Members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho nations marked the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre on Saturday.
The nations planned a private ceremony at the site near Eads, Colorado, where about 200 people, many of them women and children, were killed by Army soldiers on Nov. 29, 1864. There will also be number of public events at the national historic site, including discussions and the screenings of films about the massacre.
About 700 people were camped at the site on the southeastern plains, believing they were safe after making peace. Col. John Chivington, a Civil War hero, led the attack and later paraded body parts of the victims through Denver.
On Sunday, tribe members and others will begin the 15th annual healing run to Denver along the 180-mile route taken by Chivington and his soldiers. They'll finish at the state Capitol on Wednesday.
Otto Braided Hair, a Northern Cheyenne who lives near Lame Deer, Montana, said running was important to the nations' partly because it was historically a way to relay messages.
On their way to the Capitol, the runners will stop at Riverside Cemetery in Denver to honor two officers who refused to fire on the Arapaho and Cheyenne — Capt. Silas Soule and Lt. Joseph Cramer. Soule later testified against Chivington at Army hearings and was killed in Denver less than 80 days after his testimony. The runners will also stop at the site in downtown Denver where Soule was killed.
Braided Hair, whose great-grandparents survived the massacre, said their actions saved lives.
"It's quite possible I wouldn't be here if there was a prolonged attack of all the regiments," he said.