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Forum Home - Go Back > General > Native Life > News Landowner asks $3.9M for part of Wounded Knee site Landowner asks $3.9M for part of Wounded Knee site

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Old 02-24-2013, 07:24 AM   #1
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Landowner asks $3.9M for part of Wounded Knee site

http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articl...nded-knee-site

By KRISTI EATON, Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — One of the country's poorest Native American tribes wants to buy a historically significant piece of land where 300 of their ancestors were killed, but tribal leaders say the nearly $4 million price tag for a property appraised at less than $7,000 is just too much.

James Czywczynski is trying to sell a 40-acre fraction of the Wounded Knee National Historic Landmark on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The land sits adjacent to a gravesite where about 150 of the 300 Lakota men, women and children killed by the 7th Cavalry in 1890 are buried.

Czywczynski, whose family has owned the property since 1968, recently gave the tribe an ultimatum: purchase the land for $3.9 million or he will open up bidding to non-Native Americans. He said he has been trying to sell the land to the tribe for years.

The ultimatum comes right before the tribe is poised to receive about $20 million from the Cobell lawsuit— a $3.4 billion settlement stemming from a class-action lawsuit filed over American Indian land royalties mismanaged by the government for more than a century.

"I think it's ridiculous that he's putting a price on it like that," said Kevin Yellow Bird Steele, a tribal council representative from the Wounded Knee district, who thinks Czywczynski is putting pressure on the tribe because of the impending money. "We need to come down to earth and be realistic. We're not rich. We're not a rich tribe."

Czywczynski insists the site's historical significance adds value.

Along with its proximity to the burial grounds, the land includes the site of a former trading post burned down during the 1973 Wounded Knee uprising, in which hundreds of American Indian Movement protesters occupied the town built at the site of the 1890 massacre. The 71-day standoff that left two tribal members dead and a federal agent seriously wounded is credited with raising awareness about Native American struggles and giving rise to a wider protest movement that lasted the rest of the decade.

Czywczynski, who also is trying to sell another 40-acre piece of nearby land to the tribe for $1 million, also noted a coalition of Sioux tribes raised $9 million in December to buy land about 100 miles away in the Black Hills — although the Oglala Sioux Tribe did not contribute to that effort.

"I'm getting older now and my family and myself want to dispose of this property," said Czywczynski, 75, who now lives in Rapid City. "We just want to see it in the hands of the Indian people rather than put it on the open market to the public."

Craig Dillon, a tribal council member on the Land Committee, said he would like to see the tribe buy the land at Wounded Knee because then they could build a museum commemorating the massacre with artifacts, food vendors and a place for local artists to sell their art to visitors.

"But with the price the way it is, I don't think the tribe could ever buy it," Dillon said.

___

Follow Kristi Eaton on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kristieaton

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:33 PM   #2
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That's ridiculous! Shame on him! What a greedy gut!
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by neling4 View Post
That's ridiculous! Shame on him! What a greedy gut!
Yes Neling4, I do agree with you!
It's ashame to make money on a place with so much sufferening!!!!
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:30 PM   #4
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Ultimatum Set on Wounded Knee sale

Wounded Knee site goes on auction block May 1

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The owner of the two 40 acre parcels of land where the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre occurred, and where members of the American Indian Movement took on the federal government for 71 days in 1973, has set a final date for the tribe to purchase the land.

During an exclusive interview with Native Sun News, James Czywcznski, the owner of the land and the man who shook Indian Country two weeks ago with his announcement that he was putting the site up for sale at a price of $3.9 million, says that this is the only way that he will be able to get the land sold.

“I really have no choice but to place a timeline on when I want to sell the land,” said Czywcznski. “I feel like I am giving the tribe ample opportunity to buy it, but I may have to put it up for auction on the open market,” he added.

Czywcznski informed Native Sun News that he will give the Oglala Sioux Tribe or other Native American groups until May 1, 2013, to purchase the land. After May 1, he will begin to entertain offers from prospective buyers from all over the world.

“There have been people and organizations from across America who have attempted to contact me about purchasing the land, but I want to give the tribe every opportunity to buy it prior to me reaching out to those outside of the Native American community,” said Czywcznski. “This is a piece of history, and it is extremely difficult to put a dollar amount on what has occurred there,” he added.

The land where arguably the most atrocious single act of genocide in American military history took place, and also where the American Indian Movement cemented itself in to the folklore of the American civil rights movement has been appraised by a local official as being worth only $7,000 dollars, which is significantly less than the $3.9 million price tag that Czywcznski, has placed on the land.

However, Czywcznski responds to this appraisal by citing the significant historical events that have occurred there as something that the appraiser failed to consider when determining the monetary value of the land.

“We are looking at two historical events that happened at the site; the first being the horrible events that took place in 1890, and then there is the takeover by the American Indian Movement in 1973,” he said. “The before and after effects of those two incidents add value to the land that must be taken into account. You cannot place a dollar amount on history,” Czywcznski said.

Since Native Sun News broke the story that the land was for sale, word of the sale has gone global with the eyes of the world now turning towards the highly impoverished homelands of the Oglala Lakota. Tribal officials have stated that the asking price is just too high for the tribe to buy the land at its current price, and have said they might be interested in buying the land back if the price was lower.

“I am simply looking to get fair market value for the land. Demand plays a big part in the price of anything and this is a place where two historical events took place,”Czywcznski said.

There has been speculation that the tribe could use money from the Cobell settlement that recently awarded $3.4 billion to tribes from the federal government for the historical mismanagement of trust accounts held on behalf of tribes by the government.

A portion of the $3.4 billion was set aside for tribes to buy back highly fractionalized trust lands. A story released by the Associated Press reported that $20 million dollars was set to be awarded to the tribe. However, the amount is actually much higher. The Oglala Sioux Tribe is projected to receive somewhere in the range of $126 million dollars according to a report released by the Department of Interior as a result of the high number of fractionalized land interests on the reservation. The money is specifically earmarked for the buyback of fractionalized trust lands. The land owned by Czywcznski does not fall in to this category.

There have been reports from other news outlets that have speculated about the intentions of Czywcznski, however he asserts that this is the first time he has made public his decision to implement time restraints on the purchase of the land.

“I have not spoken with anyone about this yet, I am not sure where they are getting some of these reports saying that I have put a solid ultimatum on the tribe or anyone else. I haven’t done anything like that until now,” he said. “I have come to the decision that this is the best way to get the ball moving and I really hope that the land will end up in the hands of Native people. However, if nothing works out I have no choice but to auction the land at some point,” Czywcznski added.

Republished with permission of Native Sun News


Source: Ultimatum Set on Wounded Knee sale
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:07 PM   #5
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The sale of the historic Native American site Wounded Knee has been extended by at least a month.

James Czywczynski, who came into possession of the property in 1968 through a process called allotment, originally set a deadline for May 1. He recently explained that he’s considering extending the deadline to South Dakota tribes by at least one month.

Read more at
Wounded Knee Sale Extended By At Least A Month
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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Johnny Depp's Wounded Knee offer called generous, but some think it's misguided

LINCOLN — Actor Johnny Depp's offer to pay a multimillion-dollar price tag to restore ownership of the Wounded Knee massacre site to the Oglala Sioux likely won him new fans in Indian country.

Johnny Depp's Wounded Knee offer called generous, but some think it's misguided - Omaha.com

http://www.argusleader.com/article/2...nclick_check=1
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:28 PM   #7
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Johnny Depp Reveals Native American Heritage
Johnny Depp Reveals Native American Heritage

DID YOU KNOW? The Ancestry Of Johnny Depp
Booker Rising: DID YOU KNOW? The Ancestry Of Johnny Depp

What tribe did Johnny Depp`s Native American ancestors come from?
What tribe did Johnny Depp`s Native American ancestors come from? - Yahoo! Answers
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:33 PM   #8
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You know what would be awesome?? If he stopped calling so much attention to himself and instead acted to raise awareness of relevant issues in the Native American community.
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