In keeping with tradition, bikers participating in the 13th annual Trail of Tears Motorcycle Ride from Tennessee to Oklahoma will stop in Helena on Sunday, Sept. 22 at approximately 1 p.m.
According to Jim Dunn, president of the Trail of Tears Remembrance Association, there will be between 175 and 250 motorcycles on this leg of the Trail of Tears Remembrance journey. The riders will approach Helena on Highway 49 on their way to Okmulgee, Okla.
The riders, said Dunn, will stop on Natchez Street for lunch. They are expected to depart the area around 2 p.m. on Highway 49 West.
“This ride is in remembrance of Native American tribes displaced due to the Indian Removal Act of the 1830s,” stated Dunn in a letter to The Helena World. “The goal is to educate the public to this monumental and dark historical event and to honor the Native Americans.”
Besides raising awareness, the ride, adds Dunn, also raises funds for scholarships for Native American students. The Trail of Tears Remembrance Association, Inc. raises funds for these scholarships through the sale of official merchandise and donations from sponsors.
“We would like for the public to come out along the route to show support to the riders as they pass through Helena-West Helena,” stated Dunn.
Riders come from all across the country and include Native American riders representing several tribal nations.
“We also would like to encourage the public to come out and talk with the riders at the stop to learn more about this experience,” concluded Dunn.
For more information about the ride, log on to www.trailoftears-remembrance.org or call Dunn, toll free at 1-877-868-8747.