Somber History on the Prairie

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

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Honor the Cheyenne and Arapaho Native Americans involved in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre during your visit to the Great Plains of Colorado.
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Sand Creek Massacre Information

Established in 2007, Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site sheds light on a chaotic, horrific, tumultuous, and bloody moment in American history.  

Established in 2007, Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site sheds light on a chaotic, horrific, tumultuous, and bloody moment in American history.  

“Our first teacher is our own heart.” – Cheyenne Proverb 

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Park Information

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site remembers the Cheyenne and Arapaho Native Americans involved in the Sand Creek Massacre. 

On November 29, 1864, Colonel John M. Chivington led 675 U.S. volunteer soldiers to a village of about 500 Cheyenne and Arapaho people camped along the banks of Big Sandy Creek in southeastern Colorado. Although the Cheyenne and Arapaho, under Chiefs Black Kettle, White Antelope, and Left Hand, believed they were under the protection of the U.S. Army, Chivington's troops attacked and killed about 230 people, composed mostly of women, children, and the elderly. 

Sand Creek gave rise to a new generation of federal policies, new treaties at the Little Arkansas and Medicine Lodge, and the next generation of fighters and fights: Beecher Island, Washita, Summit Springs, Palo Duro Canyon, Sappa Creek, and the Little Bighorn. Sand Creek is among our nation's most profound historic places. The event remains a powerful, and to some, sacred symbol of sacrifice and struggle. 

Each November, an annual Sand Creek Spiritual Healing Run/Walk commemorates those killed in the Sand Creek Massacre, providing healing for all people, regardless of ethnicity, race, or religion. The 173-mile run, started by Lee Lone Bear, a Northern Cheyenne descendant of massacre survivors, represents the route used by the soldiers returning to Denver after the massacre. 

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