Northwestern students demand reparations for 150-year-old massacre

Administrators at Northwestern University near Chicago are considering giving reparations to relatives of Arapaho and Cheyenne peoples for a massacre which occurred near the current state of Colorado about 150-years ago.

Members of Northwestern University’s Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance stand in front of the John Evans Alumni Center. Pictured, from left, are Jacob Skaggs, Wilson Smith, and Heather Menefee.

In November, a group of student activists circulated a petition demanding administrators find a way to compensate the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes for the Sandy Creek Massacre, which took place November 29, 1864. Historians estimate the atrocity, committed by a 700-man militia during the Indian Wars, killed between 70 and 163 people.

Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance (NAISA), the group that circulated the petition, argued that one of NW’s founders, John Evans, was involved in covering up the massacre and therefore the school owes the reparations.

Among the listed demands are funding for the recruitment of students from the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes — and the mandatory admission of at least two students from those tribes on full scholarship in each undergraduate class.

“They can’t even tell us how many Native students go to this school,” NAISA co-president Heather Menefee — who herself is not a native — told North by Northwestern.

The petition also demands the construction of a memorial for the victims “with all aesthetic decisions to be made by members of those Nations.”

Northwestern University spokesman Alan Cubbage told Campus Reform on Tuesday that they consider meeting NAISA’s demands by creating a team of historians to investigate “the historical involvement of John Evans” in the massacre.

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