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.