Wounded Knee sale deadline - KOTA Territory News

Wounded Knee sale deadline

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Wednesdays marks the deadline to submit bids for the Wounded Knee site.

A Rapid City man who's owned the piece of Native American history for more than 40 years hopes the Oglala Sioux Tribe will take over the land and buy it from him.

But the Tribe has yet to submit an offer.

James Czywczynski and his family bought a portion of the historical site of Wounded Knee in 1968.

Recently he put the 40 acres up for sale.

"My goal is for the Oglala Sioux Tribe to get this property," said Czywczynski.

The property sits adjacent to where about 150 of the 300 Lakota people who were killed in 1890, are buried.

"That land should belong to them," said Czywczynski.

Czywczynski says he gave the Oglala Sioux Tribe until Wednesday, May 1st to make an offer on the land before he opens it up to outside buyers who are willing to pay the $3.9 million dollar asking price.

"My intentions at all times were to sell it to the Tribe; but having said that they've had 30 years to buy it," said Czywczynski.

With the looming deadline; Czywczynski says he's had a number of offers from potential buyers.

"I've had one offer locally, one from the West coast, one from California, and one from Ohio. But so far I've not been contacted by Tribe," said Czywczynski.

Numerous calls to Bryan Brewer, the Oglala Sioux Tribe President went unanswered; and were not returned by news time.

And Czywczynski says while he hasn't heard from Brewer either; he won't donate the land back to the Tribe as some groups suggest.

"They are not remembering that I lost everything in 1973. My home, my trading post, my museum, all the artifacts, everything my children owned. They burned it all to the ground. I was never compensated for our loss," said Czywczynski .

Tim Giago, editor of the Native Sun News, said he's not sure why the Tribe is hesitant.

"I think the tribe will have to assume a leadership role in some way and stand up and say here's what we want to do with it," said Giago.

But if that doesn't happen before the deadline, Czywczynski says the land will go to a private buyer.

"It's been a long time and I've taken a lot of heat on this deal. So I just want to get rid of the property," said Czywczynski.

Giago says whoever buys the land will have to work with the Tribe to decide how they are going to use it.

He says he hopes to see a museum built on the site; to honor all the Native American's who have died.

 

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