Land at Wounded Knee for sale

    1:22 PM, Feb 18, 2013   |    comments
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    PINE RIDGE RESERVATION, SD (CBS/KELO) -- Wounded Knee is a name and place synonymous with bloodshed and violence. It's the location of an 1890 massacre that some estimates say killed up to 300 Sioux Indians. Now, that land is up for sale.

    On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation nearly everybody has some connection to the terrible tragedy that happened at Wounded Knee.

    "My grandfather found a boy on that land and he said the mother of that child was in that ravine," 92-year-old Lakota elder Marie Randall said.

    There is a mass grave where massacre victims are buried. But the field where much of the killing took place is privately owned.

    "I was 32-years-old when I purchased Wounded Knee and it's been over 40 years since 1973 that I've been trying to sell this property, and now the time has come that I'm going to do it," land owner James Czywczynski said.

    Czywczynski bought the land in 1968 along with a series of cabins, museum, and general store. But five years later, during the American Indian Movement occupation of Wounded Knee that all changed.

    "They burned the museum to the ground, they burned my home to the ground, everything of my children's, the trading post, I had built a brand new trading post," Czywczynski said.

    The 74-year-old wants to sell the land to the Oglala Sioux Tribe for $3.9 million and that's not setting well with tribal members.

    "He got the idea, well I have that parcel of land there. I'm going to sell that to the Lakota people. It's our land already," Randall said.

    "They don't have to buy it, they already own it. But that's not true, so I'm going to sell it this year, very shortly," Czywczynski said.

    Czywczynski is meeting with tribal officials next week. But if a deal can't be reached the property goes on the open market.

    A tribal appraisal puts the value of the land at under $10,000 but Cyzwczynski believes that the historical significance of the site makes his asking price reasonable.

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