National Trust for Historic Preservation has presented its Preservation
Honor Award to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Montana, Wyoming
award to the tribes was one of 23 bestowed by the National Trust
during its 2009 National Preservation Conference in Nashville, Tenn.
Nov. 29, 1864, U.S. military troops attacked a peaceful encampment
of Cheyenne and Arapaho along Sand Creek in what is today southeastern
Colorado. More than 150 American Indians - many of them women, children
and the elderly - were killed in the attack.
four years later, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer led a surprise
dawn raid on a sleeping Southern Cheyenne encampment along the Washita
River in western Oklahoma.
more than 140 years after the carnage, both the Sand Creek Massacre
Site and the Washita Battlefield are National Historic Sites, thanks
in large measure to the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribe members who would
not let their history be forgotten.
closely with the National Park Service and other partners, the tribes
participated in every phase of development of the National Historic
Sites - rom site investigation to the design of interpretive centers
histories provided by tribal descendants played a critical role
in identifying natural and cultural resources and key battlefield
addition to their efforts at these two places, the tribes have been
actively working to safeguard their history at Bent's Old Fort National
Historic Site in Colorado, a reconstructed 1840s fur-trading post
of considerable significance to the tribes. There, the Cheyenne
and Arapaho provide consultation and assistance ranging from site
interpretation to curatorial care of artifacts and the interment
of human remains.
these historic sites in the American Plains, members of the Cheyenne
and Arapaho tribes are helping make sure the telling of history
is clear and accurate - even when it isn't pretty," said Richard
Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
tribes should be commended for their foresight and perseverance
in heritage preservation, not only for the good of the few, but
on behalf of the many."
with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, Montana and Wyoming,
co-recipients honored were the National Park Service; Steve Brady;
Otto Braided Hair; Ben and Gail Ridgely; Lee LoneBear; Richard Williams;
Gov. Darrell Flyingman; and Chief Gordon Yellowman.
National Preservation Awards are bestowed on distinguished individuals,
nonprofit organizations, public agen-cies and corporations whose
skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities
through preserva-tion of our architectural and cultural heritage.
These efforts include citizen attempts to save and maintain important
landmarks; companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness
of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation
projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and
journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation.
of the National Preservation Awards will appear in the November/December
issue of Preservation Magazine and online at www.PreservationNation.org/awards.