The Oglala Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes have agreed to purchase 40 acres of land near the Wounded Knee National Historic Landmark on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the site of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre.
The land is currently owned by Jeanette Czywczynski, whose late husband James purchased it in 1968, and the agreement ends a decades-long dispute over land.
The Oglala Sioux will pay $255,000 and the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe $245,000 with both petitioning the Interior Department to take the land into trust on behalf of both but with the title held in the name of the Oglala Sioux tribe.
Leaders of both tribes say the purchase of the land is an act of cooperation to ensure the area is preserved as a sacred site.
Oglala Sioux Tribe President Kevin Killer told The Associated Press that “It’s a small step towards healing and really making sure that we as a tribe are protecting our critical areas and assets.”
Killed by the 7th Cavalry at Wounded Knee were more than 200 and possibly over 300 Native Americans, including children and the elderly, from 4 Sioux tribes – Oglala, Standing Rock, Rosebud, and Cheyenne River.
The massacre marked a seminal moment in the frontier battles between the U-S Army and Native American tribes in the western half of the nation. The victims were buried in a mass grave in a nearby Catholic cemetery.