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.
The Wounded Knee sale has stirred up quite a bit of controversy from Native Americans who fear the land will be sold to a commercial developer. The area, which is the last known burial ground of Chief Crazy Horse, was the site of a vicious massacre in 1890.
Although Czywczynski has attempted to sell the property to local tribes over the past 30 years, he claims no one was interested until he decided to open up the sale to developers.
Former Cheyenne River Sioux chairman Joseph Brings Plenty is worried about what will become of the land if it ends up in the hands of someone with commercial interests. He previously asked the Obama administration to purchase the property in order to preserve it as a national monument.
“For 30 years he’s been trying to sell it to the tribes. He’s sent letters to tribal leaders and to congressmen. He’s never gotten anyone to bite. It’s only this time, when he put a deadline on it, that the story has taken off,” explained Native Sun News managing editor Brandon Ecoffey.
If the Oglala Sioux tribe wants to save Wounded Knee from a commercial fate, then they will need to fork over around $4 million to secure the land. While Czywczynski originally told tribes they had until Wednesday (May 1) to come up with the money, he said he is willing to extend the offer for at least a month.
Bureau of Indian Affairs has estimated that the land is worth only $7,000. However, the seller believes the historical value of the property makes it much more valuable. Czywczynski explained that if tribes cannot afford his asking price, then he intends to open the sale up to anybody who has the cash.
What do you think about pending sale of Wounded Knee?
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]