“Trail Of Tears” – Form Of Genocide

Genocides all around the world have been responsible for the deaths of millions of people. Many human’s beings are singled out and killed because of the race, ethnic, group religion and being part of a specific national. One of the saddest tragedies in American history is the United States Government the Indian Removal Act of 1830.” In 1830’s, as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole Nations was forced to give up its lands from their territories in the southeast and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the ‘Trail of Tears,’ because of its devastating effects” (Weeks 67).

The Cherokee was divided into two groups those who wanted to move “the treaty party” and those who wanted to stay “the Ross party”. Most people supported the Ross party. The chief John Ross wanted to reach an agreement with the government to keep their land because they were separated nations unfortunately it got turn down. “The goal of journey was to make Native Americans as much like white Americans as possible, by encouraging to adopt to Christianity, learn to speak and write in English, as well to adopt the European style” (Editors). The US promised them the American dreams but it was all a lie. Clearly the government wanted to wipe all their culture, to assimilate them to becoming like white Americans. Which is a form of Genocide. The United Nation’s define genocide as “Any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” (Dunbar-Ortiz). We know this was genocide of Native Americans based on what happened to them by the US government.

The government forced many Native Americans off their homelands. This was a very dangerous journey for Indians, which includes thousands of Men, Women, Child. Infants who died of cold, hunger and diseases. The Supreme Court’s Decision were responsible for the broken hearts and loss of lives along the Trail of Tears. The US government knowingly that the Native Americans won’t make it into this journey because of all the walking, not having appropriate clothes nor food it would be hard for them to reach their next destination. The conditions were terrible most people had to walk bare foot in the winter as well when it was raining, the elderly had to carry things on their back, they had to travel 8 hundred miles to reach their new homes, many died on the way and couldn’t get properly burry, they had to bury them on the side of the road, lastly, they had to sleep on the bare ground. According to the book The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King he said “4,000 Cherokee died on the trail but some historian claims the number were higher and some lower (King)” yet this is still horrible and will be considered a massacre by White Americans.

I have learned many things while reading The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas king because he mentioned many massacred that happened to Indigenous Nations as well Native Americans, so I have related it to The Trail of Tears as well many other books to gained some type of knowledge. While doing this essay, I had to do some reaching, while reaching I have learn many new things each step out of the way. Some lots of information that I actually did not know about. I have learned what actually happened along the way with the Five Civilized Tribes who was effected by The Indian Removal Acts, that was very interesting.

Also knowing that some Cherokees decided to stay and some decided to leave, so I saw some great resistance and others who just was afraid of them, the fear of facing White Powerful Americans with guns and many more weapons.

This is major history. I believed all Americans in the US and Canadians should know about the history of Native American as well Canadian Indigenous, so we can understand the depth of the situation that happened for years and years and how it can still traumatize or influenced so many people. It is generation pain that will never go away. It is blood that runs through each Native, Indigenous Nation and you cannot erase it!