Sand Creek Massacre National Memorial

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Descendants of Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians killed in an 1864 massacre by militiamen along Sand Creek in eastern Colorado plan to return some of their ancestors' remains to the site.

The location near Eads in Kiowa County is slated to become a national memorial under a bill signed by President Bush last week.

Steve Brady of the Northern Cheyenne tribe's Sand Creek Massacre Committee says tribe members know of the remains of seven people killed there. They have already taken possession of three sets of remains, and have plans to gather the remaining four.

Militiamen organized a surprise attack on a campsite in November 1864, killing more than 150 men, women and children. The Indians had set up camp there at the direction of a U.S. general, and were flying an American flag and a white flag.

Officials at the University of Nebraska say they are prepared to turn over a skull fragment collected from the massacre site that was later donated to the university.

The law creating the national historic site gives the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes influence over how the site is developed. The site is expected to be dedicated at some time next year.

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