“In Their Footsteps” - 1200 miles on the Cherokee Trail of Tears

EXPEDITION COMPLETED 5th June 2019: From March to June 2019 Ian Finch & Jamie Barnes followed the Cherokee Trail of Tears. The 1300 mile removal route began in the ancestral lands of the Cherokee in the Great Smokey Mountains and ended in Tahlequah Oklahoma, the modern day home of the Cherokee. 400 miles of the route was hiked, 900 miles was canoed. Along their journey they shared the story of the trail through carefully thought out photography and sensitive authentic storytelling. One of the main aims was to walk the final miles with members of the CN (Cherokee Nation) to help share with us stories of the past also about the beauty, depth and modern challenges of native people in the US, specifically the CN. They completed the journey walking with two Cherokee youth named Wrighter and Parker, alongside John Ross, a Cherokee elder who’s lineage connects to the original Trail of Tears. Post expedition they spent 8 days within the Chereokee Nation meeting and learning about language preservation, perpetuation of traditions, heritage and the future of the nation. Ian and Jamie truly believe this is a moment in history that needs to be remembered and shared, yet in a way that is sensitive, honest and factually correct. The journey took 81 days to complete and featured heavily for Sidetracked Magazine. To read about Phase One - Crossing the Smokies you can here: Smokies or to read about Phase Two - Where Rivers Collide you can here: Canoe