The May 1 deadline came and went without a word from the Oglala Sioux Tribe, so James Czywczynski, who owns the site of the Wounded Knee massacre, has put the land on the open market.
“They had until today; the deadline was May 1 to come up with the money. Now we have put it on the open market nationally and internationally. It is just unfortunate,” Czywczynski said.
“I gave the tribe 30 years and five months to buy this property, and it isn't as if they didn't have the money, they could have done a bond issue—I have a friend who could have done a bond issue for them,” he said.
“If they would just have taken $250,000 to $1 million, they could have bought that property and owned it today. But, for some reason, they cannot see economic development and they cannot see tourism and they cannot relate. They want everything for free is what it amounts to I guess,” he said.
Though Czywczynski says he has not yet sold the property, he has had many interested parties contact him.
“We are already getting a flock of calls from people including realtors… a local one in South Dakota that has a woman who wants to buy the land and give it to the Oglala Sioux,” he said.
Czywczynski says he would welcome anyone who wants to purchase the land and then give it to the tribe. “I would be glad to have that happen. Somebody from Al Jazeera might buy it too, or some foreign country. This is worldwide now.”
Czywczynski says he has given the tribe ample opportunities to buy the land and was disappointed that he didn’t hear from them today.
“It isn't as though I didn't give them enough time, the prior president served for six terms—I wrote him letters for 12 years and told him they should buy this. The price was even less than it is today,” he said.
Since posting the site on the open market, Czywczynski has received inquiries from several interested parties including two who are allegedly working in the name of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Czywczynski’s asking price for the Wounded Knee site as well as one other parcel near Porcupine Butte for $4.9 million. The Associated Press has reported that each parcel has been appraised at $7,000 each.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe has yet to release any statement.