July 11, 2013

Sand Creek descendants sue for reparations

Sand Creek Massacre descendants sue federal government for reparations

By Eric GorskiDescendants of victims of the Sand Creek Massacre have filed a class-action lawsuit in Denver against the federal government, seeking reparations they claim were never paid for the slaughter of their Cheyenne and Arapaho ancestors 149 years ago.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court on behalf of four Oklahoma-based members of the Sand Creek Massacre Descendants Trust, is the most concrete step taken in decades by descendants long frustrated by politics, inaction and divisions in their ranks.

The complaint accuses the government and its agents of lawless behavior and hollow promises surrounding one of the darkest moments in Colorado history.

At dawn on Nov. 29, 1864, federal soldiers attacked peaceful Indians camped on the ice-encrusted banks of Sand Creek in what is now southeastern Colorado, slaughtering an estimated 163—mostly women, children and the elderly—and desecrating their bodies.

The U.S. government in an 1865 treaty acknowledged wrongdoing and promised reparations of land and cash to survivors and relatives of victims.

The crux of the legal argument going forward will be whether the government ever paid that debt. Descendants claim it has not, while government officials have indicated they will argue otherwise.
Comment:  For more on the Sand Creek Massacre, see Sand Creek in Iron Man 3 and Sand Creek Called "Collision of Cultures."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who cares? I submitted information decades ago from Oklahoma Cheyennes my family is connected to Sand Creek and was told the money already got paid to a few.