Bass Pro Shops selling $1600 'Cherokee Trail of Tears' rifle?

The national retail giant is getting heat on social media for selling a rifle commemorating the Trail of Tears tragedy

With 171 retail stores across the United States and Canada, Bass Pro Shops, a retailer that sells equipment and gear for camping, hunting and fishing is under a bit of social media heat for selling a $1,600 Winchester rifle (Model #9422) that has “Cherokee” on the packaging as well as imagery of members of the Cherokee Nation being led away by soldiers on the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

UPDATE:Cherokee Nation applauds Bass Pro Shops for removal of “Trail of Tears” rifle

Seth Haines posted to Twitter on Saturday that he was in a Northwest Arkansas store when he spotted the rifle. He posted images to Twitter and stated he would not be shopping at Bass Pro Shops again.

“At @BassProShops in NW Arkansas looking for fly rods and I spotted this: a @winchester “Cherokee Trail of Tears,” rifle. See the white soldiers with their guns pushing the Native Americans out?

And this is in a store. In America. In 2018. Yeah... I won’t be buying from Bass Pro.”

Haines also mentioned in his thread that the rifle was part of the 'Gun Library' and that the rifle had originally been sold by Cabella's as is indicated by the name on the trigger lock.

Many responded to Haines’ tweet.

Jason Millwood wrote: “My dad’s great great grandparents died on the trail, this is sickening how it’s celebrated.”

Louie Sheridan Jr wrote: “This an absolute outrage! Trying to profit off of the genocide that was propagated by the US govt. What is your response @BassProShops ? Have you no clue that the @CherokeeNation itself is relatively local to you?”

Bass Pro Shops has not yet responded to Indian Country Today’s request for comment over the weekend.

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter -@VinceSchilling

Email -vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com

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Comments (28)
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Rdlowrey
Rdlowrey

Bass Pro likely means well, but their judgement is clouded by ignorance and political correctness. As a desendant and a history buff, I take issue with the rifle used. Flagrant patrionazation, the rifle model is so advanced, it is like an M 16 taking the place of a bow and arrow.

Reseller
Reseller

As philkon noted, this US Winchester was a commerative edition produced in 1978. It was meant to mimic a style of rifle popular with native American tribes. The Lakota and other tribes used Winchester repeating action/lever action rifles (1860 Henry, 1866, and 1873 models) to great effect against the US Army in Little Bighorn whose firearms were technologically inferior. Photos of Apache warriors from the late 1800s often include their Winchester lever action rifles. I'm guessing that when this commerative rifle first came out, it was in part a nod to this history. Why they chose the Trail of Tears, which historically preceded the Winchester lever action rifles, is puzzling, but Winchester in the 1970s-1990s was churning out many commerative editions of the 9422 model (which shoots an inexpensive and less powerful cartridge than the original Winchester 1894 centerfire models that it mimics). I wouldn't be surprised if there's an Elvis one.

This old Winchester company is gone as is US production of Winchester lever actions. An international conglomerate took over the company and has moved most manufacturing to Japan. The 9422 line is no longer made, although the centerfire Model '94s are. Cabela's/Bass Pro has a used gun section, so this likely came into this particular store's collection from another party, and it was being resold. Resellers often include the original box because it adds value. I doubt corporate had any clue.

BIG600
BIG600

How about this, somebody saw this and in order to stir up some shit posted it on the internet. not knowing that it's probably part of the gun libraries collection that they're trying to sell for a customer or something that they took in on consignment. don't be an uneducated idiot!! do a little research before you post things in order to get a reaction!! sounds like to me the man's a little....... "thirsty"

CherokeeJoh
CherokeeJoh

This is completely unexcuseable, why is it that people can make a mockery about the pain and heartache all Native America's have endured and continue to get aways with it. The Trail of Tears was no joke at all to the Tribes that we're on it and who families have lost loved one. Thousands we're lost on that Trail of tears. This Rifle should be taken off the shelf. And not be sold to make money for their own benefit. Off of all Native's American's who died on that Trail of Tear. It is degrading and sickening.

Suckachsinheet
Suckachsinheet

I don’t think I would have felt honored or commemorated back in ‘78 either.

shadow83
shadow83

FAKE NEWS! PEOPLE NEED TO CHECK THEIR FACTS BEFORE LIGHTING FIRES!!!! This is NOT a "Cherokee Trail of Tears" rifle, it is a Winchester Cherokee Commemorative 22LR and has nothing to do with the "Trail of Tears". Winchester DID make a limited edition "Trail of Tears" tribute lever action rifle some years back, the intent was not to glorify the trail of tears but pay tribute to the Cherokee people and what they were forced to endure at the hands of our government. "Today, America Remembers and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, N.C., are honored to introduce this handsomely decorated firearm in special remembrance of all those who endured the saddest period in Cherokee history, and a tribute to the spirit and proud legacy of the Cherokee. Right side of the receiver pays tribute to two of the most revered Cherokee leaders – Principal Chief John Ross, one of the Tribe’s legendary leaders who carried the records and laws of the Cherokee Nation to the Oklahoma reservation and Stand Watie, who worked to establish the new homeland and later become a Civil War hero, the only Native American General in the Confederate Army. Also featured is a map illustrating the routes the Cherokee traveled across to Oklahoma, along with Sequoyah’s translation of the word “Cherokee.” Additionally, the Cherokee word “Yunwiya,” meaning people is featured. The left side of the receiver features a portrait of the statesman Sequoyah, whose creation of the Cherokee alphabet led to the remarkable literacy rate of his people. His portrait is flanked by two starkly contrasting scenes in Cherokee history – an image depicting the Cherokee working in the fields they loved and a touching image of the Cherokee moving west to Oklahoma on “the trail where they cried.”

PabloSerna
PabloSerna

I think it is in poor taste for Winchester to choose a rifle of all things to commemorate a tragic event like The Trail of Tears. That would be like some gas company issuing a "commemorative" BBQ gas tank with the tragic history of the Holocaust on the side of it. There really are some lines that should not be crossed and this is one of them!

David Hollenshead
David Hollenshead

Perhaps a group of Native Hunters & Gunsmiths should produce an ideal bolt action hunting rifle, that uses components from only respectable suppliers. And then sell it at cost within the Nations that need it, and at a profit to respectable sporting goods shops...