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Native American Genealogist Discusses Trail Of Tears


Kansas City, MO – Kansas City has a hidden treasure with its National Archives site. And one person who's spent time combing those archives is Independence resident and genealogist Shirley Donaldson. After she learned about her own Cherokee heritage, she went on to spend 26 years studying Native American historical records. Donaldson also coordinates study groups, and gives lectures on topics like the Buffalo Soldiers, or how the Kansas-Nebraska Act affected Native Americans. This Friday, she is lecturing on the Trail of Tears the forced relocation of about 46,000 Native Americans starting in 1832. Donaldson stopped by the studio to talk to us about the Trail of Tears and some of the challenges in studying Native American genealogy.

Shirley Donaldson is a geneologist and will present the "Trail of Tears" lecture on Friday morning at the National Archives on Pershing Road in Kansas City.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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