TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation will host a send-off ceremony for the five Cherokee Nation cyclists who leave Tahlequah, Oklahoma, on Wednesday for the 2022 Remember the Removal Bike Ride.

The Cherokee Nation cyclists will join seven cyclists from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, North Carolina, and will begin their ride in New Echota, Georgia on May 30, concluding around 950 miles later in Tahlequah on June 17.

Cyclists follow the Northern Route of the Trail of Tears, spanning Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, to retrace the path of their ancestors. Of the estimated 16,000 Cherokees forced to march to Indian Territory in the late 1830s, about 4,000 died due to exposure, starvation and disease, giving credence to the name Trail of Tears.