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The Trail of Tears: A Story of Cherokee Removal

The Cherokee Nation was one of many Native Nations to lose its lands to the United States. The Cherokee tried many different strategies to avoid removal, but eventually, they were forced to move. This interactive uses primary sources, quotes, images, and short videos of contemporary Cherokee people to tell the story of how the Cherokee Nation resisted removal and persisted to renew and rebuild their nation. Explore this resource to better understand the impact of removal and how the Cherokee still celebrate and sustain important cultural values and practices.

Resource Information

grades   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
nations
Cherokee
subjects
Geography, Government & Civics, History, Social Studies
regions
Eastern Woodlands, North America, Southeast
keywords
Trail of Tears, Removal, American Indian Removal, Cherokee, Cherokee Nation, Treaties, Worcester v Georgia, Indian Removal Act, John Ross, Treaty of New Echota, forced removal, John Ridge
Essential Understandings

1: American Indian Culture
Native people continue to fight to maintain the integrity and viability of indigenous societies. American Indian history is one of cultural persistence, creative adaptation, renewal, and resilience.

5: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
Today, American Indian governments uphold tribal sovereignty and promote tribal culture and well-being.

6: Power, Authority, and Governance
A variety of political, economic, legal, military, and social policies were used by Europeans and Americans to remove and relocate American Indians and to destroy their cultures. U.S. policies regarding American Indians were the result of major national debate. Many of these policies had a devastating effect on established American Indian governing principles and systems. Other policies sought to strengthen and restore tribal self-government.

Academic Standards

College, Career, & Civic Life—C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards

D3.4.6-8
Develop claims and counterclaims while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.

D3.4.9-12
Refine claims and counterclaims attending to precision, significance, and knowledge conveyed through the claim while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.


Common Core State Standards

CCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

6–8 Grades
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.1
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

6–8 Grades
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.1
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

6–8 Grades
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.8.1
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

9–10 Grades
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

11–12 Grades
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.