4-H Youth Teach Trail of Tears Workshop in Raleigh

— Written By

Image of youth and adult volunteers

‘We’re Still Here: The Trail of Tears and the Strength of the Cherokee People’ was the title of a workshop created and presented by EBCI 4-H youth and adult volunteers in Raleigh during North Carolina 4-H Congress last month. 4-H Congress is a statewide youth event with over 500 in attendance that culminate the year with competitions, workshops, fellowship, service projects, and a dance…or two.

Over 60 youth from across the state attended the workshop session. They went to four stations learning about the Cherokee Removal on the Trail of Tears, drawing a map of the northern route on a huge piece of paper, discussing cultural stereotypes, and learning about the corn bead legend while making corn bead keychains.  

EBCI 4-H members Lucian Davis, Kaelin Jones, Shelby Solis, Carys Holiday, Joanna Shipman, and Julian Lanning were in attendance to teach and facilitate the workshop with the assistance of Chi Shipman and Marvel Welch, 4-H volunteers.

‘We had kids and adults coming up after the workshop saying they wanted to attend, but couldn’t get tickets. We had lots of people saying we needed to teach at every 4-H event. The interest in this workshop was overwhelming in the best way.’ said Sally Dixon, EBCI 4-H Agent.

The older 4-H members were able to stay for the entire 4-H Congress event from July 19-22. They were able to participate in a one-hour workshop with Dr. Jackie Bruce, Assistant Professor at NC State University, about cultural stereotypes and communicating culture to others, visited the Museum of History and the Museum of Natural Science, and went on a tour of the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs with Executive Director, Greg Richardson. They even participated in a three-hour service project packaging 80,000 macaroni and cheese meals to be distributed to food pantries in North Carolina. Youth were able to make friends from across the state while increasing their capacity to be better citizen leaders here in Cherokee and beyond.

EBCI 4-H is a youth development program provided by N.C. Cooperative Extension. There are over 6 million youth in the United States involved with 4-H to learn citizenship, leadership, and life skills. Youth aged 5-18 are eligible to join the EBCI 4-H program to learn about healthy living, STEM, civic responsibility, and career development.