Since signing an agreement to purchase the historic site of Wounded Knee, Tim Giago, Lakota, has established a website to collect donations toward the $3.9 million price-tag.
The website, http://www.wounded-knee.com/ states its mission is “to raise the money to purchase the 40 acres of land at Wounded Knee from owner Jim Czywczynski.”
In addition to the purchase, Giago tells ICTMN he hopes to build a museum on the site as well as rebuild the trading post to address several issues that face the nine tribes in the area.
The website states in part:
There has never been a memorial or commemoration site built on the grounds where one of America’s most tragic episodes occurred on December 29, 1890 when nearly 300 innocent Lakota men, women and children were massacred.
After the funds are raised and the land is purchased we intend to put the land in trust for the all of the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation and work hand-in-hand with the tribal governments to continue to raise the funds to rebuild the trading post that was burned to the ground in 1973 and to construct a trade pavilion where members of all the tribe can set up year-around booths to sell their arts and crafts, and also to build a cultural center and holocaust museum that would tell the story of the Lakota People and of the history of the Wounded Knee massacre plus the massacres of Indians from Arizona to Idaho that have occurred in the United States.
Unemployment on the Pine Ridge Reservation where Wounded Knee is located has been reported by the tribe as hovering around 80 percent.
We believe that by establishing a trading post, trade pavilion, and cultural center and a museum we can assist all of the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation in providing more than 200 jobs. The construction phase alone would provide at least 100 jobs and the trade pavilion would provide permanent jobs for the hundreds of artists and crafts-people residing on the Pine Ridge and the other reservations.
We believe that if all of the things we are suggesting take place, a Wounded Knee visitor’s center and museum would draw millions of visitors from not only the United States, but from around the world.
The jobs and financial rewards accorded to the Oglala Sioux Tribe and all of the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation would do much to alleviate the horrendous poverty that now exists.
But just as important, honoring the victims of one of the worst massacres of Indians in America would do much to heal the wounds and to open the doors of reconciliation.
Giago tells ICTMN he wants the endeavor to be overseen by the nine tribes as a way to heal, not to capitalize.
Those interested in donating or learning more can visit – http://www.wounded-knee.com/
Follow Vincent Schilling on Twitter –@VinceSchilling