By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Managing Editor
RAPID CITY — Jim Czywcysnki owner of the National historic site of Wounded Knee has set a final date for the Oglala Sioux tribe or a group connected to the tribe to buy the land. According to Czywczysnki if the tribe wants the land they have until Labor Day, September 2, to get it done.
“I feel that I have given the tribe every opportunity to buy the land or for someone associated with them to do it. They say they have multiple buyers ready to purchase it for them but they have not taken the steps to get it done,” said Czywczysnki. “When I met with President Brewer and the descendants I thought it went well and something would have come from it by then but I have heard nothing.”
The meeting that Czywczysnki referenced took place at the Native Sun News offices in Rapid City nearly a month ago and brought together the landowner, three members of the Hollow Horn family and Oglala Sioux Tribal President Bryan Brewer.
During the meeting President Brewer told Czywcysnki that the tribe did have three groups willing to help the tribe buy the land and that President Brewer would give the donors the green light to go ahead to buy the land at Wounded Knee and Porcupine Butte for the asking price of $4.9 million.
The offer from President Brewer did however come with a stipulation requiring Czywczysnki to turn around and donate half of the cash back to the descendants for the creation of a Wounded Knee memorial museum. At the conclusion of the meeting both parties left under the assumption that a counter offer would be put forth by Czywczysnki to the tribe.
According to the landowner he sent an email and a packet via ground mail to President Brewer two weeks ago with his counter offer.
“The offer that I sent back to the tribe was that they pay the $4.9 million asking price and I will turn the deed to the land over to them. I have a title company ready to go with everything prepared and I am ready to get rid of the land and move on. I don’t want my kids to have to deal with the things I have dealt with over the course of the last thirty years,” said Czywczysnki.
He would go on to say that he has had multiple offers from groups who have said they were working to have the land returned to the Oglala Sioux Tribe once it was purchased.
“I have been approached by people from all over the country who have said they want to purchase the land and donate it to the tribe, but now I have no choice but to open it up to buyers who are not connected with the tribe and if no one steps forward I will have a public auction for the land,” he said. “I have put other potential buyers off while I entertained the groups working on behalf of the tribe, but I can’t wait any longer.”
(Contact Brandon Ecoffey at [email protected])
Copyright permission by Native Sun News