What is the impact that the Indian Removal Act (Trail of Tears) has on the modern Cherokee tribes?

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The Indian Removal Act has had an impact on the Cherokee Tribe to this day. The Indian Removal Act forced many Native American tribes that were living east of the Mississippi River to relocate to the lands west of the Mississippi River. The Trail of Tears refers to the path of the forced relocation and the resulting suffering and death that resulted.

The Cherokee were impacted significantly by the law and by the Trail of Tears. About 4,000 Cherokee died as they were being relocated to the land west of the Mississippi River. This loss of life impacted future generations. Family sizes were reduced leading to fewer Cherokee being born. The Cherokee also realized they couldn’t trust the government. They had an agreement with the federal government through previous treaties that said they could stay on their land. However, those agreements weren't honored. To this day, there is a distrust of the federal government by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee.

Native American tribes also use the Trail of Tears as a remembrance of what their ancestors endured. This is something that is taught to every Native American child. This experience has also taught the Cherokee about adapting to changing conditions, just as their ancestors did years ago.

The Indian Removal Act has impacted and still impacts the Cherokee.

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