A Timeline of events relating to the Sand Creek Massacre

The Road to Sand Creek

Cheyenne and Arapaho migrate from present day Minnesota to the Great Plains and acquire horses. By the 1800s, they establish themselves in the territory between the Missouri and North Platte Rivers.

1821: Commerce along the Santa Fe Trail increases. Hispanic and Anglo traders move goods over 900 miles of trail between Missouri and New Mexico, increasing contact with the Plains tribes.

1825: The first treaty between the United States and the Cheyenne Tribe, known as the 1825 Treaty with the Cheyenne Tribe, is signed on July 6 at the mouth of the Teton River. This treaty established the first government-to-government relationship between the Cheyenne and the US Government, and is sometimes referred to as a treaty of friendship.

1833: Charles and William Bent and their business partner Ceran St. Vrain, establish an adobe trading post along the Santa Fe Trail, solidifying alliances with the Cheyenne and Arapaho. The Cheyenne and Arapaho bands that settle between the Arkansas and Platte Rivers for better access to trade routes become known as the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho.

1846 – 1848: War with Mexico begins. American expansionism led to war with Mexico in 1846. American troops eventually occupy Mexico City. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the war with Mexico and cedes lands extending from the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean, inhabited by Mexican citizens and American Indians, to the US. The land includes the areas that eventually become California, Nevada, Utah, and portions of Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.

1848 – 1849: Gold is discovered in California, near Sutter’s Mill. Thousands of Americans travel the trails across Plains Indians’ lands, diminishing resources along the routes. With the influx of Americans come diseases, including cholera and small pox, killing many tribal people. The economic and physical security of the Plains tribes is weakened.

1849: William Bent abandons his adobe trading post known today as Bent’s Old Fort due to a combination of factors, including a severe cholera outbreak which kills approximately half the population of the Southern Cheyenne.

1851: US peace commissioners hold a council with representatives of the Plains Indians at Fort Laramie. The resulting 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Horse Creek, recognizes tribal territory on the Plains. The treaty also offers annuities and protection to the tribes in exchange for safe passage of American citizens through tribal lands. The treaty recognizes land in eastern Colorado, western Kansas, western Nebraska, and eastern Wyoming as Cheyenne and Arapaho lands.

1853: William Bent constructs a new stone trading post on the Arkansas River, 40 miles downriver from his earlier post. This post becomes known as Bent’s New Fort.

1855: The Upper Arkansas Agency is established at Bent’s New Fort to serve Indians living along the Arkansas River in what is now eastern Colorado and western Kansas. John W. Whitfield is appointed as its first Indian Agent.

1857: US Cavalry under the command of Colonel Edwin Sumner encounter a force of Cheyenne warriors. An unexpected sabre charge by the cavalry troopers results in a rout of the Cheyenne.

1858 – 1859: Gold is discovered near modern day Denver, Colorado, touching off another rush of emigrants to the gold fields. Over one hundred thousand emigrants travel across the Great Plains. Many of these gold seekers stay and establish illegal settlements on lands belonging to the Cheyenne and Arapaho under the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty. Pressure on the US Government to acquire the land and remove the Indians increases.

September: William Bent leases Bent’s New Fort on the Arkansas River to the US Army for sixty-five dollars a month. Most of a new military fort, adjacent to and encompassing Bent’s New Fort, is completed by late November. The new fort is named Fort Wise in honor of the governor of Virginia, Henry Wise.

September 18: Negotiations begin for what would become the Treaty of Fort Wise begin between the Cheyenne and Arapaho and US representatives. Only a few Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs are present. They state that they only speak for their individual bands and not for all of the tribes.

November 6: In the presidential election, Abraham Lincoln receives only 40% of the popular vote but wins the Electoral College, making him the 16th President of the United States.

February 18: The Fort Wise Treaty, which drastically shrinks Cheyenne and Arapaho lands, is signed. A majority of Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs refuse to sign the new treaty. The chiefs who do sign are Black Kettle, White Antelope, Lean Bear, Little Wolf, Tall Bear and Left Hand of the Cheyenne, and by Little Raven, Storm, Shave-Head, and Big Mouth of the Arapaho. There are further negotiations followed by a second signing in October 1861.

February 28: Colorado Territory is formed by the US Government. A large part of the new territory encompasses land that was originally recognized as Cheyenne and Arapaho territory in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. Many Cheyenne and Arapaho continue to view this land as theirs and refuse to move onto the new Upper Arkansas Agency Reservation.

March 22: William Gilpin is appointed as the first territorial governor of Colorado by President Lincoln.

April 12: The Civil War begins when Southerners open fire on Fort Sumter, Charleston, SC. Western priorities shift and regular US troops are sent back east. Annuities and resources promised to many Indian tribes are slowed or never delivered.

July 26: Samuel G. Colley appointed Indian Agent for the Upper Arkansas Indian Agency. He will serve as agent from 1861 to 1865.

August 3: The US Department of the Army issues General Order 49, which authorizes the recruitment of 500,000 volunteer soldiers.

August 26: The 1st Regiment Colorado (US) Volunteer Infantry is organized. Made possible under General Order 49, the regiment was a Federal Regiment, identified by the territory from which it was raised.

August 26: Methodist minister John Chivington is commissioned as a Major in the 1st Regiment Colorado (US) Volunteer Infantry.

December 5: The Treaty of Fort Wise is finally ratified and signed by President Lincoln. The treaty is applied to all the Cheyenne and Arapaho people, including those who refused to sign it.

March 18: William Gilpin is removed as governor of the Colorado Territory after his financial practices for the Territory are brought into question. Prominent physician and businessman John Evans is appointed by President Lincoln as Gilpin’s successor.

March 28: During the Battle of Glorieta Pass, Major John Chivington and other officers and soldiers of the 1st Regiment Colorado (US) Volunteers are successful in destroying the Confederate supply train. Confederate troops are forced to retreat south.

April 14: Major John Chivington is promoted to the rank of Colonel and commander of the 1st Regiment Colorado (US) Volunteers, following the resignation of Colonel John P. Slough.

May 20: The Homestead Act passes, promoting western migration of American citizens. The act grants 160 acres of “unappropriated public lands” to settlers at $1.25 per acre plus a fee of $10.

May 16: John Evans arrives in Denver to take his post as the governor of the Colorado Territory.

June 5: Fort Wise is renamed Fort Lyon in honor of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon, who is the first Union general killed in the Civil War.

July 1: The Pacific Railway Act is signed by President Lincoln, giving Congress the power to extinguish “Indian titles to all lands falling under the operation of this act…” The US government could then grant that land for railroad and telegraph right of ways. This act applied to both past and future treaties with tribes, whose lands are specifically included within the language of the act.

November 2: Colonel John Chivington is given command of the US Army Military District of Colorado. He oversees the conversion of the 1st Regiment Colorado (US) Volunteer Infantry into 1st Regiment Colorado (US) Volunteer Cavalry.

March: A delegation of Peace chiefs (older chiefs, who seek peace for their people) from the Cheyenne, Comanche, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Caddo tribes visit Washington DC. Representing the Cheyenne are War Bonnet, Stands in the Water, and Lean Bear. The Arapaho are represented by Spotted Wolf and Neva. The chiefs visit Washington, D.C. to encourage friendly relations during a time of rising tensions between the tribes and the government over unfulfilled treaty promises. They meet with President Lincoln, who encourages them to adopt an agricultural way of life. Each delegate is presented with a peace medal.

April-May: US Army Volunteer forces make four unprovoked attacks on Cheyenne villages in Colorado Territory. Warriors retaliate by raiding mail and freight wagon trains, stage stations and outlying farms. Thus begins a period of conflict and confusion known as the Indian War of 1864.

April 12: Lieutenant Dunn of the 1st Regiment Colorado (US) Volunteer Calvary finds a group of Cheyenne, who have reportedly stolen livestock and downed telegraph lines in northeast Colorado. Although the initial contact with the Cheyenne is friendly, hostilities break out when Dunn and his men attempt to disarm the group. The resulting fight becomes known as the Battle of Fremont’s Orchard.

May 8: Major Edward Wynkoop arrives at Fort Lyon and takes command of the post.

May 16: In Kansas, 1st Regiment Colorado (US) Volunteer Cavalry soldiers attack the village of Cheyenne Chief Lean Bear. The chief, who is wearing the peace medal given to him by President Lincoln in 1863, is shot and killed by the soldiers.

June 11: The Hungate Family is found murdered 25 miles southeast of Denver. Their mutilated bodies are brought to Denver and displayed, causing wide-spread panic. The coroner’s inquest indicates the family “came to their death by being feloniously killed by some person or persons…supposed to be Indians(.)” Fear of imminent Indian attack causes many men in the burgeoning communities along the Rocky Mountain Front Range to volunteer for service with the militia.

June 27: Colorado Territorial Gov. John Evans, in his capacity of ex-officio Supt. of Indian Affairs for the territory, issues a circular to the “Friendly Indians of the Plains.” Friendly Indians are directed to report to their nearest Indian agents, who will direct them to “places of safety.”

August 11: Evans issues a second proclamation to “Citizens of Colorado” which authorizes citizens of the Colorado Territory to “kill and destroy, as enemies of the country, wherever they may be found…hostile Indians.”

August 11: Evans receives authority from the War Department to raise a third regiment of volunteers for 100 days’ service. The 3rd Regiment Colorado (US) Volunteer Cavalry is raised to “pursue, kill and destroy all hostile Indians that infest the Plains.”

August 29: George Bent, son of trader William Bent and his Cheyenne wife Owl Woman, and Edmund Guerrier, another mixed blood, write letters to Indian Agent S.G. Colley and the commander of Fort Lyon, Maj. Wynkoop. The letters are written on behalf of Chief Black Kettle and other chiefs, seeking peace talks in response to the June 27 Circular issued by Territorial Governor Evans.

September 4: Cheyenne Chief One Eye, his wife, and a Cheyenne named Min-im-mic deliver the Bent/Guerrier letter to Fort Lyon. Major Wynkoop sees this as an opportunity to restore peace and free several white hostages, who the chiefs have offered in exchange for Cheyenne prisoners.

September 6 - 18: Major Wynkoop rides out from Fort Lyon with 127 men to meet with Chief Black Kettle and other leaders on the Smoky Hill River. During the meeting, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Chiefs agree to turn over 4 white children taken as captives. Wynkoop agrees to escort Chief Black Kettle and other Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs to meet with Governor John Evans.

September 19-23: With the mustering in of Companies “L” and “M,” recruitment for the 3rd Regiment Colorado (US) Volunteer Cavalry ends and the 100 days’ service officially begins.

September 21: George Shoup, formerly of the 1st Regiment, takes command of the 3rd Regiment as Colonel.

September 28: Gov. Evans and Colonel Chivington meet with Cheyenne and Arapaho Chiefs at Camp Weld, near Denver. Representing the Cheyenne are Black Kettle, White Antelope, and Bull Bear. Representing the Arapaho are Neva, Bosse, Heaps of Buffalo, and No-Ta-nee. Evans tells the chiefs that they are at war with the US government and must treat with the military. Chivington directs the Cheyenne and Arapaho to give themselves up to Major Wynkoop at Fort Lyon if they desire peace.

Mid-October: Approximately 750 Cheyenne and Arapaho begin assembling at Sand Creek on the northern edge of the Upper Arkansas Reservation. The village at Sand Creek is a chief’s village, with 33 chiefs and headmen of Cheyenne and Arapaho present.

October-November: James “Jim” Beckwourth, a well-known trapper, explorer, interpreter, and adopted chief of the Crow, is hired as a guide and interpreter for the 3rd Regiment.

November 2: Major Scott Anthony arrives at Fort Lyon and takes command of the post.

November 4: Orders relieving Major Wynkoop of command and directing him to report to district headquarters at Fort Riley in Kansas are issued. The orders do not arrive at Fort Lyon for at least two weeks, so Major Wynkoop has time to brief Anthony in regard to accommodating the Cheyenne and Arapaho according to the agreements negotiated during the Camp Weld Council.

November 18-23: Companies of the 1st and 3rd Regiments begin gathering at Boone’s Ranch/Camp Fillmore (Near present day Boone, Colorado).

November 15: Major Anthony and Major Wynkoop meet with about 60 Cheyenne and Arapaho chiefs and headmen at Fort Lyon. Major Anthony advises the Cheyenne to return to their camps at Sand Creek and allows the Arapaho under Little Raven to move down the Arkansas about 60 miles and there wait until he receives further instructions from his superior officers.

November 24: The 3rd Regiment, under the command of Colonel Chivington, departs from Boone’s Ranch/Camp Fillmore, heading east to Fort Lyon.

November 26: Major Wynkoop departs Fort Lyon for Fort Riley in eastern Kansas.

November 28: Col. Chivington and the 3rd Regiment reach Fort Lyon. Chivington places guards around the fort to prevent news of their arrival from reaching the Cheyenne and Arapaho at Sand Creek.

November 28, 8 pm: Col. Chivington departs Fort Lyon in the evening with detachments of the 1st and 3rd Regiments Colorado (US) Volunteer Cavalry. They ride north toward the Cheyenne and Arapaho camped at Sand Creek. His force numbers 675 men, and includes four 12-pounder mountain howitzers.

November 29: At dawn, Chivington orders troops to attack the village. Order breaks down within the military regiments. The soldiers murder/massacre over 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho, including about 150 women, children, and elderly. They mutilate many of the bodies. One Arapaho Chief and thirteen Cheyenne Council Chiefs are among the dead.

December 14-19: Captain Silas Soule and Lieutenant Joseph Cramer of the 1st Regiment write letters to Maj. Edward Wynkoop, describing the attack at Sand Creek. Wynkoop has multiple copies of their letters made and he sends them to various military commanders and political figures. The letters are responsible in part for official investigations into the attack.

December 20: Colonel Chivington requests Major General Samuel R. Curtis to relieve him of command, under provisions contained in War Department Circular 75.

December 21: General Order 63 directs Colonel Thomas Moonlight to take command of the Military District of Colorado, succeeding Chivington as commander.

December 28: The Daily Rocky Mountain News advertises a theatre production which will use “trophies taken from the field at Sand Creek.”

December 29: The Rocky Mountain News in Denver prints the first report in Colorado Territory that there is to be a Congressional investigation of the attack at Sand Creek. Many citizens of Denver regard this as an assault on a justified act of self-defense.

December 31: While assigned to Fort Riley, Major Wynkoop is ordered back to Fort Lyon to take command and “…make a thorough investigation of recent operations against the Indians…”

January-February: In retaliation for the Sand Creek Massacre, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors attack settlements and stage and telegraph stations along a 100-mile front. These attacks force large sections of the South Platte Road to be closed, which disrupts travel, isolates Denver, and delays deliveries of supplies and mail.

January 4: Colonel Moonlight, formerly stationed in Kansas, arrives in Denver to take command of the Military District of Colorado and relieve Colonel Chivington of command.

January 6: In Denver, Colonel Chivington, musters out of service.

January 7: In retaliation for the attack at Sand Creek, warriors of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Lakota attack the town of Julesburg in northeastern Colorado. George Bent and his half-brother Charlie are present during the attack.

January 10: Congress orders an investigation into the attack at Sand Creek to be conducted by the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War to “inquire into and report all facts connected with the late attack …on a village of the Cheyenne tribe of Indians, near Fort Lyon.”

January 14: Wynkoop returns to Fort Lyon and proceeds to collect statements from soldiers of the 1st Regiment, who fought at Sand Creek. In his report two days later, he refers to Chivington as an “inhuman monster.”

January 21: At the end of his enlistment period and disgusted with the events surrounding the Sand Creek Massacre, Major Scott Anthony resigns his military commission.

February 1: Colonel Moonlight, under orders from the War Department, establishes a military commission to investigate the events at Sand Creek and “the conduct of the late Colonel J.M. Chivington …in his recent campaign against the Indians.”

February 2: Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Lakota warriors attack Julesburg a second time.

March 3: Senator James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin is appointed as chairman of a Special Joint Committee to investigate the “present condition of the Indian tribes and their treatment by the civil and military authorities of the United States.” A portion of this investigation, titled “The Chivington Massacre” focuses on Sand Creek. The final report is published in January 1867.

April 23: Silas Soule is murdered in Denver by Charles Squier and William Morrow of the 2nd Colorado (US) Volunteer Cavalry. Both men flee Denver shortly after the murder.

May 30: The military commission investigation into the Sand Creek Massacre is concluded resulting in condemnation from Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt. The 800 pages of testimony from the investigation are published in 1868.

June: Charles Squier is arrested in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and brought back to Denver, where he escapes from prison in October. Neither Charles Squier nor William Morrow are ever brought to justice.

July: The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War published its report on the attack at Sand Creek. The report condemns Chivington’s actions and calls for the removal of Evans as governor of the Colorado Territory.

July 26: Cheyenne and Lakota warriors attack soldiers near the military encampment at the Platte River Bridge Station in east central Wyoming. About 25-30 soldiers were killed including Lieutenant Caspar Collins. A fort will be built at the site and both it and the later town of Casper, Wyoming, are named in honor of the lieutenant.

August 1: Governor John Evans is removed from office by President Johnson for his role in the Sand Creek affair. Evans is replaced as territorial governor by Alexander Cummings

October 14: The Treaty of the Little Arkansas proclaims the events at Sand Creek a massacre. Article 6 of the treaty promises the payment of reparations to survivors, but these promised reparations are never paid. The treaty also removes Colorado from Cheyenne and Arapaho treaty lands.

April 1: Overriding President Andrew Johnson’s veto, Congress passes the Civil Rights Bill, which gives citizenship and its equal protection under federal law to all persons born in the US, but it explicitly excludes Indians.

July 11: Having attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Edward Wynkoop is honorably discharged from the military. At the urging of President Johnson, he becomes Indian Agent for the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho, establishing his Agency headquarters at Fort Larned, Kansas.

October 29: James Beckwourth, vilified by the Cheyenne for his role in the Sand Creek Massacre, dies in Montana while scouting for the US Army.

December 21: Eighty-one men under the command of Captain William Fetterman are lured into a trap less than five miles north of Fort Phil Kearny along the Bozeman Trail (present day Wyoming), and are killed by a force of over 1,000 Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors. This event becomes known as the Fetterman Massacre.

October: The Medicine Lodge Treaty replaces the 1865 Treaty of the Little Arkansas. The new treaty attempts to move the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, Kiowa, and Prairie Apache to Indian Territory (Oklahoma), and withdraw tribal opposition to construction of a railroad being built along the Smoky Hill River in Kansas. Chief Black Kettle continues to seek peace, and is one of 14 Cheyenne Chiefs to sign the treaty.

July 9: The 14th Amendment defines citizens as “All persons born or naturalized in the United States.” While it includes African Americans, the 14th Amendment does not include American Indians.

July 25: Congress organizes the Wyoming Territory out of parts of Dakota, Utah, and Idaho territories.

September: In response to continued raids by Cheyenne and Arapaho, a special fighting unit of civilian scouts led by Maj. George Forsyth and Lt. Fred Beecher, is sent in search of the raiding parties. On September 17, the unit is ambushed by a group of Cheyenne under war leader Roman Nose. The scouts flee to a sandbar on the Arickaree River in Colorado, where they remain under siege for 9 days. Remembered as the Battle of Beecher Island, it is counted as a Cheyenne victory; however, war leader Roman Nose is killed during the fight.

November 27: Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry attack a Cheyenne camp at the Washita River in Indian Territory. Chief Black Kettle and his wife Medicine Woman Later, both survivors of the Sand Creek Massacre, are killed along with over 50 Cheyenne people.

November 28: Realizing that he is powerless to protect the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes from further US military attacks, and in protest to the attack at Washita, Edward Wynkoop resigns his position as Indian Agent.

July 11: The Battle of Summit Springs (Colorado Territory) occurs. The 5th US Cavalry, under the command of Colonel Eugene A. Carr, attack an encampment of Cheyenne Dog Soldiers, killing 52 warriors and their leader Tall Bull.

August 10: Presidential Executive Action creates a reservation in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) for the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho.

1871, March 3: The Indian Appropriations Act ends treaty-making, and pushes “assimilation” of Native peoples.

1874: The headquarters for the former Upper Arkansas Agency is transferred to Darlington (Oklahoma). The new agency is officially renamed the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, but commonly referred to as the Darlington Agency.

1876, June 25: Lieutenant Col. George A. Custer and over 250 men from the 7th Cavalry are killed by a force of over 1,500 Lakota and Cheyenne warriors in the Battle of the Little Bighorn (Greasy Grass) in present-day Montana.

1876, August 1: Colorado is admitted into the Union as the 38th state.

1877: Northern Cheyenne are force-marched from Fort Keogh (Montana) to Darlington Agency (Oklahoma). A year later, approximately 300 half-starved Northern Cheyenne breakout from imprisonment at the Darlington Agency and flee 1,500 miles north, through former lands settled by Americans, across three major railroads and right through multiple US Army patrols until they reach the Yellowstone Country.

1878: The Northern Arapaho are placed with the Shoshone on the Wind River Reservation in Central Wyoming, which is later renamed the Wind River Indian Reservation.

1884: Northern Cheyenne Reservation is created in southeast Montana by Presidential Executive Order.

1887: The Dawes Act authorizes the President to survey “excess” American Indian Tribal lands in Oklahoma and divide them into allotments for individual Indians. It further promises citizenship for those Indians, who accept the allotments and live separately from the tribes.

1887: Still regarded by some citizens of Colorado as a hero of the Battle of Glorieta Pass, a new town along the Missouri Pacific Railroad line is named after John Chivington. The Town of Chivington is located only 10 miles from the site of the Sand Creek Massacre.

1889: George Shoup, former Colonel of the 3rd Regiment Cavalry Colorado (US) Volunteers is appointed governor of Idaho Territory. When Idaho becomes a state in 1890, Shoup is elected as a senator for the state. He is eventually selected to represent Idaho as one of its two representatives in the National Statuary Hall at the US Capital in Washington, D.C.

By 1890, most of the American Indian tribes are removed from Colorado to reservations. Like other tribes, the Cheyenne and Arapaho are forced to assimilate into white culture. However, despite hardships and relocation, the Cheyenne and Arapaho retain their language, culture, and history.

1890: US Army troops and Indian Scouts fight Cheyenne “Head Chief and Young Mule” in what is today Lame Deer, MT. The defiance and sacrifice of these Cheyenne becomes legendary among the Cheyenne.

1890, December 29: The 7th Cavalry surrounds and begins to disarm a group of Oglala Lakota at Wounded Knee Creek. The accidental firing of a rifle leads to an escalating fight in which over 150 are killed over the course of several days. This becomes known as the Battle of Wounded Knee, and later the Wounded Knee Massacre.

1891, September 11: Major Edward Wynkoop dies at the age of 55 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

1894, October 4: John M. Chivington dies, and is given a large funeral at Trinity United Methodist Church in Denver, CO.

1918, May 19: George Bent, the son of William Bent, Cheyenne Interpreter, and Sand Creek Massacre survivor, dies in Colony, Oklahoma.

1934, June 18: The Indian Reorganization Act is passed by Congress. This Act stops further allotments by the U.S. government. In addition to returning some unclaimed homesteading lands to the tribes, it authorizes tribes to manage internal tribal affairs and create their own constitutions. While accepted by more than 160 tribes, the Act is rejected by over 70 others, who claim that, in actuality, it is one more avenue for the federal government to assert influence and control over the tribes.

1950: In conjunction with the Lamar and Eads Chambers of Commerce, Colorado Arkansas Valley Incorporated places “Sand Creek Battleground” marker on the bluff overlooking the massacre site.

1998, September 9: “Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Study Act of 1998,” directs the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the State of Colorado and Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal governments, to identify and locate the site of the massacre and designate it as a unit of the National Park System.

1999, November 25-29: The 1st annual Sand Creek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run. As a means of memorializing the Sand Creek Massacre and honoring those who were killed, Otto Braided Hair of the Northern Cheyenne coordinates the first spiritual healing run, in which five hundred participants run in relay between the massacre site and Denver.

2000: “Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Establishment Act of 2000,” Congress authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to establish Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in Colorado.

2007, April 28: Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site is dedicated (opened to the public).

2014, June 20: In response to a call for acts of repentance, approximately 700+ members of the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church visit the park on a spiritual healing pilgrimage.

2014, November 29: 150th Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre.

2014, December 3: Governor John Hickenlooper issues an apology for the Sand Creek Massacre to the Cheyenne and Arapaho on behalf of the people of Colorado.

2015, June: A General Management Plan is completed for Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site to establish a comprehensive vision of the site's purpose, significance, and resource goals. The plan will help the national historic site staff guide programs and set priorities for resource stewardship, visitor use and experience, partnerships, facilities, and operations at Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site for the next 15 to 20 years.

2017, April: Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site observes its 10th anniversary.

Last updated: August 30, 2023

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