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History Colorado signs Memorandum of Agreement to create collaborative educational effort with Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
DENVER— History Colorado announced today that it signed a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to formalize a collaborative government-to-government process that involves efforts to educate the public about the November 29, 1864 Sand Creek Massacre and the history and culture of the Cheyenne and Arapaho people.
The MOA establishes a framework that guides how the State of Colorado, History Colorado, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana, the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming, and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma work together to fulfill this educational mission through exhibits at History Colorado museums, events that commemorate or are related to the Sand Creek Massacre, and collections and artifacts related to Cheyenne and Arapaho people.
The MOA is the result of consultations with the three tribes who had raised concerns about an exhibit on the Sand Creek Massacre in the History Colorado Center. History Colorado closed the exhibit in June 2012 and began consultations to develop an MOA to guide their current and future relations.
“During our discussions, History Colorado and the Tribes agreed that a beneficial first step, before discussing exhibits or programs, was to develop a framework for our shared vision and the guiding principles in how we work together, now and in the future,” said Ed Nichols, President & CEO of History Colorado and State Historic Preservation Officer.
“The history of the Sand Creek Massacre is one of profound local and national importance for the Cheyenne and Arapaho people and all of us as a society,” Nichols said. “We have worked with the Cheyenne and Arapaho people for many years and highly value our relationship. This MOA is a reflection of mutual government-to-government respect and a commitment to work together to share the history and culture of the Cheyenne and Arapaho people with the public for generations to come.”
Nichols was appointed to serve on the State of Colorado’s Sand Creek Commemoration Commission, created today by Executive Order, which will coordinate statewide activities and events to commemorate the 150-year anniversary of the Sand Creek Massacre.
Consultation about exhibits and programs begin tomorrow, Tuesday, March 18, at the History Colorado Center, which will include representatives from the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs and National Park Service representatives in addition to History Colorado and the Tribes.
** Statement from Ed Nichols after Tuesday, March 18 consultation**
"History Colorado and the Tribes agreed that we share short term and long term objectives for the History Colorado Center exhibit. In the short term, so that we can commemorate the upcoming anniversary, our focus for the exhibit will be on November 29, 1864, the day of the Sand Creek Massacre, through the voices of the descendants' account of that day. We agreed the longer-term objective is to collaborate on how to share the life and culture of the Cheyenne and Arapaho people, before and after the Sand Creek Massacre."
History Colorado's mission is to inspire generations to find wonder and meaning in our past and to engage in creating a better Colorado. We serve as the state's memory, preserving the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through our museums, educational programs, historic preservation grants, research library, collections, and outreach to Colorado communities. Find History Colorado on all major social media platforms. Visit HistoryColorado.org or call (303) HISTORY for more information.