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How does the Trail of Tears affect the U.S. today?

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It is easy to assume that long-ago events don’t have much of an impact on our lives today, or that they aren’t meaningful, unless affecting us personally, as the previous answer implies. However, modern Native Americans (Cherokee and otherwise) have a lot to say about how the removal still affects their lives, nearly 200 years later.

Issues like suicide and poverty are affecting over a million Native Americans at this very moment – a direct result of decades of failed policies and generations of mistreatment toward the tribes. (Murray Lee)

The Native Tribes lost their families, their homes, and much of their cultural heritage and traditions when they were forced to relocate to the West. Imagine what it must be like to be born and raised in this atmosphere of loss and hopelessness—these feelings of anger and resentment don’t just go away in a generation or two.

The federal government and corporations still readily seize land for their own purposes (consider the recent Standing Rock

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