Trail project ‘should include Cherokee representatives’

Eamonn McCann
Eamonn McCann

People Before Profit Councillor Eamonn McCann has said that a future delegations from the Appalachian Trail should include representation of Cherokee Native Americans.

Mr McCann was speaking as the Council’s Business & Community Committee reviewed previous minutes detailing how Appalachian Trail project locally runs from West Donegal to Larne and how a delegation from the Appalachian Trail in America were to be hosted in Strabane this month in a visit being funded by the Irish government.

Colr. McCann said the trail in the US runs from Georgia to Maine and includes Cherokee territory. He said people often imagine Native Americans living in teepees but that in the 19th Century the Cherokee were a large and very sophistcated society, which today no longer exists in the State of Georgia due to the removal of rights and the take over of land and resources.

“Given now that the Trail is part of the cultural, historical infrastructure of Ireland, the question is whether any reference is made to Cherokee people who resemble many other previously subject nations and peoples around the world,” he said.

Colr. McCann said some of the ethnic cleansing perpetrated by people including some of Irish and Ulster Scots backgrounds, was known as The Trail of Tears. He advocated that when people come over to Ireland there should be somebody to speak on behalf of the Cherokee people.

Committee chair, SDLP Councillor Shauna Cusack said Colr. McCann had raised some very valid points which she be noted and worked on going forward.