Sunday, March 31, 2013
Sunday Smorgasboard (II)
Another NYT article that caught my eye is the controversial sale of 40 acres in remote South Dakota. The kicker is that it contains the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. The present owner, a non-Indian named James A. Czywczynski of Rapid City, has owned the property for 45 years and wishes to sell. In his defense, he has tried to sell it to the Sioux nation in the past. The tribal leadership was divided and deeply in debt, however, and no agreement was ever reached (of course, many in the tribe are galled, rightly, that they would have to purchase this site.) The cash-strapped Sioux would do so now, if not for the fact that Czywczynski is asking $3,900,000 for the 40-acre plot. And so, this episode fits nicely into the entire narrative of American-Indian relations, where greed and dispossession go hand in hand.