On December 29, 1890, at Wounded Knee Creek on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment finally took their revenge against the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes for the Battle of Little Bighorn that took the life of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, and 268 others, 14 years previous. 300 unarmed Indians were surrounded by the 7th at Wounded Knee and summarily shot. 25 of the 7th were killed by friendly fire. The “Indian Wars” had finally come to a bloody conclusion at Wounded Knee massacre.
Today, 123 years later, the killing land of Wounded Knee — and site of the 1973 occupation by the American Indian Movement — is up for sale.
The current White Man owner wants $3.9 million for the bloody burial ground. The Oglala Sioux say they want to buy the land back for its historical value to their culture, but the land is small and barren and only worth $7,000.00USD.
The White Man says if he doesn’t get his price from the Sioux by May 1, 2013, he will auction the land to the highest bidder. The Oglala Sioux tribe are already $60 million in debt.
The sale of Wounded Knee raises an uncomfortable questions about the historical role of the U.S. government stealing land from the Indian tribes as the Wild West was settled. The illegal immigrants in the 1800s who came in and took over middle America were White Soldiers from the East, and they stole the land from under the Native Americans using bribes and baubles — and gunfire, when necessary — against those who refused to obey and move.
The history of the Indian Wars is one of despair and genocide that was fully pardoned, excused, and executed by the government of the United States against an entire people.
Perhaps the U.S. government should finally do the right thing and buy Wounded Knee and give it back to the Oglala Sioux as the start of an apology. Let the Sioux have the burial ground again. Allow them to sanctify the land as they wish. Wounded Knee should never be risked in our popular memory to become grounds for a casino or a business development sold to the highest bidder at public auction.
Little Bighorn is preserved as a National Park, and so, too, should Wounded Knee.