The Cherokee Removal Memorial Park at Blythe Ferry in Tennessee honors those who lost their lives on the Trail of Tears, the forced removal of the Cherokee people from their homelands in the southeast U.S. Photo: Brent Moore

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians completes largest repatriation

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recently completed its largest largest repatriation and reburial, the tribe's newspaper reported.

The Tribal Historic Preservation Office reclaimed 177 sets of ancestral remains and 616 funerary objects, The Cherokee One Feather reported. The remains and items were reburied on ancestral land in Tennessee, where they had been originally laid to rest.

“I believe that that there is no greater honor than having the responsibility of returning our ancestors back to where they belong, in Mother Earth and not on a shelf,” Johi Griffin Jr., who works in the historic preservation office, told the paper.

The Eastern Band, based in North Carolina, took the lead on the repatriation, according to the paper. The Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, both based in Oklahoma, were also involved.

Read More on the Story
Tribe completes largest repatriation, reburial to date (The Cherokee One Feather September 11, 2018)

Join the Conversation