Sand Creek Memorial and Washita Sites

All we ask is that we have peace with the whites.
— Black Kettle

“When Chief Black Kettle saw the soldiers coming early in the morning, he called out to them and raised an American Flag hoping that the soldiers would stop. But they did not. The soldiers charged in and started shooting women and small ones as well as warriors. They spared no one and they dismembered and scalped the dead afterwards.”

Sand Creek

Beginning in the 1850s, the Cheyenne and Arapaho had more and more trouble with European Americans. There were many fights and many treaties over the next 14 years that led up to the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado in 1864.

Watch video of interviews with teachers and Native Cheyenne and Arapaho Sand Creek descendants


Although the Cheyenne practiced peaceful resistance inspired by their spiritual beliefs and often implemented through spiritual practice, most tribes participated in raids on white settlements after the massacre at Sand Creek and many fights ensued during the years, including the massacre at Washita.
Still Photographs of trains and settlers

The conflict ended with the tribes surrendering and becoming a captive people. The Cheyenne and Arapaho were stripped of their regalia, customs, traditions, language, spiritual beliefs, and practices.