Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights 2020

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Waiting for first light at Sand Creek

By Brenda Norrell

SAND CREEK, Colo. -- It is still dark outside, at Sand Creek. The earth has not yet spun around to greet the morning sun. On this land the Colorado Militia murdered babies and children, butchered women and elderly. They were, they are, the Cheyenne and Arapahoe people. The Longest Walk is here early, waiting for first light. In front of us is the place of massacre. Behind us is California, Nevada, Utah and most of Colorado. The Longest Walkers and runners have crossed the land behind us on foot, ready to cross the land in front of us. I wonder who will hear the screams of the women, the mothers, who saw their children shot and bleeding, shot and dying. I wonder who will feel the old ones’ hearts when they saw their daughters and wives, mothers and sisters, dying in pools of blood with their babies clutched in their hands. One of the survivors’ descendants tells of the baby’s heart that stopped in the cold by the river. Then, suddenly, a ray of sunlight struck the child and this beam brought the child back to life. We are waiting for first light. We are waiting for first light to restore the sight of humanity. We are waiting for first light in a world that has grown dark with poison and ruin. We are waiting for the dead to make us alive again. We are waiting to remember, we are waiting for the world to remember.

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