During this last year I made multiple attempts to contact the Chief and Council members by electronic mail and even visited his office once at which point I was directed away by the attending officer when I asked a discreet question about Cherokee – Mongolia relations. This was in the context of my preparing to go to Mongolia with a contract to teach English on the steppes.
Beyond this, my visit to the Cherokee Museum was so offensive that I cancelled my contract in Mongolia (despite my warm welcome). As an historian and religious studies scholar, I was deeply saddened by how the exhibit was spun to reflect the myth of progress, degrading native cultural values as contrasted by those of the white man. We are warned of Greeks bearing gifts.
Alas, history only repeats itself. As a way to combat this, I have started a White House Petition for a series of parks along the Trail of Tears which can serve as a noble national penance walk, allowing our veterans to grieve and heal, and honoring our ancestors. Please support me in this endeavor: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/trail-tears-interstate-national-parks
Travis Wade Zinn