Our history is one of loss, pain and separation. Loss of land, culture and lives; pain through broken promises, deceit and scars; separation from our homeland. The forced journey started at the beginning of the 1830s removing Native Americans from millions of acres of homeland. Andrew Jackson led the round up of hundreds of thousands,
forcefully relocating them (many in shackles and chains) to a designated “Indian Country.” Families, friends and tribes were separated, livelihoods lost, culture disrupted and a symbiotic connection to the land stolen.

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 backed a series of forced removals including the Trail of Tears; the mass removal of the 5 civilized tribes from the Southeastern United States to federal territory West of the Mississippi. Many Native Americans did not survive this journey on foot due to harsh weather, disease and famine. Those who did survive, completing the journey to the designated land base were not only faced with mourning the loss of many people but also starting over in an unknown territory. Language, livelihoods, culture and spirituality were greatly affected and mere survival as a people was attacked.

Sheena V. Foundation is choosing to acknowledge this tragic event in American history by celebrating the survival and resilience of American Indian tribes. By tracing the footsteps of our ancestors on the path of the Trail of Tears we honor those we lost and aim to empower those who remain.

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