Wounded Knee Mystery Bidders Working to Secure Land for Tribe

Vincent Schilling

On May 1 the site of the Wounded Knee massacre was put on the open market by owner James Czywczynski with a price tag of $4.9 million. He says three of the five standing offers he has could benefit the Oglala Sioux Tribe, who he would prefer to sell to but have not yet made an offer.

“All five are looking for additional time to put their funding together,” he said. “It appears that three of the five are acquiring this property for or on behalf of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

“I do not know for sure because these people will not tell me. They told me by the end of the week, which is this Friday they should have their offer submitted,” Czywczynski said.

Denise Mesteth, director of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Tribal Land Office, the tribe has not made an offer. She further commented about Czywczynski’s statements that the tribe should have money from the Cobell and Salazar settlements. (Related story: “A Conversation With Wounded Knee Owner James Czywczynski)

“That is ridiculous for him to even say that,” Mesteth said. “We do not have any money to purchase this land. Yes, we received the Salazar money, but those monies were sent to the districts and allocated already. The money is gone and the districts are taking care of their district business.”

Mesteth also said that since the tribe has purchased the sacred site of Pe’ sla in the Black Hills of South Dakota, people wanting to sell land to the tribe are coming forward. (Related story: “Pe’ Sla Purchase Guarantees Sacred Land Will Be Used for Ceremonies)

 “We are now dealing with another owner who wants to sell us 9,000 acres for $8 million,” she said.

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aiahninchi ohoyo's picture
aiahninchi ohoyo
Submitted by aiahninchi ohoyo on
dear white farmers and ranchers how so very kind you are to be popping out of the woodwork offering to 'sell back' land that, but for the u s govt taking it away in the first place never would have been yours.... and best of all, you are coming forward offering it for exhorbitant sums of money...i would love to know just exactly where you assume the lakota peoples came up with these millions of dollars... this is such crap...

Dora Gonzalez's picture
Dora Gonzalez
Submitted by Dora Gonzalez on
why are people always looking for massive amounts of monetary compensation when dealing with historical land that is full of memories of systematic decimation of people who tried to only live their lives? why is the price of acreage so high?

Two Bears Growling's picture
Two Bears Growling
Submitted by Two Bears Growling on
I hope this is the case & some blessed one(s) are going to buy this for our many people. Such a one or ones, will be blessed in more ways than they could even imagine by the Great Spirit. There are blessings that no amount of money can ever buy someone. As for those who want to sell that 9,000 acres. That would be nice if it could be bought somehow for our many people. It would be nice to run some buffalo on it. Remember the legend about when Pte start coming back then our good fortune & power will return to our many people. Some of us have been waiting for this to happen for more years than you could ever imagine.

Valerie southall's picture
Valerie southall
Submitted by Valerie southall on
This is crazy, how about legislation to the State and Federal Level to deem these places historical sites and No one should have to worry about purchasing them?

Carolyn Douglas
Carolyn Douglas
Submitted by Carolyn Douglas on
Czywczynski cannot really be the owner of this land. It is sacred to the Ogala Sioux tribe. He should deed it to the tribe in honor of the Indians who were massacred here. The land belongs to those who lived and died there.

Cheyenne's picture
Submitted by Cheyenne on
I really hope this land goes back to the Native peoples. It was their land to begin with. The price tag is unbelievable and over priced. He only set that price because he knows what it means to the people..

Native American's picture
Native American
Submitted by Native American on
It's called eminent domain. He should be lucky to get shit on toast like the rest of us

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I wonder how most Americans would feel about famous Civil War battlegrounds being put up for sale? I can almost hear the outrage that would be raise if, instead of being used a national parks they were offered up for sale. As sad as this is it really shouldn't surprise anyone - money has been the White Man's God since we first met him.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I wonder how most Americans would feel about famous Civil War battlegrounds being put up for sale? I can almost hear the outrage that would be raise if, instead of being used a national parks they were offered up for sale. As sad as this is it really shouldn't surprise anyone - money has been the White Man's God since we first met him.

Bill W's picture
Bill W
Submitted by Bill W on
The love of money is the root of all evil......and this man will surely pay the price for the money he loves so dearly.

Jim Girzone's picture
Jim Girzone
Submitted by Jim Girzone on
I can think of no greater a despicable thing than this abomination revokving about the original owners of this Land, Sacred to them, now having to BUY BACK what was stolen from them by the UNITED STATES GOVERNNMENT by sheer and brutal, bloody massacres undertaken by orders from Washington, for the UNITED DTATES MILITARY armies to pillage and plunder and murder American Indians and then STEAL THEIR LAND and then cinsign them to virtual CONCENTRATION CAMPS (long befor HITLER ever conceived of such). My GOD, this Country has much if not more, for that which it must recompense and TRY to give adequate answer..... SIMPLE GREED ISN'T ANSWER..... TRY RAW, NAKED EVIL! AND NOW WE HAVE YET ANOTHER 2nd or 3rd GENERATION IMMIGRANT WHO POSSESSES WHAT IN FACT IS NOT HIS BUT FOR THE YEARS OF COLLUSION AND CONFISCATION BY THIS GOVERNMENT OF INDIAN LAND OFFERING IT UP FOR SALE TO THE PROPER OWNERS! GREAT PLACE, THIS U.S. of A........ ONLY IN AMERICA...... or ............ THE SUDAN................or NAZI GERMANY..... or .......BOSNIA/HERZAGOVNIA......... or so many other places..... TODAY WE HAVE A SOFTER NAME FOR WHAT WE DID AND ITHERS NOW DO, BUT CALL IT BY A MORE GENTLE TERM,....... ETHNIC CLEANSING!....

lesley's picture
Submitted by lesley on
i read the book,'bury my heart at wounded knee' best book i have ever read. if this land belonged to the native indians in the first place,why should they have to buy it back.it should be given back to them!!here in australia,sacred land has been given back to our native aborigines.i am a true blue aussie,but i believe every body should be equal.give back what belongs to them,especailly with so much history to it.

Chawn A. Whitsitt's picture
Chawn A. Whitsitt
Submitted by Chawn A. Whitsitt on
As God wills... the land belonged to the people, then was stolen and now they have to buy it back. Who but most tribal peoples will keep the soil clean, the earth healthy and the cycles even forever?

Brian4222's picture
Submitted by Brian4222 on
our lands are not up for sale at any price the lands belong to the tribe not anyone else

patricia2plant's picture
Submitted by patricia2plant on
Hope this guy is telling the truth. It is so hard to believe that the asking price is this high when the taxable value is so low.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
So sad.

G. Pago's picture
G. Pago
Submitted by G. Pago on
Land from these massacres has spirit issues and these spirits will cause issues for the people and the descendants of the people who seek to profit from our murder. The land of the massacres does not need to be bought. Eventually the owners will be begging to have the land taken away simply to end their torment.

gia kirby's picture
gia kirby
Submitted by gia kirby on
why does this seller deserve to ask such a price? is this not robbery of native americans. Is this not GREED?

George Nightwalker Sr.'s picture
George Nightwal...
Submitted by George Nightwal... on
WE all should beware of the saying "when will they learn they cannot eat money".......

Spotted Horse from Mn.'s picture
Spotted Horse f...
Submitted by Spotted Horse f... on
What I would like to know...is who sold the land in the first place to Mr. Czywczynski?!

SnowOwl Clayton
SnowOwl Clayton
Submitted by SnowOwl Clayton on
I may be mistaken but isn't Mr Czywczynski a member of the family who was carving Crazy Horse into the Black Hills next to the 4 Presidents heads? In any case whoever he is I don't understand how he can be selling land that isn't his. The land there is a sacred site where people are buried. It would be like me coming along and trying to sell the burial site at Arlington. In Australia, where I live, sacred Aboriginal land was returned to the people and the same thing should apply here. Wounded Knee CANNOT be sold to ANYONE. It is part of a Native Reservation.

Marte McCalla's picture
Marte McCalla
Submitted by Marte McCalla on
Wounded Knee should and must be a 'Nation Monument,' perhaps not of pride, but of how far we have come in the treatment of our First Nations peoples. It must be a first step; a step that says no more will this kind of treatment be accepted or the norm. We have plenty of "Monuments" and "National Treasures" commemorating other battles and other races; but Wounded Knee receives no recognition at all. Perhaps it is because the soldiers who massacred the virtually unarmed old men, women and children with Gatling guns were presented with 'Presidential Medal of Honor!' Honor? How is this honor? It is and was murder! Do your research; read all you can...save Wounded Knee if it is still there!

Polly Drywater's picture
Polly Drywater
Submitted by Polly Drywater on
SUCH "GREED" 2sell land 2whom it ALREADY belongs2... STOLEN LAND @that!! hey!.. tha govt MADE THA TREATIES... & ... PROMISED 2TAKE CARE OV US... SEND THA BILL 2 THM... that should take care ov that.

wakanmani's picture
Submitted by wakanmani on
this land is in the bounderies of the Oglala nation , so there .

Victoria Mudd's picture
Victoria Mudd
Submitted by Victoria Mudd on
To my mind, Wounded Knee should never be sold. It is a monument to a tragic event in the history of the Lakota people. It is a grave sit, a sacred site which no one should 'own' or sell. It should be donated to the tribe. Period.