June 21, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, JUNE 21, 2012 — Laura Harris (Comanche), Executive Director of the national nonprofit organization Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO), participated in the Ocmulgee to Okmulgee Muscogee (Creek) Nation Trail of Tears Bicycle Tour, June 12 – 14, 2012.
The tour began June 2, 2012 at Ocmulgee Mounds, GA, in the ancestral homelands of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Cyclists recreated the route that tribe members followed during the United States’ Indian removal process in 1836. The bicycle tour will end June 23, 2012 in Okmulgee, OK, where the tribe now resides.
John Beaver (Muscogee (Creek) Nation), Director and Curator of the tribe’s Museum and Cultural Center developed the idea of the bicycle tour. According to Beaver, an accurate, well-balanced knowledge of the past and present is essential to the current and future health of all modern communities. Therefore, the Trail of Tears Bicycle Tour aims to visually commemorate, educate, and communicate about Muscogee (Creek) removal and Muscogee history; physically connect and bring awareness to the original ancestral Creek homelands; and promote physical fitness.
Beaver has cycled the entire route, with over 80 fellow tribal members joining him for portions of the tour. Harris joined Beaver for three days, as the tour cycled from Horseshoe Bend, AL to Decatur, AL. Beaver is an alumnus of AIO’s Ambassadors Program, an Indigenous values-based leadership development program.
“The bicycle tour was a great opportunity to support an Ambassador as he honors his peoples’ history,” Harris said.
Beaver hopes to make the Ocmulgee to Okmulgee Muskogee (Creek) Nation Trail of Tears Bicycle Tour an annual event, with more cyclists each year.
To learn more about the bicycle tour or the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, visit: