The Sand Creek Massacre (What’s Collective Memory?)

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Southern New Hampshire University
The Sand Creek Massacre is a historical event that’s filled with complexity, different viewpoints, nationalistic ideas, and most importantly the difference in perception of how we view the massacre based on our collective memory. The Sand Creek Massacre is difficult and complex because the event is surrounded by politics, personal points of view, and racial conflict. When examining the multifaceted perceptions that have been divided into Wynkoop/Soule’s perception against Chivington’s perception of the attack. These two opposing thoughts embodied the tensions that encapsulated the difference in viewpoints throughout the United States when deciding how to treat Native Americans. The inability to come to a reasonable decision on how to treat Native tribes has persisted to this day. My paper will examine the construct behind what type of people should be allowed to stake a claim on the history of the Sand Creek Massacres as their own. I will answer important questions such as, ‘what type of people have controlled the narrative and been at the forefront to determine how the Cheyenne and Arapahoe should heal from the Sand Creek Massacre?’ The Cheyenne and Arapahoe have had an uphill battle to retake their history. There’s been a constant fight for the chance to have Native perspectives control the narrative so the public can finally see the massacre through the lens of Indigenous nations. This paper’s most important facet is to give the Cheyenne and Arapaho people the respect they deserve. I will acknowledge how important it is for the Cheyenne, and Arapaho to frame their history. Doing so will help knock down the walls of discrimination and false preconceived notions Americans have about North American Indigenous nations.