Gail Ridgely is a member of the Remember Sand Creek Memorial design committee. A Northern Arapaho tribal Member, of Riverton, Wyoming, Ridgely is a descendent of the massacre, and a member of the DU John Evans Study Committee. Ridgely spoke to us about Sand Creek and the importance of a memorial to the massacre as a tool for education, spiritual healing, and historical remembrance.
“As a tribal person, I want to see my grand-kids come over here and feel proud of who they are, and how they came about when the country came together, and where we are at today,” said Ridgely.
Ridgely has been involved with the memorial project since 1993.
Harvey Pratt is currently in the process of creating the Sand Creek Massacre Memorial. He is an accomplished master Native American Indian artist of both Cheyenne and Arapaho descent. Pratt spoke to us about his personal connection with the Sand Creek Massacre and the need to bring history to light in a public setting.
“If they have a memorial here [at the Colorado State Capitol], people will see it, understand it, and know it better,” said Pratt. “We just want to bring history to light. We want people to understand that there is more that happened than what was told.”
Pratt has won numerous awards and was named the Red Earth 2005 Honored One. He has been recognized as an Outstanding Southern Cheyenne and is a Southern Cheyenne Peace Chief, one of the highest honors bestowed by the tribe.