TVSHKA HOMMA, OK – On Saturday, May 20, the Trail of Tears Memorial Walk will mark the 192nd anniversary of the first Choctaws who came from their ancestral lands in Mississippi and Alabama to their new home in Indian Territory. Nearly 15,000 tribal members made the forced journey, which came to be called “the Trail of Tears and Death.” It is believed about one-quarter of those who were removed perished along the way.
Members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) and all others wanting to remember and honor those who walked the original Trail of Tears are invited to participate in the symbolic 2.5-mile Trail of Tears Memorial Walk.
The Living Village on the historic Tvshka Homma Capitol Grounds will open at 9:00 a.m. Participants may visit various member services and artists from the Choctaw Artist Registry before the walk begins.
Opening ceremonies, including prayer, a presentation by Choctaw royalty, and an address by Chief Gary Batton will start at 10:00 a.m. The walk will follow, with the Choctaw Honor Guard leading the procession.
The Choctaw Nation is the third largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 212,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people have an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 sq. mi. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity.