Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in western Colorado state will acquire an additional 3,478 acres and is known for the mass killings of Native people by American soldiers in 1864.

Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site was established in 2007 in southeastern Colorado near the Town of Eads.
Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site was established in 2007 in southeastern Colorado near the Town of Eads. (AP Archive)

The US will expand the size of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in Colorado, which commemorates the Native American victims of an 1864 attack by US soldiers, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has said.

Haaland, the first Indigenous Cabinet member in US history, and National Park Service Director Chuck Sams attended an event at the site on Wednesday, where the soldiers attacked a sleeping encampment of approximately 750 Native Americans, killing more than 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho, most of them women, children and the elderly.

Among the participants were leaders from the Northern Arapaho Tribe, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, and Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper.

"The events that took place here forever changed the course of the Northern Cheyenne, Northern Arapaho, and Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes," said Haaland in her remarks on Wednesday. 

"We will never forget the hundreds of lives that were brutally taken here — men, women and children murdered in an unprovoked attack".

"Stories like the Sand Creek Massacre are not easy to tell, but it is my duty – our duty – to ensure that they are told. This story is part of America's story," she added.

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Largest intact shortgrass area

The site will acquire an additional 3,478 acres, which was made possible through funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Janet Frederick, superintendent of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, said the newly acquired property will help protect the historic site and sacred tribal lands.

“These new parcels include lands listed on the National Register of Historic Places for their significance to the devastating events of November 29, 1864," said Frederick.

The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site was established in 2007 in southeastern Colorado near the Town of Eads.

The new expansion also will preserve what Haaland called one of the largest intact shortgrass prairie ecosystems within the National Park system.

In recent years, Colorado officials have attempted redress.

State and US officials are preparing to rename Mount Evans, a prominent Rocky Mountains peak named after Territorial Governor John Evans, who resigned after the Sand Creek massacre.

Source: AA