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Chattanooga Riverfront

Indigenous People Day & Columbus Day 2019 October  14

​United States Land belonged to the Idigenous People American Indians long before Columbus sailed anywhere.

Today in many Communities American Indians are Celebrated 

Columbus Day, which is quickly becoming more commonly known as Indigenous People’s Day, falls on Monday, October 14 this year. Many countries throughout the Americas have a Columbus Day, including Belize, Uruguay, and Argentina. In the United States, Columbus Day first became a state holiday in Colorado in 1905 after Angelo Noce, a first generation Italian living in Denver, lobbied for the holiday to be federally recognized. It is celebrated every second Monday of October, and has been a federal holiday since 1937.

Although the day is meant to celebrate the explorative spirit of Christopher Columbus and his arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492, it is hard to truly appreciate the holiday when you acknowledge the disturbing, violent history of how Native Americans were pushed out of their own land and slaughtered in droves when the Americas were first being colonized. American anthropologist Jack Weatherford once said that on Columbus Day, Americans celebrate the greatest waves of genocide of the American Indians known in history, while the American Indian Movement has argued that the ongoing actions and injustices against Native Americans are masked by Columbus myths and celebrations.

L0CATI0N: Southeast Tennessee on the Georgia state line

SIZE:  140.7 square miles, City of Chattanooga surrounds the cities of Red Bank and Ridgeside and the Tennessee side of East Ridge.  Although smaller in population, Chattanooga is geographically bigger than New York, Atlanta, Chicago, & Memphis,  Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee and the l39th-largest city in the United States.

P0PULATI0N:171,282, according to the latest census. figures. DATE F0UNDED:1838.

HIST0RY: The city is the site of a major Civil War battle between Union and Confederate troops over rail access for the Confederacy. Chattanooga was on the Trail of Tears when Cherokee lndians were moved from the Southeast to 0klahoma. The city became a manufacturing center in the 20th ceniury.

GOVTRNMENT: A nine-member, part-time City Council sets the budget and adopts ordinances, while the mayor is responsible for overseeing the operation of City Hall.

Ross's Landing in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the last site of the Cherokee's 61-year occupation of Chattanooga and is considered to be the embarkation point of the Cherokee removal on the Trail of Tears. Ross's Landing Riverfront Park memorializes the location, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Location: Riverfront Pkwy. west of Market St., Chattanooga, Tennessee
35°3′23″N 85°18′32″W

History: The landing was named for John Ross, later principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. In 1816 Ross settled at the site along the Tennessee River above Chattanooga Creek. There he established a trading post on the northern border of the Cherokee Nation, across the river from the United States of America. This area became known as "Ross's Warehouse," and "Ross's Ferry" (and alternatively, "Ross's Landing"). It was known to those passing through the area to have the best conditions for a river flatboat crossing. Ross operated a swing ferry across the river that was anchored on McClellan Island.

In 1826 John Ross sold his land to a Methodist minister, Nicholas Dalton Scales, in order to move to Georgia to be closer to the political center of the Cherokee Nation.

When the United States government took over the Cherokee owned lands in 1837, the removal to Indian Territory began—known as the "Trail of Tears"—during which the Cherokee in several southeastern states were driven from their homes. Groups of the natives were staged at various camps, including east of Ross's Landing, for their coming expulsion west. On June 6, 1838, over 1500 Cherokee departed from Ross's Landing in steamboats and barges. A final group of Cherokee left in the Fall of 1838, forced to walk due to the falling levels of water in the river caused by a drought. The westward march of the Cherokee claimed several hundred lives, including Ross's wife, Quatie.

The name Ross's Landing was changed to Chattanooga by American settlers who took over the land after the Removal of the Cherokee Indians.

​In the spring of 2005, a $61 million project to improve the Tennessee public parks was started, which included the redevelopment of Ross's Landing Park.

A pedestrian path connects Ross's Landing Riverfront Park to the Tennessee Aquarium. A wall along the walkway contains an art installation that symbolizes the path that Cherokee followed on their forced relocation to Oklahoma. Created by Gadugi, a group of five Cherokee artists from Oklahoma, the installation features seven large carved and glazed clay medallions set into the walkway wall. The medallions represent different aspects of Cherokee history, religious beliefs, and struggles with white settlers.