Photo Provided by NPS
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site to Host a Variety of
The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site will be hosting a
series of speakers/educators throughout 2018 and 2019 to present
sessions that will address American history, tribal histories, American
Indian Law, and Native and Non-Native American perspectives of the
historical context in which the Sand Creek Massacre took place.
Sand Creek speaker series: causes of the Sand
“I tell you, Ned, it was hard to see little children on their knees
have their brains beat out by men professing to be civilized.”
So wrote Captain Silas S. Soule in 1864, shortly after the national
tragedy known as the Sand Creek Massacre. Two hundred and thirty souls –
Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women, and children – lost their lives that
cold November day in 1864.
It’s a tragedy that haunts us today. But what were the causes that
led to this brutal attack?
Thursday, November 8, at 6:30 p.m., join noted historian and author
Dr. Gary L. Roberts, at the Crow-Luther Cultural Events Center (Plains
Theatre) in Eads, for a presentation on some of the underlying causes
that were responsible for the horrific massacre at Sand Creek.
Dr. Gary L. Roberts is an Emeritus Professor of History at Abraham
Baldwin College, Tifton, Georgia. He is a respected historian of the
American West and the author of numerous publications about the frontier
and “Massacre at Sand Creek: How Methodists were involved in an American
He has consulted with the National Park Service; the Cheyenne and
Arapaho Tribes, Oklahoma; the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming; and the
Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana. His 1984 doctoral dissertation “Sand
Creek: Tragedy and Symbol” is regarded as one of the most accurate and
enduring accounts of this national tragedy.
Roberts’s presentation is part of a series of free public sessions,
hosted by Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, for education on
Native and Non-Native American perspectives of the historical context in
which the Sand Creek Massacre took place. The education series of
speakers, historians, and educators will be scheduled throughout 2018
and 2019 to present sessions that will address American history, tribal
histories, and American Indian Law.
For more information, contact
Karen Wilde, Sand Creek Massacre NHS, (719) 438-5916 or visit
150th Sand Creek
To learn more contact Sand Creek Massacre National
Historic Site call (719) 438-5916 or go to
SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
Dedicated as the 391st unit of the nation’s National Park system April
Entrance to the Sand Creek Massacre NHS is
Alexa Roberts, who began the effort to establish Sand Creek Massacre
National Historic Site 19 years ago, retired on Oct. 31 as
superintendent of the High Plains Group Parks (Sand Creek Massacre NHS, Bent's
Old Fort National Historic Site, and Capulin
Volcano National Monument). Roberts
became Sand Creek Massacre’s first superintendent in 2003 and, four
years later, the Bent's Old Fort -based group superintendent after Sand
Creek Massacre NHS was formally established. A 25-year
National Park Service (NPS) veteran, she first worked for the NPS in
1984-85 with a Wupatki
National Monument archeological crew, documenting Navajo sites and
conducting oral history interviews. She became a permanent NPS employee
on Halloween 1994 as a cultural anthropologist in the Southwest Region
Office in Santa Fe just before NPS reorganized it as a support office of
the new Intermountain Region. With a team including Ed Natay, Virginia
Salazar, and Allen Bohnert, Roberts consulted with numerous tribes about
implementing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act
(NAGPRA). She worked as a member of the site study team for the Sand
Creek Massacre after the future park’s study act was passed in 1998.
“What incredible places these three parks are,” Roberts said. “It has
been an honor beyond description to see Sand Creek Massacre NHS come to
fruition. An honor, too, to have worked closely with the Cheyenne and
Arapaho and our dedicated NPS staff, who put their hearts and souls into
such a sensitive and significant place. Our employees and volunteers at
Bent’s Fort and Capulin Volcano have been equally dedicated.”
A New Mexico native, she will return there in retirement to spend more
time with “my rag-tag collection of six dogs.” She plans to revisit her
SE Colorado parks as a volunteer to help cook for special events.
been active member of the Southeast Colorado community for many
years, serving on committees and boards throughout the area,
including: Canyons & Plains of Southeast Colorado, Otero County
Historic Preservation Advisory Board, Kiowa County Historic
Preservation Commission, Bent's New Fort Foundation, and so many
Please join us
in wishing her well in her retirement. She will be greatly missed.
Year Remembrance of the Sand Creek Massacre
Over as thousand
attended the Remembrance of the Sand Creek Massacre at the Sand Creek
Massacre National Historic Site. It was 150 years before, on November 29
1864 when Colonel Chivington lead troops to attack and massacre the camp
of Cheyenne and Arapahoe on Sand Creek. At least 165, mainly women,
children and elderly were killed in the massacre.
Alexia Roberts, Superintendent for the Sand Creek
Massacre National Historic Site,
welcome everyone. Chief Alan Fletcher, from the Southern
Cheyenne, said the prayer.
Several dignitaries spoke about the process that was
needed to create the Sand Creek Massacre National
State Senator District 6, Ellen Roberts, spoke of her
involvement for passage in the Colorado Legislation to
create a national park.
United States Congressman Cory Gardner told of his
introducing a bill that will allow the National Park
Service to operate and use a visitor center for the Sand
Creek Massacre National Historic Site. Congressman
Gardner released this statement earlier. “The visitor
center will provide much-needed context for those who
visit this site and ensure that it is properly
Bishop Elaine Stanovsky of the Rocky Mountain and
Yellowstone Annual Conferences for the United Methods
Church talked of the church involvement. She noted all
must learn from this tragedy and heal. Though the
atrocity only lasted hours it takes a life time of many
to begin to heal.
Byron Strom, a descendent of
Soule, read letters written by the Captain.
In the letters Captain Soule describe the brutal assault
against the woman, children and elderly. Captain Soule
refuses to order his troops to participate in the
attack. Captain Soule was murdered after offering to
testify against Chivington .
William Walks Along, Executive Administrator for the
Northern Cheyenne, told of his trip to Washington D.C.
testifying bringing the Sand Creek Massacre National
Historic Site to reality.
Karen Little Coyote spoke of her involvement and the
importance of the Remembrance and the continuing
Several recognized and gave credit to former US Senator
Ben Nighthorse Campbell sponsoring the bill ‘Sand Creek
Massacre National Historic Site Study Act ‘in 1988. This
was the beginning of the Sand Creek Massacre National
Chiefs’ from the Northern and Southern Cheyenne read the
names of many Chiefs’ that died in the Massacre.
Sunday November 30, 2014 was the 16th annual
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
Sand Creek Massacre
National Historic Site will switch to a new winter schedule beginning
Sunday, December 2, 2018. The park will be open Thursday through Monday,
9:00 am to 4:00 pm and closed all day Tuesday and Wednesday. The new
schedule means that the park will be open every Saturday and Sunday during
the winter. The winter schedule will remain in effect through March 1,
The park will be
closed in observance of the Christmas (Tuesday, December 25) and New Year’s
Day Holidays (Tuesday, January 1, 2019).
Guided tours of the
park may be possible on Tuesday and Wednesday, if staffing permits. Contact
the park Administrative Headquarters at (719) 438-5916. Please provide a
minimum two week notice, when inquiring about visiting the park during
winter closures. Entrance to the Sand Creek Massacre NHS is free.
information, please contact Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site at
719-438-5916 or 719-729-3003, or visit
Photo Provided by
For additional Information
P.O. Box 249
Eads, CO 81036
The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site was
authorized by Public Law 106-465 on November 7, 2000 to recognize the
national significance of the massacre in American history, and its
ongoing significance to the Cheyenne and Arapaho people and descendents
of the massacre victims.
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
Establishment Act of 2000
President Bush Signed the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Ste
bill Tuesday August 2,2005
The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (NHS)
Establishment of the NHS, to help preserve and commemorate the
site of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, was authorized by Public Law
106-465, in November, 2000.
In the summer of 2005, Public Law 109-45 authorized the Secretary of
Interior to accept trust responsibility for 1465 acres within the site,
currently owned by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma.
This area, the former ‘Dawson Ranch’, was acquired by the Tribes in
Title work to convey this land from the tribes to the United States has
been completed. The Secretary of Interior formally establish
the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site April 28, 2007.
Initially, the NHS includes about 2,400 acres.
Currently, the National Park Service (NPS) is working to understand and
protect the site’s natural and cultural resources. Through various
partnerships, the NPS has initiated wildfire prevention and management
efforts, environmental history and stewardship projects, plant and
animal species inventories, and other projects. The NPS has worked
closely with Kiowa County, the Northern and Southern Cheyenne and
Arapaho Tribes, the Public Lands Corps, the Rocky Mountain Bird
Observatory, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Colorado
State University Cooperative Extension Service, and Northern and
Southern Cheyenne tribal fire crews.
Through the Rocky Mountain Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, which
partners university researchers with federal land management needs, the
site has received assistance from the University of Colorado, Colorado
State University, the University of Montana, Utah State University, and
the University of Nevada Reno.
The Sand Creek Massacre is one of Colorado’s most profound
historic events. The legacy of the attack and its
aftermath has reverberated throughout the west for more than a
century. The Indian Campaign which culminated at Sand
Creek, involved several Regiments of Colorado Volunteers.
The Sand Creek Massacre site, located near the town of
Chivington, is one of Colorado's most controversial historical events.
The legacy of the attack and its aftermath has
reverberated throughout the west for more than a century. The
Indian Campaign which culminated at Sand Creek, involved several
Regiments of Colorado Volunteers.
Before the five-day ride down the Arkansas, the
volunteers were joined by Colonel John Chivington. After a stop at
Fort Lyon, where the troops were augmented by additional by a battalion
of the Colorado 1st and a detachment of New Mexico Infantry commanded by
Major Scott Anthony, the command began an all-night ride to Sand Creek.
The Cheyenne and Arapaho people
believed they were under the protection of the U.S. Army
were winter camped along the north bank of Big Sandy Creek. There were
about 100 lodges of Cheyenne and a few lodges of Arapaho, about 500
people total. The village consisted mainly of women, children and the
old. Many of the men were away seeking food, at the time of
The assault on the camps of Chiefs Black Kettle, White
Antelope, Bear Tongue, Spotted Crow and others extended for several miles along
the valley of the Big Sandy began in the early morning hours of November
29.1864. By the end of the day around 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho lay dead.
The Coloradans also suffered, with several dozen
casualties in killed and wounded, including some 13 commissioned and
Atrocities committed by some soldiers, and questions
surrounding the attack, resulted in a military inquiry and several Congressional
investigations. These Investigations labeled the attack a massacre, and
condemned the role of Colonel Chivington.
Efforts by the NPS to locate the Sand Creek Massacre site began in 1998 when
Congress passed the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Study Act. Using
a range of research, including archeology, historical documentation and tribal
traditional methods, a boundary roughly 5 miles in length and 2 miles wide was
identified. In 2001, the “core” of this area, about 7,500 acres, was added to
the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
Establishment Act of 2000, the park unit was established for the following
reasons (NPS 2000a):
• To protect and preserve the site, including the topographic features
that the Secretary determines are important to the site; artifacts and
other physical remains of the Sand Creek Massacre; and the cultural
landscape of the site, in a manner that preserves, as closely as
practicable, the cultural landscape of the site as it appeared at the
time of the Sand Creek Massacre; and
• To interpret the natural and cultural resource values associated with
the site and to provide for public understanding and appreciation of,
and preserve for future generations, those values; and
• To memorialize, commemorate, and provide information to visitors to
the site to enhance cultural understanding about the site; and to assist
in minimizing the chances of similar incidents in the future.
Alden Miller - Superintendent for the Sand Creek Massacre National
You may contact the Sand Creek offices at 910 Wansted, P.O. Box
249,Eads, Colorado 81036 Phone 719-438-5916 -719-729-3003 . The parks
official website is www.nps.gov/sand