DENVER — History Colorado’s new Sand Creek Massacre exhibit is now open to the public.
“This exhibit represents 10 years of work at History Colorado with the tribal representatives and tribal nations to bring this story to the public,” said Sam Bock, History Colorado exhibit developer and historian. “The Sand Creek Massacre is the deadliest day in Colorado history. November 29, 1864, when more than 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho, mostly women, children and elders, were massacred by the United States Army in southeastern Colorado.”
This exhibit is History Colorado’s second attempt at telling the Sand Creek story. The first was in 2012 when the museum first opened.
“But that exhibit was not done in deep consultation with the tribal representatives. Eventually that exhibit closed, and over the last 10 years, we've really been working closely with the tribal representatives to ensure that the story is told not just in the way that they want it told, but it tells the histories that have been handed down within the tribes,” Bock said.
According to the museum, each exhibition element is being vetted and approved by tribal representatives. At the request of the tribes, no artifacts from the day or site of the massacre will be on display.
Bock said the exhibit also celebrates the tribes that were victims of the massacre.
“Because that day does not define Cheyenne, Arapaho people, visitors learn a lot about what life was like for Cheyenne and Arapaho people before the massacre, and also what their lives are like today, because they’re modern people, they have modern lives, and they are still here,” Bock said.
Bock said the exhibit will remain on display for at least the next five years.