Denver, April 1 - The Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians have not had land in Colorado since many of their women and children were massacred in their sleep by soldiers at Sand Creek in 1864. Driven out of the state, they live today in poor rural areas scattered around Oklahoma.
But the tribes are now offering Colorado a gift of $1 billion and are willing to give up their ancestral claims to nearly half of the state, all in exchange for a 500-acre piece of land near Denver on which they hope to build one of the world's largest casinos, complete with a five-star hotel, a golf course, a mall and an Indian cultural center.
"This would be more than a casino for us," said Clara Bushyhead, a spokeswoman for the tribes. "It is the dream of our elders to complete our life cycle, to come back to our homeland in Colorado from which we were driven. Oklahoma was never our home."