In 2001, the Northern Cheyenne Breakout Committee was formed to plan and construct a monument to recognize the sacrifices and bravery of their ancestors who fought to return home on that fateful night in January of 1879. The Northern Cheyenne Breakout Committee includes tribal members, elders, professionals, and supporters. They are committed to helping tribal members and non-Indians to heal from a traumatic event in our collective history. Descendants of the resilient Northern Cheyenne people, and many others who have been inspired by their powerful story, are resolved to acknowledge, and honor their efforts to regain and preserve a homeland for their people.
With the help of many generous supporters, the Northern Cheyenne Breakout Monument was completed and dedicated in July 2016. It is located on the trail leading to the buttes adjacent to Fort Robinson State Park, on land generously donated to Chief Dull Knife College, by T.R. and Kay Hughes.
The Healing Trail
With the Monument having been completed, the committee refocused their efforts to plan, fund, and build, the Northern Cheyenne Healing Trail, which would recognize and honor the historic path taken from the “Cheyenne Barracks” at the Fort to the Monument at the base of the buttes. The trail will teach the rich history of those brave Cheyenne who put their lives on the line to return to their homelands in the North.
The four-mile Trail will be open to pedestrians and green technology will be woven into every aspect of the design, materials, and construction. Interpretive signs will be placed along the trail to provide insight and education about the Breakout. Shaded arbors with seating will be installed at four points along the trail to encourage travelers to rest and reflect on the traditional Cheyenne principles of respect, knowledge, wisdom, and spirituality. These principles represent the ideals that guide each Northern Cheyenne along their ultimate path, the Cheyenne Journey of Life, which begins in the womb and ends with their crossing on to the Next Camp. For many, that Journey ended on this very trail on the night of January 9, 1879.
Once finished, the Northern Cheyenne Healing Trail will provide an avenue for Tribal members to play an active role in the way their history is taught to future generations. It will also allow their history and their ways to be more readily shared with the world, creating opportunities for cross-cultural understanding and healing.
The purpose of the Northern Cheyenne Breakout Legacy Fund is to encourage, solicit, receive, and use charitable contributions and the income derived from the investment of contributions in support of developing the memorial, educational, cultural, and historical use of the Fort Robinson Breakout property in Sioux County, Nebraska. The Fund focuses its fundraising efforts on completing construction of a memorial on the Property to Northern Cheyenne Tribal members lost during the Breakout; planning and constructing other capital projects to fully realize the Property’s cultural and historical uses; and allowing the Chief Dull Knife College to coordinate, facilitate, and maintain the use of the Property in keeping with its educational mission.
- Opened: March 2014
- Name: Richard Littlebear
- Phone: (406) 477-6215