TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The 2022 Remember the Removal Bike Ride hosted by the Cherokee Nation will be accepting applications for the event until August 18, 2021. The 950-mile bike ride crosses through seven states retracing the northern route of the Trail of Tears and taking place over a three-week period.
Applicants are required to answer essay questions, provide references and be available for an interview once the application deadline has closed. Applications are also available for a mentor rider, who must be 35 years or older by January 1, 2022, and a Cherokee Nation citizen.
The Remember the Removal Bike Ride began in 1984 as a youth leadership program and after a hiatus, was restarted in 2009. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians begin their ride in New Echota, Georgia, and will join the Cherokee Nation on their leg of the journey.
“The Cherokee Nation is always proud to support the hard work and determination of young Cherokees who want to learn more about our culture and our history while honoring our ancestors,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “It’s a life-changing event that tests the courage, strength, and personal perseverance of all the riders who are taking part in the journey."
Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify:
• Be a Cherokee Nation citizen
• Must not have previously participated in the ride
• Be within the ages 16 to 24 by January 1, 2022
• Be able to pass a sports physical during orientation, pre-training and post-training
• Must commit to physically attending all mandatory training and classes in Tahlequah
• Follow code of conduct policies
• Must have received the COVID-19 vaccine
The finalists who are selected by the event committee and meet all requirements before, during and after training will officially be chosen as 2022 riders. The finalists for the event will also have to attend the mandatory training and Native American history courses.