherokee Nation is accepting applications for the 2024 Remember the Removal Bike Ride, which retraces the northern route of the Trail of Tears over a span of three weeks. The deadline to submit an application will be Sept. 15.
Cherokee Nation citizens between the ages of 16 and 24 who are ultimately chosen for the program will ride approximately 950 miles in June, crossing through seven states as a testament to their physical and mental endurance. Riders retrace the same path their ancestors were forced to walk more than 180 years ago.
Applications are available online at https://rtr.cherokee.org and require applicants to answer essay questions, provide references, and more. Applicants must be available for an interview once the application deadline has passed.
“The Cherokee Nation is proud of its Remember the Removal Bike Ride program, which gives young Cherokees the opportunity and privilege each year to learn more about our culture and history while honoring our ancestors,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “It’s a life-changing journey that will challenge the courage, strength and personal perseverance of all the riders who take part in it. And those who complete the bold trek across the northern route of the Trail of Tears will forever have the memories that will last a lifetime.”
The Remember the Removal Bike Ride was created in 1984 as a youth leadership program. After a hiatus, the program was restarted in 2009. The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians also joins the Cherokee Nation on the journey that begins in New Echota, Georgia, and ends in Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation.
To qualify, applicants must meet the following criteria:
• Be a Cherokee Nation citizen
• Must not have previously participated in the bike ride
• Be age 16-24 by January 1, 2024
• Be able to pass a sports physical during orientation pre-training and post-training
• Must commit to physically attending all mandatory training sessions and classes in Tahlequah
• Follow code of conduct policies
Finalists will be selected by a committee to attend training and history courses. Those finalists who are selected and meet all requirements before, during and after training will officially be chosen as 2024 riders.
Applications are also available for a mentor rider, who must be a Cherokee Nation citizen and age 35 or older as of Jan. 1, 2024. The application for mentor riders can also be found on the RTR website.
For more information, contact Lisa Trice-Turtle at 918-453-5000, ext. 4991, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
KXMX Staff Writer
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