Tough Choices

We make decisions every day and some are far more important than others–they may determine our future. The Cherokees had an important decision to make. Should they maintain their own culture resisting that of the white man, or should they give up their ways and adopt those of white settlers? The Cherokee tried to adapt to white society with the ultimate result being their virtual disappearance from Georgia. Cherokee John Standingdeer recounts the legend that developed over the years to describe this choice. His story is illustrated with images from the dramatic film, Voices in the Wind.

Teacher tip: Ask students to record the arguments for and against the Cherokee’s choice as illustrated in this dramatization and to add one of their own for each side. Discuss the arguments and as a group decide if the best decision was made and how things could have been done differently.