March 27, 2008

From Rome to Tahlequah

Cities at both ends of Trail of Tears may seek 'sister' statusAll roads may not lead to Rome, Ga., but a path important to Cherokee history began in that vicinity and ended in this area.

During the 1830s, some Cherokees left their homes in Georgia and surrounding states to begin a new life in Indian Territory, while others were forcibly removed from the land they had occupied for lifetimes.

Today, Tahlequah, which lies at the end of the Trail of Tears, may become a sister city with Rome, a leading community at its beginning. While the two city councils have taken no official action to become sister cites, people in both communities have expressed support for the idea.

The sister city concept would increase the emphasis on the importance of that period in history, and its effect on people at both ends of the trail. People answering surveys by the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation have expressed the most interest in the state’s western and Native American heritage.

And many Georgians are not aware of the extent of Cherokee contributions to their area.

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