Wounded Knee Landowners Reply To Wasichu's
10.3 Section 4(b)(2)(D)(v):
What important archeological and paleontological sites? If the area is
to be maintained in 1890s condition, there can be no digging. The Lakota
people will be highly insulted and bring legal action against any such
digging. This paragraph is of much concern to us. What happens if one of
your archaeologists claims to have discovered Crazy Horse's alleged
burial site? Who will verify the identity of any remains uncovered in
your diggings? If it should be determined that it actually is Crazy
Horse, will his remains and any articles buried with him be returned to
the Lakota people or will they have to go to the Smithsonian to pay
10.6 Section 4(b)(2)(D)(vi):
What "visitor use facilities"? If the land is to be maintained
in 1890s condition, these facilities are non-existent. If this refers to
the commercial development referred to previously, the Lakota people
must be permitted to pick the sites for such facilities and how
extensive they shall be. For example, the Lakota people will not want a
recreational facility such as the one being built by Kevin Costner in
Deadwood on their land. Who decides what percentage of employees will be
members of the Lakota Nation? Who decides what types of jobs they will
be given? We will not accept being 100%
of the janitorial staff and that is all.
10.10 Section 4(b)(2)(D)(vii):
Who decides how much the entrance fee shall be? Who decides who shall be
exempt from said entrance fee? Will tribal members not be allowed access
to their religious sites because they cannot afford the entrance fee?
What happens to any such moneys so collected? Will the Tribe be given a
percentage since it is their land being held in trust
and so administered? What about entrance fees for the cultural center,
museum, and amphitheater?
10.12 Section 4(b)(2)(E):
"Advisory Commission" - who decides which tribal members shall
be on it? Will it automatically go to the tribal council or will the
tribe be allowed to vote on it?
10.15 Section 4(c):
This entire section is objectionable. Why must the land be held in
trust? Is the Tribe no capable enough to run their own land? This is a
clear case of
Manifest Destiny in
practice and we are intensely insulted by its implications.
11.2 Section 4(d)(1):
Who decides if the Tribes need the so-called Technical Assistance? Will
it be the Advisory Commission? The National park Service? The tribal
council? Can the advise be ignored or will requesting (or being
arbitrarily given) advice create an obligation to follow the
government's recommended course of action?
11.6 Section 4(d)(2):
"...Secretary may employ..." (emphasis added). Means not
necessarily. Who will really get these jobs and where will they live?
11.11 Section 4(d)(2)(A):
Again, who decides the
education to be disseminated at these sites? Will the Lakota Nation be
given censure privileges?
11.15 Section 4(d)(2)(B):
We reiterate: why do we need the government to interpret, manage,
protect, and preserve sites we have had stewardship of for more than 100
years? Who has decided that we are incapable of taking care of our own
historic sites, sites that mean much more to the Lakota than to anyone
12.3 Section 5(a):
Why would the Lakota Nation be required to "purchase" land it
already owns? What about the lands that are in dispute with reference to
Treaty? Define more specifically the term "...or in other
manner" as stated in this line. This point
really has landowners and residents nervous. This reservation has a
history of bloodshed and violence. The people are concerned that they
will be forced (possibly at gunpoint - the so-called "other
manner") to vote for Tribal Council preferences or sell their land
as dictated by the Council. Will the government take full and
unequivocal responsibility to ascertain the fair, just, and legal
treatment of each and every landowner and/or resident involved? Do the
words "in other manner" mean eminent domain or condemnation?
Exactly what will happen if a landowner is unwilling to sell?
12.7 Section 5(a)(1):
We are concerned that the issuance of the rights requested in this
paragraph will result in undesirable mining or other commercial
activities without the permission of the specific landowner. There must
be limits set on the fee-patent or trustholder.
12.10 Section 5(a)(2):
Define "...those tribes...". Will this be the Cheyenne River
Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribe only or will members of any other
tribes resident on the reservation be considered. Can this be used as a
precedent for similar treatment to sacred sites on other reservation
12.13 Section 5(b):
Define "Financial Assistance". Will the assistance be in the
form of a grant, loan, gift? What would be the terms for payoff of such
assistance? In any case, a clause must be added to the so-called
Cooperative Agreements stating that the lands held in trust for the
Tribes cannot be confiscated by the government in lieu of repayment for
any so-called financial assistance.
12.18 Section 6:
This whole section refers to the Tribe or designated agency or authority
managing the unit belonging to the specific Tribe. Who decides who is a
designated agency or authority? Does this section refer to the tribal
councils of each Tribe or will new representatives be elected? Or, on
the other hand, does it refer to the National Park Service or some other
governmental agency being assigned managerial duties as the designated
agency or authority?
13.22 Section 7(a)(1):
"...constructed by the Secretary after consultation with an
advisory committee that the Secretary shall appoint...." Will this
committee be Lakota or non-Indian? Will the Lakota have any say in what
monuments are placed on their land or where they are placed? Again, why
isn't the monument now standing satisfactory? We are satisfied with it.
14.1 Section 7(a)(1)(A) through (C):
Who are these groups? Can we be provided with names and addresses of
their members? Are descendants who are no longer active members of the
Tribes being considered? Are these groups being compensated for their
consultation services? By who? Why only Minneconjou Sioux? Chief Spotted
Elk's group had taken in members of Sitting Bull's people
who had fled after his assassination and members of Crazy Horse's band.
Those people (i.e., Hunkpapas, Crow, Cree, etc.) were involved in the
Massacre, so shouldn't their descendants be consulted? Will we be
provided with proof that any so-called descendant actually is a direct
14.7 Section 7(a)(2):
This whole section is objectionable. We are given no say over the
content or design for the monuments referred to in this Bill, yet we are
given the responsibility of administering their construction and
placement. This is absurd, unconstitutional, and ill-advised. No ethnic
group in this country would agree to such terms. This must be removed or
rewritten. Either we have full responsibility (which we would prefer) or
14.17 Section 7(a)(2):
Please immediately provide us with a copy of the Indian
Self-Determination Act referred to in this line.
14.22 Section 7(b)(1)(A):
Who establishes and marks the route taken? Who verifies this? What
happens to this land? Will it be paved? Will commercial development take
place alongside it? Will there be efforts to maintain the environmental
conditions (i.e., plants and local wildlife)?
15.1 Section 7(b)(1)(B):
This paragraph contradicts the stated goal of maintaining the land in
1890s conditions. Visitor information and orientation centers did not
exist in 1890. If this center is built, who maintains it? Who will be
employed there? Who decides what information will be disseminated? What
orientation is necessary?
15.4 Section 7(b)(2):
A full, true copy of this Report must be made available to the Lakota
people. When findings are submitted to Congress, will opponents to the
Bill be allowed to submit their point of view to Congress? Will
disagreements with the findings be entertained?
15.12 Section 8(a):
Please provide us with a list of the names and contract information for
persons currently serving on the Wounded Knee National Tribal Park
15.19 Section 8(b):
What happens if the Tribes do not come to terms with the Secretary
and/or National Park Service on a Cooperative Agreement? Will an
arbitrator be appointed? Who decides which arbitrator? How many dissents
will the Tribes be allowed? The terminology in line 15.24 ("...or
any designated agency or authority...") is not acceptable. We
request that a majority vote of all adult members of the Tribe be
required to designate any such agency or authority. This is a reasonable
request in light of the past history of feuding between Tribal Council
and traditional members of the Tribe.
At whose expense and where will such consultations take place?
16.3 Section 8(c):
This is unacceptable. The Commission should be for a finite period with
regularly scheduled reviews by a Tribe-appointed auditor to ensure that
the lands held in trust are being administered in the best interest of
16.19 Section 8(d)(4):
Which chairman of the Wounded Knee Subcommunity Council? There are
currently two people claiming that title.
16.22 Section 8(d)(5):
Why is the White Clay Community Council Chairman being appointed to the
Commission? Does the National Park Service anticipate that lands as far
away as the White Clay District will be appropriated?
17.20 Section 8(d)(14)(ii):
Why are the governor and historic preservation officer of the State of
Nebraska being appointed to the Commission? Are lands in Nebraska going
to be included in the Park?
17.22 Section 8(e):
We would like to respectfully request that the period of time for each
acting chairman of the Commission be extended to a minimum of two years
or a maximum of three years. We feel that the period of one year will
not allow the acting chairman enough time to get comfortable in the
position and effect any changes.
18.7 Section 8(f):
We would like to respectfully request that a procedure be set forth in
its entirety for concerned parties to challenge decisions made by the
Commission and effect results if it is a challenge made by a majority of
adult Tribal members.
18.16 Section 8(g):
Will the Administrative Director be Lakota? Again, please set forth in
its entirety a procedure for concerned parties to challenge said
19.8 Section 8(g)(2):
How large will this staff be? What percentage will be Lakota? Where will
the office be - in Wounded Knee or in Washington, D.C.?
19.16 Section 8(h)(i):
Who pays these expenses? If the Lakota Nation is responsible for these
payments, there must be a monthly cap placed on them which is approved
by a majority of the adult members of the Tribes.
20.22 Section 9(b)(1):
Since the Park Service is necessitating the expenditure of any funds
with respect to the formation of this National Park and all services
connected thereto, the Park Service shall be responsible for all
obligation, costs, and fees for professional services related directly
or indirectly to the development or establishment of the Park.
21.5 Section 9(b)(2)(A):
An amphitheater is not needed or wanted on Wounded
Knee lands. One was not present in 1890; therefore, the Park Service
cannot justify requiring the Lakota people to build such a structure.
However, should this Bill pass with this requirement, the Lakota Nation
now and forever disavows any obligation to plan, design, construct,
maintain, and replace such an amphitheater. Further, the Lakota people
do not wish to have the
sculpture as part of this Bill. The people were not consulted about
this sculpture and no one connected with the Wounded Knee community or
actual landowners authorized such a sculpture. Should the Park Service
insist on locating
the sculpture on Wounded Knee lands, the Lakota Nation now and forever
disavows any obligation to maintain, protect, and/or preserve such
21.11 Section 9(b)(2)(B):
Define "other project". The term is too broad and needs to be
made more specific. Are you referring to projects with respect to the
Park or any project the Tribes may undertake which does not affect the
Park? It needs to be narrowed, also, to reflect that no one section of
any tribe may issue mineral leases (outside of existing parameters) or
effect any type of "project" which does not follow now-current
regulations without the express written approval of a majority of the
adult members of that particular Tribe (Cheyenne River Sioux or Oglala
21.23 Section 11:
What is the bottom-line dollar amount of such appropriations? Who is
responsible for said appropriations? Who shall administer such
appropriations? Who shall have the responsibility of properly
distributing any and all sums due to all Tribal members?
A procedure should be set out in its entirety for the distribution of
such sums and for grievances against the procedure or administrator of
22.5 Section 12:
As a great deal of land is currently in dispute per the Fort Laramie
shouldn't this Bill be shelved until such dispute is settled? (end of
Should this Bill be passed and no veto issued by the Office of the
President, exactly what will happen and in what time frame? For example,
will the landowners be moved within six weeks, six months, six years?
Please note that nowhere in this Bill is the amount of the acreage to be
annexed into the Park stated. We hereby demand that the National Park
Service immediately deliver to us detailed maps of all proposed sites
with boundaries, usages, and total acreage of land clearly marked. Those
are the points we would like to specifically raise and
have addressed. Please understand that the landowners of Wounded Knee
have not been consulted or advised on any of the above by Tribal Council
or governmental agencies. We further believe that we are being denied
our rights by being denied the opportunity to address our concerns to
No other ethnic group in this country has had to address concerns that
the Native Americans have had to address. No other ethnic group has
continually had their burial grounds desecrated. No other ethnic groups
has been continually
one another as the Native Americans have. No other ethnic group has had
to be violently confronted on its home ground and have the government
lie continually in order to get what it feels is the best of the poor
Indians. No other ethnic group has been shunted to unwanted areas,
forced to live in extreme poverty, been denied by law to practice its
religious (even voodoo was never outlawed), had its
by the government and taught to hate their ethnicity.
Given the above, we respectfully request that you seriously consider the
points we have raised and make every effort to open a dialogue with us
regarding our concerns.
Very truly yours,
Wounded Knee Landowners Association
March 20, 1995
Wounded Knee Landowners Association Letter,