The Sand Creek Massacre/Respect

Award-Winning Writer/Filmmaker Donald L. Vasicek on Location with Arleigh Rhodes, Cheyenne


I worked with Cheyenne and Arapaho people on a documentary film. It was their story, and they told it, on film. One thing surfaced more than any other during the several years it took to get the job done. Respect. Respect has never really been shown to the Cheyenne and Arapaho people. If respect is shown, and it is meant, then, it will be most helpful to the Cheyenne and Arapaho people.

When writing about the Sand Creek Massacre, one should always interview Cheyenne and Arapaho people. They tell quite a story (check my award-winning documentary, “The Sand Creek Massacre”, and you will understand what I mean). If one doesn’t interview Cheyenne and Arapaho people, then they are showing disrespect to the Cheyenne and Arapaho.

Southern Cheyenne Chief Laird (Whistling Eagle)Cometsevah told me that over 400 Cheyenne people were murdered at Sand Creek. He also told me that the Arapaho people always traveled and camped about 8 miles away from the Cheyenne. He said the Arapaho were not at Sand Creek. He bases these statements on what has been passed down through his family. His great-great grandfather survived the Sand Creek Massacre.

The Cheyenne oral histories must also be respected, particularly since whoever presently writes about the Sand Creek Massacre, were not there on November 29, 1864. Cheyenne people’s ancestors were there. Cheyenne people’s ancestors passed their oral histories down through their families. So, these oral histories must be respected. They contain more facts about the Sand Creek Massacre than most Caucasians can find, many more facts.

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