March in memory of Sand Creek Massacre

29 Nov

Antoinette Red Woman walked from 15th Street to the state Capitol on Saturday to remember and honor her fallen ancestors who suffered in Colorado’s Sand Creek Massacre 145 years ago.

One hundred and sixty Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribal members were killed on Nov. 29, 1864, when the 1st Colorado Cavalry and 3rd Colorado Cavalry, under the leadership of Col. John Chivington, opened fire on a peaceful American Indian camp in southeastern Colorado.

Though only a handful survived the attack, the spirits of the women, children and tribal leaders lived on: “This is our ancestral homeland, I want to remember what they went through,” said Red Woman, a member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe.

As 40 tribal members and supporters gathered in Denver for the last leg of the 11th annual Spiritual Healing Run/Walk (which started Thursday at the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in Eads), Red Woman said, “This is Colorado and U.S. history. Everyone should know this happened.”

The final march to the Capitol was led by two Southern Arapahoe members hoisting a colorful, feathered staff. Hands beat on canvas drums as tribal criers filled the air.

Red Woman lingered in the back with an Apache friend.

“It’s so painful to talk about (the massacre),” Red Woman said while crossing Civic Center park.

“They were our ancestors, our blood. There has been so much inter- generational trauma over the years, that today is about healing and bringing peace,” she said.

On the Capitol steps, after a series of traditional songs dedicated to the deceased, speakers shared their thoughts about the massacre and the rights of Indians today.

Most notable was a descendent of Capt. Silas Soule, a member of the U.S. Army who ordered his troops not to fire that day at Sand Creek.

Otto Braided Hair of Montana said: “Some came today to remember what happened to the victims killed; some to honor them; some for their own healing; some to just pray for relatives. But we are all here to connect with history and show continuance of our prayers, traditions and customs.”

from the Denver Post.

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