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Cox attends unveiling of ‘Trail of Tears’

Cox attends unveiling of ‘Trail of Tears’

Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 2:10 pm

A University of Tennessee at Martin faculty member attended a recent ceremony at Blythe’s Ferry for the unveiling of a new monument for the Trail of Tears. Brent Cox, of Milan, lecturer of history, attended the ceremony for the leaders of the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma, eastern band of Cherokee Indians, Creek nation of Oklahoma, Keetoowah band of Cherokee and the Trail of Tears Association. The monument opened to the public in October and marks the beginning of the Trail of Tears and the various routes taken by the Cherokee in 1838. One of the routes traveled just north of the Martin area. “It was an honor to meet the dignitaries from the various tribes/nations,” said Cox, who serves as a member of the Tennessee Historical Commission and the Advisory Council to Tennessee Indian Affairs. The monument is at Blythe’s Ferry, north of Chattanooga, where a large number of Cherokee and Creek crossed the Tennessee River in 1838 on the Trail of Tears. “Approximately 18,000 Cherokee were removed and more than 4,500 died before reaching Indian Territory. It is time for people to recognize those who lost their culture and land,” he said. In November 2006, Cox received the Tennessee Eagle Award for “heroic contributions to Native Americans.” The award is presented by the Tennessee Eagle Award Organization, a group of Native Americans in Tennessee. Cox’s involvement as a board officer for the Tennessee Native American Convention, his work teaching a Native American class for several years at UT Martin and his involvement making Native American issues a part of UT Martin’s Civil Rights Conference, supported his award nomination. He began as an adjunct instructor at UT Martin in 1999. Cox is a native of Tennessee, whose grandparents have Catawba and Cherokee lineages. He points to the teachings of one of his grandmothers as having a lasting effect on his life. wcp 11-11-08

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