News from the Cherokee Nation, OK
Copyright © 2005 CNO
CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE - Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, recently returned to the origin of the Trail of Tears in Chattanooga, Tennessee to dedicate The Passage, the United State's largest public art project celebrating Cherokee history and culture.
Visitors admire The Passage a new pedestrian link to the 21st Century Chattanooga Waterfront. Local artists, known as the Ga-Du-Gi artist, designed the artwork that adorns The Passage. Visit the full Passage Image Gallery.
The Passage, a new pedestrian link between downtown Chattanooga and the Tennessee River, is located on the Trail of Tears at Ross's Landing, the city's original settlement, named for the great Cherokee Nation Principal Chief John Ross. The Passage artwork was created by Team Gadugi, a group of five Cherokee artists from Oklahoma.
"It's really a great milestone for the community of Chattanooga to embrace it's past whether it's pleasant or not and reconcile that," Smith said.
Smith was joined by Michell Hicks, Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokees, current Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield and former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker for the ceremonies.
"The Passage is a centerpiece of our city's connection to the Tennessee River," said Corker, who spearheaded a $120 million redevelopment of the Chattanooga Waterfront. "The Passage is more than artwork, it is a fitting tribute celebrating the tremendous influence and contribution the Cherokee people have had in shaping Chattanooga's heritage and culture."
Chief John Ross valiantly resisted the forced removal of Cherokees to Oklahoma but once he realized resistance was futile, he provided leadership during the brutal migration and he is credited with saving many Cherokee lives. Some 16,000 Cherokees were living in the East in 1830. Once the forced evacuation was launched in 1838, some 4,000 Cherokees died in stockades or on the trail.
For more information visit Chattanooga Waterfront or call Mike Miller, phone: 918-453-7476.
|Related Cherokee Nation contact information:|
Mike Miller, Cherokee Nation|
Director of Communications
Phone: 918-456-0671 (ext.2210)
Larry Daugherty, Advertising Manager
Steven Swogger, Agriculture Liaison|
Natural Resources Department
Phone: 918-456-0671 (ext.2546)
Bradley D. Peak, Cherokee Nation