Several Sand Creek Healing Runs Held
The yearly tradition of Spiritual Healing Runs at the
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site continued in 2005.
A Northern Arapaho Run, A Northern Cheyenne Run, and a
combined Run held in conjunction with the National Indian Education
Association Conference, Denver CO.
Sponsors for the different runs included the tribes, the
City and County of Denver, the Kiowa County Economic Development
Foundation, Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, Great Sand Dunes
National Monument, Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site, Mr. Bill
Dawson, Mr. Rod Johnson, and a number of local citizens throughout Kiowa
County and the surrounding areas.
As part of the Runs, community feasts frequently take
place in Eads, Colorado. In 2005 these were held at the High School and
the Community Building. Additionally, the Northern Arapaho Run included
basketball games between Eads High School athletes and the visiting
The Runs have proven to offer tremendous cultural,
historical, and educational awareness, especially for the tribal youth.
In 2005, approximately 100 runners participated, representing dozens of
families. The runners and their families traveled to the Sand
Creek site from Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Montana. Some of the communities
represented included Lame Deer and Busby Montana, Ethete and Riverton,
Wyoming, and Canton and El Reno, Oklahoma.
On each occasion, the runners are reminded and harangued
as to the event's spiritual nature. Rather than athletic competition,
the Run's are meant to commemorate and honor victims of the Sand Creek
Massacre. The great majority of runners are lineal descendants of
Cheyenne and Arapaho people who were camped at Sand Creek in
November,1864. Among those running were great great grandchildren
and other descendents of Chiefs White Antelope, One Eye, and Standing
The runners generally depart the Sand Creek Massacre
site by mid-morning and follow county roads, state highways, and
interstates north and west toward Denver. The Run takes it's
participants through a large section of eastern Colorado, all of which
is considered, the tribes, to be an important part of Cheyenne and
Arapaho ancestral homelands.
Photos courtesy of NPS