Dear Mr. Gorski,
Although your article about the Sand Creek Massacre Descendants’ Trust
law suit for reparations regarding the Sand Creek Massacre is informative,
I have to say that I was surprised to see that there were inaccuracies in it.
I wrote, directed and produced “The Sand Creek Massacre”, a documentary
film that featured Cheyenne and Arapaho descendants of the Sand Creek
Massacre sharing their family oral histories with me. Two Cheyenne and
direct Sand Creek Massacre descendants, Southern Cheyenne Chief
Laird (Whistling Eagle) Cometsevah and his wife, Colleen, an historian
and genealogist, told me that over 400 Cheyenne were murdered at
Sand Creek. They based this figure on what has been known in their
families for 150 years. They also told me that the Arapaho always
traveled and camped about 8 miles behind the Cheyenne, so the
Arapaho were not at Sand Creek.
Many laugh at this and say the Cometsevah’s did not know
what they were saying. Both of them passed on before they could
finish their work. They played an integral role in guiding and directing
me while making my film. The film won 3 best film film festival awards
and was cataloged into the Smithsonian Institute Libraries, amongst
other things. Films Media Group has been distributing it in North
America and Asia.
Media and journalists have been using these inaccuracies for years. It
shows no respect for Laird and Colleen. It’s like slapping them in
the face. The only thing they ever wanted, as most of America’s
indigenous people, have always desired, respect and America’s media and press
continues to wipe their feet on them. Until that respect is exhibited
by the media and press, America’s indigenous people will continue
to be looked upon as second class citizens by most others.
Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
The Zen of Writing & Screenwriting