Proposed Sand Creek Massacre Memorial Passes Key Hurdle

A proposed memorial to the Sand Creek Massacre passed a major hurdle Friday, winning unanimous approval from the committee that manages the state capitol grounds.

The Capitol Building Advisory Committee left open the question of where to put the memorial. Descendants of the Native American Indian tribes massacred at Sand Creek originally wanted it quite close to the Capitol building. But officials seem to be leaning toward placing it in a park across the street.

The Sand Creek massacre occurred in 1864, when more than 600 U.S. volunteer soldiers attacked hundreds of Arapaho and Cheyenne in a village on the Eastern Plains, killing scores of people. The design would include a memorial path replicating the river bend where the attack happened in present-day Kiowa County.

Members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes traveled to the hearing to lobby for the memorial, saying it would be a source of healing for their communities.

If it is eventually approved by the full state legislature, construction of the Sand Creek memorial could begin construction sometime next summer.