Chief Little Raven
Location: West of the Westin Hotel at the northeast corner of 104th Avenue/Westminster Boulevard.
Artist: Marie Barbera, Escondido, California (website ).
Year Installed: 2000.
How Acquired: Funded by the City of Westminster.
Comments: This stunning, heroic sculpture was commissioned by the City of Westminster for placement at the Westminster Promenade. The plaque reads as follows:
"The Westminster Promenade is designed around a Colorado high plains theme. Chief Little Raven is a symbol of all the Native Americans who inhabited the high plains long before any settlers. Born on the Platte River in Nebraska in 1820, Chief Little Raven was the principal chief of the Southern Arapaho tribe. He was the Arapaho leader during a difficult time when mountain men, settlers and gold seekers flooded the Denver area in the late 1850’s and early 1860’s. Approximately 1,500 Arapahos were camped on the site that would eventually become Denver.
"Chief Little Raven was a warrior, diplomat, orator and a leader who had tried to achieve peace with the pale face new combers. However, his best intentions were destined to fail. The Fort Wise Treaty of 1861 which many Arapaho refused to sign, pushed them out of their homeland in the Cherry Creek and South Platte valleys. Three years later, the Colorado Volunteers, led by John Milton Chivington, massacred many Arapaho at Sand Creek. Chief Little Raven and his followers survived the Sand Creek Massacre because he was clever enough to camp away from the army designated site. Chief Little Raven also signed the Little Arkansas Treaty of 1865 and the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867 establishing the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservations in the Oklahoma Indian Territory.
"In recognition of his efforts to keep the peace, President U.S. Grant awarded Chief Little Raven a peace medal. As he traveled to Washington, D.C. to accept the medal, he said that he wasn’t trying to make peace because he had never been at war. Chief Little Raven died in 1889 spending the last years of his life trying to help his people adjust to reservation life. A street near the South Platte River in lower downtown Denver bears his name and commemorates the Southern Arapaho encampment that once existed there."