Friday, April 4, 2008

Sand Creek, remembering the Cheyenne and Arapahoe women and children

On the Longest Walk, women walk to Sand Creek, remembering the Cheyenne and Arapahoe children, women and men who were massacred. Photo Brenda Norrell


Watch "Sand Creek Massacre" film online:
http://www.maxmouth.com/view_video.php?viewkey=ec8e48cf3d026e173a43


Longest Walk Northern Route Media contact:
Morning Star Gali
mstargali@gmail.com
Mano Cockrum(720) 276 7452
Aislyn Colgan(831) 295 2555

Indigenous Rights Prayer Walk, 'The Longest Walk 2' to hold Sunrise Gathering and Prayer Vigil at Sand Creek Massacre Site

EADES, CO- On Saturday, April 5, more than 50 participants of the Longest Walk 2 will embark on a spiritual walk and prayer gathering at the Sacred Sand Creek Massacre Site. An all night prayer vigil at the site will be held Friday night. Saturday morning the walkers will walk 8 miles to the Massacre site to hold a sunrise ceremony and gathering. They will make prayer offerings 4 times before arriving at the Site. The walkers are gathering at Sand Creek to remember the massacre of over 150 elderly men, women and children that occurred there and offer prayers. The walkers have asked for and received materials from the site for a sacred staff to carry on our journey across the country. The staff will be carried to honor the memory of those who were murdered and to bring awareness to the communities we travel through about the history of this country.

On February 11, 2008 Longest Walk 2 participants began our five month journey from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. The Longest Walk 2 is a grassroots effort on a national level to bring attention to the environmental disharmony of Mother Earth and the effects of environmental destruction on Native American people; as well as the need for the protection and preservation of Sacred Sites as a means for cultural survival. In our spiritual and historic walk, Native Americans and our allies from across the nation and world will walk carrying the message, "All Life is Sacred; Save Mother Earth."

Additionally Northern route walkers carry this mission: "Renewing the Spirit by Walking in the Footsteps of our Ancestors", as we cover the original route walked 30 years ago in the first Longest Walk. A southern route is walking simultaneously in the Clean Up Mother Earth campaign. Both routes will cover a combined total of 8000 miles on foot.We will be visiting communities along Highway 50 across Colorado sharing our message and inviting communities to contribute their stories of the issues they are facing, such as the need for greater protection and respect for Sacred Places and bringing about community awareness of the history and culture of this land.

The Longest Walk 2 will journey to the Sand Creek Massacre site for the weekend to offer support, prayers, and collect statements from descendants of the massacre as well as local Indigenous communities. These and all the issues expressed by the communities the walkers have passed through will be brought to the capital upon arrival in D.C. The Longest Walk 2 Northern Route visited Denver, CO on March 24th and stopped at the Sand Creek Massacre Plaque in front of the State Capitol, where Calvin Magpie, a walker and descendant of Cheyenne and Arapahoe who were massacred there, offered his prayers in honor of their losses. He recounted the tragedy in which Colorado Militia attacked peaceful tribes who had already surrendered and were heading to reservations in Oklahoma to settle.

The town of Eads, CO has offered its hospitality in hosting the walkers at their fairgrounds and community center from Thursday- Sunday nights. The Eads community, Chamber of Commerce, volunteers from Project Lighthouse in Monument, CO, and many more volunteers from Lamar, Denver, and Pueblo will travel there for the weekend to offer their support and help host feeds in honor of the occasion.

The art gallery Artists of the Plains in Eads will host an art show Saturday by Denver youth from the Indigenous Youth Sovereignty Project for a showing entitled "Healing Through the Next Generations" from 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon there will also be a showing of the 20 minute documentary detailing the Sand Creek Massacre at the community center.The walk will arrive in Washington, D.C. on July 11, 2008, bringing attention to issues of environmental injustice, protection of sacred sites, cultural survival, youth empowerment, and eroding Native American rights shared along the route. As a result of the first Longest Walk held in 1978, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (1978) was passed and 11 legislative bills that would have abrogated native treaties were defeated.

Saturday, April 5th
5:00 a.m. Longest Walk 2 will begin Spiritual Walk to Sand Creek Massacre Site
WHERE: Starting at 8 mi north of 96, on CO Rd 54WHO: Sand Creek Massacre Descendants, Longest Walk 2 representatives and other tribal and spiritual leaders.
6:30 a.m. Walk will arrive at Sand Creek Massacre Site. Sunrise Prayer in Honor & Protection of Sand Creek Sacred Site.
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Horror of the Sand Creek Massacre: “Captain Silas S. Soule/Lt. Joseph Cramer Letters”

By Don Vasicek

On November 29, 1864, about 700 Colorado 1st &†3rd Regiment troops and troops from New Mexico, slaughtered over 150 men, women, and children in the southeastern Colorado Territory. This act became known as the Sand Creek Massacre.Lt,. Captain Silas S. Soule wrote a letter dated December 19, 1864 from Ft. Lyon, C. T., to Major Ed Wynkoop, his commanding officer. It reads in part what he witnessed at Sand Creek, “…hundreds of women and children were coming towards us and getting on their knees for mercy. Anthony shouted, ‘Kill the sons of bitches’ ”The letter goes on to say in part, “…the massacre lasted six to eight hours…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. Some tried to escape on the Prairie, but most of them were run down by horsemen …They were all horribly mutilated. One women was cut open and child taken out of her, and scalped…”In a letter dated, December 19, 1863, Fort Lyon, C.T.,Lt. Joseph Cramer wrote to Major Ed Wynkoop, his commanding officer a letter about what he witnessed at Sand Creek. It reads, in part, “…“Dear Major, This is the first opportunity I have had of writing you since the great Indian Massacre, and for a start, I will acknowledge I am ashamed to own I was in it with my Co. Col. Chivington came here with the gallant third, known as Chivington Brigade, like a thief in the dark…marched all night up Sand, to the big bend in Sandy…and came to Black Kettle’s village of 103 lodges, containing not over 500 all told, 350 of which were women and children…We lost 40 men wounded, and 10 killed. Not over 250 Indians mostly women and children, and I think not over 200 killed, and not over 75 bucks. With proper management they could all have been killed and not lost over 10 men. After the fight there was a sight I hope I may never see again…Bucks, women and children, were scalped, fingers cut off to get the rings…a squaw ripped open and a child taken from her, little children shot, while begging for their lives (and all the indignities shown their bodies that ever was heard of)(women shot while on their knees, with their arms around soldiers a begging for their lives)…Most of the Indians yielded 4 or 5 scalps…”The letter continues in part, “…Black Kettle said when he saw us coming, that he was glad, for it was Major Wynkoop coming to make peace. Left Hand stood with his hands folded across his breast, until he was shot saying, ‘Soldiers no hurt me – soldiers my friends.’About 130 years after the Sand Creek Massacre, the 1990’s, Florence Blunt (1894-1969)was going through two stored trunks of a family member who was a rancher who was in the habit of taking supplies to Fort Lyon before and after the Sand Creek Massacre. She found Captain Silas S. Soule and Lt. Joseph Cramer’s letters. The lady’s daughter, Linda Rebek of Evergreen, Colorado, retains possession of the letters. She is seeking someone to appraise the letters to see what they are worth. The American Indian Genocide Museum needs help in locating an appraiser and funding to pay for the appraiser and acquisition of the letters to place in the museum.“

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