Quapaw, OK (June 16th 2021) - Chairman Byrd welcomed Remember the Removal (RTR) cyclists as they crossed into Arkansas, ancestral homelands of the Quapaw.
Every Year RTR participants spend 3 weeks retracing the Trail of Tears route from North Carolina to Oklahoma. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Hoskins was also in attendance for the culture exchange between the two nations.
Remember the Removal started in 1984, but didn't become an annual bike ride until 2009. In 2011, the Eastern Band of Cherokees joined in.
Along the more than 900 mile bike ride, cyclists stop at the Kituwah mound in the original Cherokee homeland, visit New Echota, the former Cherokee capital in Georgia, and stop at unmarked graves of their ancestors. This all takes place after riders pass a physical exam and spend 6 months training.
During the event, Chairman Byrd gave a speech in honor of those that came before and found himself honored as well.
For Quapaw, as we near our 150th Pow Wow, we also must remember the hardships of those that came before and the journey of their forced removal. A journey that saw the Quapaw people removed from Arkansas twice until they finally settled in what is now Eastern Oklahoma.