Monument erected at the site of the 1890 massacre of hundreds of Lakota men, women and children at Wounded Knee Creek by the U.S. 7th Cavalry.

Chief Joseph Brings Plenty: Save Wounded Knee


In a recent New York Times opinion piece, Chief Joseph Brings Plenty explains just why Wounded Knee should be saved.

He first explains the background of what happened at Wounded Knee and the meaning of the Lakota Sioux word takini, or “to die and come back” or “survivor.”

“Our fight to survive as a people continues today, a struggle to preserve not just our culture and our language but also our history and our land,” Brings Plenty says in the opinion piece.

He now lives on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation but grew up in Pine Ridge, near Wounded Knee. Members of his family died at Wounded Knee, one of his ancestors survived.

“The killing ground stirs great emotion in all of our people — memories of bodies frozen into twisted shapes, of those who were hunted down and murdered as they fled, and of those who escaped in bitter cold across wind-swept plains. These stories have been handed down to us and live within us,” he says in the New York Times piece, posted online April 11.

Brings Plenty recounts one story he was told be a tribal elder when he was just 8. “The old woman’s mother told her how her own mother had gathered her up when the bullets started flying. Just then, a young horse warrior galloped past and took the child up in his arms to help her escape. As she looked back, she saw her mother shot down, her chest torn open by bullets. She told her daughter that she remembered tasting the salt in her tears. The old woman told me all this after I had knocked over a saltshaker. Salt still reminded her of her mother,” he says there are many stories like this one, which is why the sacred land should not be auctioned off or even be up for sale by the owner. (Related story: Mixed Emotions Over Wounded Knee Massacre Site Being For Sale)

He says it should be purchased by the federal government and preserved as a national monument.

Read the full opinion piece by Brings Plenty, a former chairman of the Cheyenee River Sioux Tribe and teacher of Lakota culture at the Takini School on the Cheyenne reservation, here.

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evelyn Goodshot-Segovia's picture
evelyn Goodshot...
Submitted by evelyn Goodshot... on
We need to preserve our heritage for future generations.

Will James's picture
Will James
Submitted by Will James on
I agree 100% that Wounded Knee Site should be a national monument ! I t burns my blood to hear that anyone would sale that land .

SUGRONA, Theresa Escholt YOOL's picture
SUGRONA, Theres...
Submitted by SUGRONA, Theres... on

Warren Crazybull's picture
Warren Crazybull
Submitted by Warren Crazybull on
My ancestry is of this place, people need to know what happened here and a national monument of the people , the world needs should be taught in the true words of the lakota tribal member's.

Mike of Oxford UK's picture
Mike of Oxford UK
Submitted by Mike of Oxford UK on
Will America ever learn??(from history) They think they own the world, they destroyed the American Indian? (Gold/Oil/ Land) and god help anybody that got in the way.I am English white and proud of it 78 yrs of age and admired the American Indian since I was a child, and I am disgusted that any grave could be used and sold for profit . That grave was and still is an absolute disgrace in American history and thats not counting Vietnam ?and Iraq.Wounded Knee should be given back to the people (it was stolen in the first place) May they rest in peace.

Norm Eckstrom's picture
Norm Eckstrom
Submitted by Norm Eckstrom on
Save Wounded Knee....listen to Johnny Cash's "America, 200 Years of American History to Song" portion dealing with Wounded Knee battle.

Tom Macklin's picture
Tom Macklin
Submitted by Tom Macklin on
You would probably wonder why an Englishman would care to write a message about people from another Country,especially when the English did so much harm to the Aboriginal people of Australia, but that is part of this huge problem appears that whoever owns land will have it taken away by a force that has the more powerful weapon to hand.. in this instance its not only Wounded Knee that has suffered but all the many Native tribes who have been given nothing back because of pure greed. It seems a little vain for any American President to say the words ''God Bless America'' and yet not give fundamental rights or the blessings to many of the true American people.

Johannes van Hoek 's picture
Johannes van Hoek
Submitted by Johannes van Hoek on
Start a fund to save the property for these people ,,,, I will donate ,, will anyone else ?????

Alison Rick's picture
Alison Rick
Submitted by Alison Rick on
I am ashamed that no one is offering to buy it to GIVE it to the Sioux Nation. It's their 9/11 site ! if it was explained as such -perhaps the non-indians might understand better why it is so important. I am in UK and there is not much news about it. I Am ashamed also that no USA/or UK Billionaires have not stepped up to buy it to Donate either $4million is change to them. Come on Gates & Branson step up!!

Submitted by WANDERING WOLF on
Let us Honor the innocent who have lost their lives at WOUNDED KNEE. Let us Respect what WOUNDED KNEE represents to ALL generations. Let us have Compassion for ALL who have survived & live with this tragedy. Let us Support the KEEPING of WOUNDED KNEE as it IS the same as 9/11 & the TWIN TOWERS. If I had the $ to buy this land, I would save it, give it back to my blood family & restore this land. KEEP WOUNDED KNEE MEMORIAL OPEN as we ALL have the RIGHT to visit & pay our respects to those who are buried there. White Eyes.... LET IT GO; Take your selfish hearts & tend to your own lives. Move on. Leave us alone; Do the Honorable & long awaited act.... LOVE your neighbor; WANDERING WOLF