The number who died during forced relocations is estimated at around 4,000. Some, such as the Seminoles, engaged in lengthy warfare to resist removal. Especially vulnerable were the old, the sick, and the young. This forced movement became known as the Trail of Tears. There are horrifying stories carried down to this day by the descendants of the trailwalkers about brutal treatment by government soldiers, the horrible starvation and cold, and disease and death.
Strangely enough, some escaped removal. For example, the Choctaw Nation of Mississippi is one of the state's largest employers in its gaming casinos. Many individuals and small groups escaped from the process, forming, among others, the Eastern Band Cherokee, based in North Carolina.
The Indian Removal was declared illegal by the United States Supreme Court, but the US government ignored the court's decision. After the decision was handed down by Chief Justice John Marshall, President Andrew Jackson famously said:
"John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it."
See: Trail of Tears
See also: apartheid, cultural imperialism, genocide