November: National Native American Heritage Month at Washita

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site Visitor Center at night
Washita Battlefield National Historic Site Visitor Center doors are open for several events

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News Release Date: November 1, 2015

Contact: Kevin Bowles Mohr, (580) 497-2742 ext. 3003

In recognition of National Native American Heritage Month, Washita Battlefield National Historic Site will offer several programs in November. These public events will share different perspectives and stories of two major events, the Sand Creek Massacre and the Battle of Washita.


Starting on Thursday, November 12 at 6:00 p.m., a Ranger will lead a discussion on The Month of the Freezing Moon by Duane Schultz at the Minnie R. Slief Library. The third installment of Washita Battlefield's book club, Schultz's book details the events leading to the Sand Creek Massacre, the characters involved, and the impact on the Cheyenne. This book is a must read for those interested in the tumultuous times of American expansion.


On Sunday, November 15 at 2:00 p.m., as part of the Find Your Park series, visitors are invited to learn about Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site by watching the documentary, Sacred Steps: Remembering Sand Creek. Filmed by Cheyenne and Arapaho Television (CATV 47), it followed tribal elders, runners, and observers during the 150th Sand Creek Massacre Remembrance and 16th Annual Sand Vreek Massacre Spiritual Healing Run. From November 29 to December 3, 2014, ceremonies were performed, speeches were presented, and runners left Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in Eads, Colorado for Denver, tracing the steps of the "Bloodless" Third Colorado Volunteer Regiment. The documentary is 57 minutes.


On Sunday, November 22nd at 4:00 p.m., Park Rangers will lead a 1.5 hour narrated adventure in which visitors will encounter costumed Park Rangers portraying poignant moments in the Washita story. This twilight walk offers a chance to 'meet' historical characters and hear vignettes describing the events leading up to, and after, the Battle of Washita. Taking place along the Dust and Fire Trail that circles the visitor center, participants will move from one station to another while a Park Ranger annotates along the way. The event is free, and due to the carrying capacity of the trail, please sign up in advance for one of the programs. Space is limited.


On Friday, November 27, in recognition of the 147 years after the Battle of Washita, staff invited community members to partake in a Day of Remembrance by walking along the Battlefield Trail and lighting a candle in the visitor center. The candles will represent the estimated 80 solders and tribal members that lost their lives as a result of of the Battle of Washita. Help us remember them all by lighting a candle in their honor. The Visitor Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the trail is open from dawn to dusk.


On Sunday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m., in continuation of Washita Battlefield National Historic Site's movie night, the park will show Civil War to Sand Creek. Developed by the National Park Service, this 52 minute film follows the life of "an extraordinary man of the American West - George Bent." Fighting "as a Confederate warrior," George Bent "made his mark in both the Indian and white worlds." November 29, 2015 marks the 151st year after the the Sand Creek massacre.

List of Events:

WHAT:The Month of the Freezing Moon, book club discussions

WHEN:Thursdays, November 12, 6:30 p.m. and November 19, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE:Minnie R. Slief Library and at the Elk City Carnegie Library, respectively


WHAT:Sacred Steps: Remembering Sand Creek, documentary film, 57 minutes

WHEN:Sunday, November 15, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE:Washita Battlefield National Historic Site Visitor Center


WHAT:Candlelight Vigil and Vignettes, guided tour

WHEN:Sunday, November 22, 4:00 p.m., 1.5 hours

WHERE:Washita Battlefield National Historic Site Visitor Center, Dust & Fire Trail


WHAT:Day of Remembrance, candle lighting activity

WHEN:Friday, November 27, 8:00 5:00 p.m.

WHERE:Washita Battlefield National Historic Site Visitor Center


WHAT:Civil War to Sand Creek, National Park Service film, 52 minutes

WHEN:Sunday, November 29, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE:Washita Battlefield National Historic Site Visitor Center


Last updated: November 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

18555 Hwy 47A, Ste. A
Cheyenne, OK 73628


(580) 497-2742

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