For many years, the Cherokee nation sought to gain respect from the United States Government by adapting Western-style religion, government and education in the hopes of receiving recognition of their ancestral land as a sovereign nation. On May 26, 1838, the United States Government had troops forcibly remove members of the Cherokee tribe from their land in the Southeastern US to Oklahoma. More than 4,000 people would die of disease and starvation along the way of the Trail of Tears.
The Trail of Tears or the "Walk of Shame" is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The removal included many members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, among others in the United States, from their homelands to Indian Territory (eastern sections of the present-day state of Oklahoma). The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease and starvation en route to their destinations. Many died, including 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee.