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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) - The Cherokee Nation has selected 13 Cherokee students to retrace the route their ancestors took when they were forced to walk the Trail of Tears as they were relocated from the southeastern United States to what is now Oklahoma.

The Remember the Removal Bike Ride will begin in New Echota, Ga., in May and follow the northern route of the trail. The 950-mile journey will cross Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas before ending in Oklahoma.

Riders will travel an average of 60 miles a day for three weeks. Along the way the students, who range in age from 16 to 24, will visit various gravesites and historic landmarks.

About 4,000 of the 16,000 Cherokees who made the trek died along the way due to exposure, starvation and disease.

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