Primary Source Document
Excerpt from Trail of Tears Diary
The Trail of Tears is the name given to the forced relocation of Native American nations following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The removal included many members of tribes who did not wish to assimilate. Many Native Americans suffered from disease and exposure, and somewhere between 2,000-6,000 Cherokee died on the trail. The Trail of Tears Diary includes interviews that reveals the extraordinary resilience of the Native American nations during the trail.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this informational text about the forced relocation of Native Americans before they start the book to provide them with additional historical context. While the informational text is not specifically about the Navajo, Ned’s tribe, the text can help students better understand how the United States government has treated Native American tribes historically. As students read the book, ask them to consider how the government controls Native Americans’ way of life. How do students think the trauma experienced by the Native Americans who survived forced relocation continued to affect their families and their people as a whole?