Anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre
Dear Members of the MCE Community,
As a community, we recognize that our shared histories deserve and demand examination. We reflect not to merely recognize the facts of the past, but to honestly scrutinize their consequences in our present. Together, we can strive to eradicate inequities born of injustice by acknowledging history’s ugly truths and embodying the commitments that will allow us to change the course of their legacies.
Today marks the 158th anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre. On November 29, 1864, more than 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people – “mostly of women, children, and the elderly” – were murdered by members of the U.S. Army (1). As detailed in the John Evans Report, the founder of the University of Denver had a “significant level of culpability” for the abhorrent tragedy. By acknowledging the massacre, we are challenged to admit that injustices persist, stand against violence in every form, and continue to dismantle the many vestiges of hate and ignorance.
We hope that members of our community will take a moment to explore the resources below to learn more about the Sand Creek Massacre, MCE’s commitments to combating injustice, DU’s Native American and Indigenous Initiatives, and more.
Dean of the Morgridge College of Education
The John Evans Report & Recommendations
This report is the outcome of a yearlong inquiry by the University of Denver John Evans Study Committee, a volunteer group of faculty, outside historians, descendant community representatives, and students and alumni representing the DU Native American community, into the role of the University of Denver’s founder in the Sand Creek Massacre of November 29, 1864.
DU’s Native American and Indigenous Initiatives
Learn about the Native American Community Advisory Board, upcoming events, and updates on DU’s efforts.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at MCE
Learn about the many ways in which MCE strives to ensure that social justice remains at the core of everything that we do. Resources include MCE’s Land Acknowledgement, details on our DEI Task Force, and support opportunities for students, staff, and faculty.
A Letter from Dr. Christine A. Nelson (2021)
We had the honor of sharing a letter written by Dr. Christine A. Nelson (K'awaika and Diné Associate Professor, Higher Education) in 2021. We encourage our community members to review Dr. Nelson’s powerful and necessary statement.
1. Varying totals for those killed have been offered by historians, ranging from 150 to 230. We have referenced the NPS’s Sand Creek Massacre and encourage those interested to explore additional sources.