‘to introduce among them the habits and arts of civilization’

FADE IN:

Scene 1 EXT. DENVER, COLORADO (1864) – DAY – ESTABLISHING

BLACK KETTLE CHEYENNE CHIEF (Voice Over)
. . . we came to the conclusion to make peace with you . . .
we want true news from you in return . . .

Scene 2 INT. MAYOR’S OFFICE – DENVER, COLORADO – NIGHT

MAYOR WYNKOOP to MESSENGER
We’ll release our prisoners in exchange for the release of theirs
tell Black Kettle’s Cheyenne and Left Hand’s Arapaho bands
to go to Fort Lyon and camp 40 miles outside at Sand Creek
there they’ll be under the protection of the United States troops

Scene 3 INT. FORT LYONS, COLORADO – DAY

CLOSE ANGLE ON COL. JOHN MILTON CHIVINGTON
Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians
I have come to kill Indians, and
I believe it is right and honorable to use any means
under God’s heaven to kill Indians

Scene 4 EXT. ENCAMPMENT OUTSIDE SAND CREEK, COLORADO – NIGHT

The camp is full of soldiers drinking heavily and celebrating the victory to come

CAPTAIN SILAS S. SOULE
He means to attack a peaceful settlement
all to further his political ambitions
LIEUTENANT JAMES D. CANNON
He risks court-marshall
what are we going to do?
CAPTAIN SILAS S. SOULE
Refuse to let our companies join in
I don’t see any other way

Scene 5 EXT. SAND CREEK, COLORADO – DAY

MONTAGE:

A) Bodies are strewn through the creek and along the banks
B) Women, children, and elderly are clearly among the dead or dying
C) Cannons have been used against the civilian population
D) Small bands of soldiers are shooting unarmed people pleading for their lives
E) The tribes horses are either dead or let loose
F) CHIVINGTON’S soldiers are looting the gifts given to the tribes in the peace treaty
G) LIEUTENANT JAMES D. CANNON and CAPTAIN SILAS S. SOULE
return to the white encampment

END MONTAGE

Scene 6 EXT. SAND CREEK – DAY

Several days have passed,
the soldiers have left
the survivors have fled

CAPTAIN SILAS S. SOULE (Voice Over)
The massacre lasted six or eight hours (beat)
it was hard to see little children on their knees having
their brains beat out by men professing to be civilized (beat)
they were all horribly mutilated . . .

Scene 7 INT. CONGRESSIONAL HEARING – DAY

LIEUTENANT JAMES D. CANNON
Men, women, and children’s privates cut out
I heard numerous incidents in which men had cut out
the private parts of women and stretched them
over their saddle-bows and hats . . .

No charges were ever brought against any soldier

Scene 8 EXT. PRISON YARD, FORT MARION, FLORIDA – DAY

RICHARD PRATT (Prison Commander) to HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
The end to be gained is the complete civilization of the Indian
his absorption into our national life (beat)
to lose his identity as such (beat)
the sooner all tribal relations are broken up
the sooner he loses all his Indian ways
even his language, the better it will be
for him and the government

Scene 9 INT. PRISON SCHOOL, FORT MARION, FLORIDA (late 1870s) – DAY

MAKING MEDICINE (CHEYENNE WARRIOR) now DAVID PENDLETON OAKERHATER
You remember when I led you out to war
I went first, and what I told you was true
Now I have been away to the East
I have learned about another captain
the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is my leader
He goes first, and all he tells me is true
I come back to my people to tell you
go with me now in this new road
a war that makes all for peace
where we never have only victory . . .

Scene 10 INT. MISSION SCHOOL, INDIAN TERRITORY, OKLAHOMA – DAY

Indian children are learning English

OAKERHATER, an ordained priest, died in 1931
due to efforts by the Oklahoma Council on Indian Ministries
he was named a saint of the Episcopal Church in 1985

FADE OUT:

Cheyenne was a name given to the tribe
by the French from the word meaning dog
the actual names of the tribes
Só’taeo’o and Tsétsêhéstâhese
mean ‘Human Beings’

PSALM 23 (Translated into the Cheyenne Language) Watch the video to hear it read.
1. Tsenetästs nähane-atämistowinots, howähe nätsää-hoehätsto.
2. Täss näoh˙che ofshemäne tsishekooits; täss näoche-naaväotseä tsehish-hakoomoaäts.
3. Epavomoh˙tämän nämätäsoomä: näoh˙che-naaväotseä mayo tseh˙änowewostäne-havistowits havitof.
4. Haaha! homäsowitto täss näämin tseh˙owaooistä näastots tseh˙vaato nämissääato howähe hävs; otä net’ savioh-tsime stoh˙to nähiststähäo.
5. Nenestä-ahän täh˙amissistots mäato nävaämeo: nämakon nevishhinin’ amowe ämskavä näpavatänoh˙tots aha-iotomohin.
6. Onissyomitto pavatsistätots nä shevätstästots nätshoeoe oishavä tsehwostänahivitto: nä-tseavhäs Tsenetätsiss himhiyon äenitto.

Psalm 23
New International Version (NIV)
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

THE END

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