Wounded Knee Landowners Reply To Wasichu's Proposal
Part 2


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 their respects?

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 history and 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 else?

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 the Fort Laramie 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 lands?

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 descendant?

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 NO responsibility.

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 Advisory Commission.

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 the Tribe.

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 appointment.

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, operate, maintain, and replace such an amphitheater. Further, the Lakota people do not wish to have the Francis Jansen 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 sculpture.

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 Sioux).

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 such sums.

22.5 Section 12:
As a great deal of land is currently in dispute per the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, shouldn't this Bill be shelved until such dispute is settled? (end of comments)

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 Congress.

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 played against 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 children kidnapped 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, Part 1

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