TPZ179: In the Footsteps of the Cherokee with Ian Finch & Jamie Barnes

Ian and Jamie. Photo credit to Will Saunders

After the Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson in 1830, the US government began a series of relocations of Native Americans from their ancestral lands in the southeast to areas west of the Mississippi River. The 5 civilized tribes consisting of Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw and Choctaw were all part of the forced removals.  In 1838 the Cherokee people were removed, via a series of land and water routes, from their ancestral homelands in the Great Smoky Mountains to Tahlequah Oklahoma. It’s estimated that of the 16,000 removed, between 4-8000 Cherokee died from hunger, exposure and disease.  This journey was known amongst the Cherokee as the “The Trail Where They Cried”, today known as the “The Trail of Tears”. Beginning in mid-March 2019, Photographer Ian Finch and Jamie Barnes retraced the original trail from The Smokey Mountains into Tahlequah Oklahoma. Over 81 days they descended flooded rivers, canoeing close to 1000 miles, then continuing on foot for 400 miles. You can learn more about their journey at Ian’s website www.ianefinch.com, and at www.sidetracked.com where you can learn more about their upcoming feature article in Sidetracked Magazine’s October issue. Ian Finch and Jamie Barnes, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

Ian previously appeared in Episode 129.


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