Christina Rose
Wounded Knee is the site of the mass grave where hundreds were buried after the massacre of December 28, 1890.

One Year Later, Still Not Sold: Wounded Knee Owner to Try a Drone Flyover

Vincent Schilling

One year after Wounded Knee landowner James Czywczynski told Oglala Sioux Tribe President Bryan Brewer he would be accepting outside bids if the OST would not pay the hefty price tag of $4.9 million; the infamous historic site still has not been sold.

Czywczynski told ICTMN that there are still several deals in the works, and that he is still working closely with Nelson Mathews, state director at the Trust for Public Land, in order to secure a deal in which it would ultimately be returned to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

To date the Oglala Sioux Tribe has not warmed to Czywczynski’s offers of such a deal and President Brewer, who had cancelled plans to meet with Czywczynski last year said “there was nothing to talk about” and the tribe was also considering taking back the land through the process of eminent domain.

SEE RELATED: Native Sun News’ Brandon Ecoffey Says Deal in Works for Wounded Knee

Czywczynski has said he deserves to be compensated the $4.9 million because he and his family were forced from the property during the second Wounded Knee takeover when his business was destroyed.

Czywczynski says he is determined to sell the property and wants it to go to the tribe.

“There are some deals in the works, but nothing has come of it yet. We also have had a drone fly over the property and we will be airing the footage on a commercial real estate property site,” Czywczynski said.

Czywczynski also said he offered an attorney and potential buyer the first right of refusal, meaning they would have consideration to purchase the property in an attempt to ensure the tribe would be the ultimate recipient of the land.

“We want to sell this property, but if someone from California wanted to buy it and put up condos or apartments that first right of refusal would stop that,” he said.

Mathews says that though he wishes he had news to give, there simply wasn’t anything new to tell. “There is really nothing to say and there have not been any developments,” he said.

Czywczynski says that he is also in a bit of a stalemate because the tribe will be having their elections in November.

“It has been a long road working with Brewer, and now with the elections coming up in November, if President Brewer is not re-elected we will have to start this process all over at square one again. So at this point we are truly in a state of limbo.”

One Big Effort to Reclaim the Land

The quest for the Oglala Sioux Tribe to reclaim Wounded Knee is only one battle being fought by the Lakota/Nakota and Dakota people. In September of 2012, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe agreed to pay $9 million to reclaim the sacred site known as Pe’sla in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

SEE RELATED: Pe’ Sla Owners Accept $9M Offer from Tribes

Right now, a number of Lakota elders are being represented by former Oglala Sioux tribal president Theresa Two Bulls and Rachael Knight, the director of a community land protection program at Namati, a grassroots organization of legal advocates that serve to empower communities, are working to bring the Lakota/Nakota and Dakota people together in a collective effort to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss the Black Hills Land Claim issue.

Through the work of Two Bulls and Knight, a statement of intention to reclaim the sacred Black Hills is being circulated on the nine reservations across the state of South Dakota, once signed by as many tribal members as possible, the statement will be on course to hit Obama’s desk.

They hope to have the Black Hills returned to the Native people.

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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I'll be taking bids for Arlington National Cemetery if anyone would like to buy this excellent piece of real estate. It's close to restaurants, theaters, national monuments and churches. Don't pass up this GREAT deal! ________________________________________________________ Of course, I'm not serious, but you can easily imagine the furor of a Native selling the burial site (it's not even the massacre site) of military veterans.

value116's picture
Submitted by value116 on
While we're putting Arlington up for sale(great way to make a point for those who don't get it), we should send Czywczynsky to Judge Judy's courtroom. She'd certify him as out of his mind ("4.What?*%) (she doesn't have much patience), resolve the land claim in favor of OST and kick Mr.C. out, with a don't come back again.It's just a thought! :) The land belongs to OST. It's sacred --he needs to read the Scrooge story, do the right thing, give the land back and be done with it. Then again, there's the right of eminent domain!