Open Letter to the American Indian Movement
March 12, 2016
To: The Grassroots - American Indian Movement (AIM GGC) of Rapid City, S.D.
Fr: James R. Swan, United Urban Warrior Society, Rapid City, S.D.
Subject: Wounded Knee Deal with the Devil land issue
On behalf of the Wounded Knee Community, the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council and Decedents of The Wounded Knee Massacre. We are asking, AIM Grassroots, (member AIM GGC), to stand with us in solidarity against this deal with the Devil at the Wounded Knee site. We feel that this is a big issue and it will require the help and support of all of us. As you may or may not know Tim Giago (Native Sun News), and his attorney Mario Gonzales are soliciting funds to the public to donate 3.8 Million dollars so they can purchase 40-acres of sacred land from a white man that we feel this sacred ground and being held hostage for the said amount. Tim and his cohorts are supported by mostly non-native and from the same group of people seeking Moneys from the Black Hills also known as the ‘Black Hills Initiative”. There are lots of questions in regards to what transpired over the years involving the 40-acres of land at the Wounded Knee Memorial Site. We hope this letter will get people thinking and involved in this land issue over one of our (Lakota’s) most Sacred Site, surrounded by controversy.
Currently there is a non-Indian (White Guy) who owes 40-acres of land at this sacred site smack in the middle of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. How can this be? The Treaties say this is illegal and should not be. In 2010, the government signed The United Nations Declaration of the Indigenous People. Under that Declaration WE have the right for return of our lands back, this is Indian land. By selling it to anyone other than the native people you are breaking yet another treaty. https://www.iltf.org/resources/land-tenure-history/allotment . The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 proclaimed: "BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and house of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all non citizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are hereby, declared to be citizens of the United States: Provided That the granting of such citizenship shall not in any manner impair or otherwise affect the right of any Indian to tribal or other property. (Approved June 2, 1924)" 1924 The Indian citizenship Act of 1924...That Granting shall “NOT IMPAIR OR DEPRIVE or AFFECT” the Right of any Indian to Tribal or other Property... The key is in these...and our status as being Native is Valid...so, WE have the Right to assert and address this. Who is involved and how is a Historical Land Mark even being toyed with by a FOREIGNER!>?? How? We will Petition the Superintendent of the BIA on this matter. Maybe seek an injunction and get a Cease and Desist ordered to halt all transactions until an investigation is completed. Questions: How is the Oglala Sioux Tribe involved in this? Who authorized this deal? How did this person acquire this land? Is BIA Agent/Superintendent behind this? What is going on here? How is this white man asking 3.8 million dollars for 40-acres of land? What is the fair market value of the other property’s in the same area or other lands within the reservation? Should the tribe claim Eminent Domain on this? What about our relatives from the other reservations who have ancestor’s buried here? General Allotment Act...Indian Reorganization Act...Understanding that anything of or about relating to our land passes through BIA and reviewed by the Department of Interior. This clearly needs Some Serious ATTENTION! They are using the Dawes Act, to justify the bogus land deal. ...But it is only an ACT! Bottom line: They treaty is still first! It’s the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND...and an ACT cannot override the TREATU. The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2) establishes that the Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it and TREATIES made under its authority, Constitute the SUPREME LAW of The Land. It provides that STATE COURTS ARE BOUND BY THE SUPREME LAW; in case of conflict between Federal and State Law, the Federal Law MUST BE APPLIED. Even State Constitutions are subordinate to Federal Law. The Federal Government possesses only the Supreme authority accorded it by their Constitution. By U.S. Treaty Agreement with the Sioux...the Whiteman cannot own our lands. This is getting out of control ... Land and Jurisdiction is the Primary purpose of Interest here... Jurisdiction is a matter for sure! And Jurisdiction is “KEY” We must come together to seek out the truth! Our Most Sacred Ground is again being held hostage by Power and greed by the Whiteman. Maybe it all started here: The original land owners, Good Medicines, a brother and sister sold these 40 acres immediately after their mother died......what astounds me is that the brother and sister were each paid $1,000.00 ea....... even the U.S. President at the time approved of the sale! We have documents that prove this. $3.8 Million to a White Man for Wounded Knee?...NO WAY! How sad Tim Giago (Mario Gonzales is involved), is promoting the Commercialization of Wounded Knee! I wonder if he has consulted the relatives of those buried there first?....and why would he pay 3.8 Million for land owned by a white man smack in the middle of a reservation?...Something wrong here! United Urban Warrior Society will NOT support this!....Assimilation at its best! Giago stated; “I signed an agreement to be the sole purchaser of Wounded Knee. The reason is that it has been sitting there idle and doing nothing for over 40 years.” Then he stated; “I said the land would be put into trust for all of the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation.” There is MAJOR Questions here about Giago's true motivation and intent here. If purchase does occur, who is he planning on holding it in trust with? The Federal Government???? When you start looking at this deal it starts to smell.
After Wounded Knee '73 old Gildersleeve sold this to Czwyczynski for $ 20,000. Now this brings up 2 questions. 1). How the heck did Gildersleeve ever get a clear title to those 40 acres anyway? According to the 1868 treaty a Whiteman cannot own land within the boundaries of the reservation! unless he is married to a Native who is an enrolled member, and according to Treaty if a Lakota woman marries a whiteman, she moves with him and it does not give any whiteman the PREVILEDGE to be an immediate member of the tribe and benefit from her, however, when she dies it goes to her family NOT the white guy! The Gildersleeve illegally sold this land and the Oglala Sioux Tribe should fight this and retain the land! From what I have been told the BIA made this mistake and hasn’t got the balls to fight it! Or being paid off to look the other way! 2). Why is Giago willing to pay $ 3,900,000? That's MILLION dollars for something that sold for $ 20,000. In the 1970’s? Trust me; he's greasing his and Mario’s palm somehow on this deal. Mario Gonzales is involved here we know its about money and this alone draws many RED FLAGS! What about the other land owners around this site? What is their input? From what I have been told they are not happy about this deal either. I have been told that Tim Giago has never done anything for the Memorial at Wounded Knee. Back in 1973 he supported Dick Wilson’s regime. Dick & his goons used Tim's paper “Lakota Times" to trash and condemn AIM & murder our people at that time. So, Mr. Giago has blood on his hands. It is well known that Tim Giago has attacked and wrote stories against the American Indian Movement “Blaming them for firebombing his news paper‘s office in Pine Ridge”. He has also spoken against Leonard Peltier, slamming those who would support him. Giago says: he has already created a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called the National Historic Site of Wounded Knee Inc.
There is a Wounded Knee Memorial already there at the site! But because it is associated to The American Indian Movement he will not support it nor recognize it. (Own by the Fire Lighting Tiospaye!) Giago stated: “My attorney is Mario Gonzalez, who is Oglala Lakota, and he will be putting together the trust for all the tribes”. Scared of this! Mario has been removed from the Lakota Treaty Council years ago when the Treaty Council was fighting for the Black Hills Claim, and has been involved in several scams to get money from the Black Hills! Giago has also talked with former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle in Washington, D.C., and several friends in New York City to begin fundraising efforts in Washington, DC and New York. (This boils my blood! Why would we ask the same Government who massacred our people in cold blood and still honor 18-medals of honor to the soldiers who killed innocent woman and children at this site!) Giago said: “Can you imagine a really beautiful Holocaust Museum and a big trade pavilion for Indian artisans and craftspeople? They could set up booths year-round and sell their arts and crafts to the tourists. We would have tourists come from all over the world and stay in Rapid City go to the restaurants and hotels, Take buses to Wounded Knee, It would create over 200 jobs For the people down there. It would be also a boost financially to Rapid City, South Dakota”. Are you kidding me? Here is the true motive right here! He said it in his own words! Why would we want to boost Rapid City and not Pine Ridge? A little side note here folks! In all this talk there has been NO mention of those Murdered here! Yet, Giago is selling T-Shirts online using the infamous cemetery arch on his t-shirts.
Those Ancestors buried there are not all Oglala’s they are Miniconju’s and Hunkpapa’s From Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Have their relatives been asked about this? And are they involved? They must have a say in this matter! “United Urban Warrior Society” doesn’t support this at all and will stand with those who oppose it! This land should be returned back to the tribe or to the original descendents. If sold be sold at a fair market value…and ANYONE wanting to build a memorial on this sacred ground must have the approval of the families of those buried there and an agreement with landowners nearby! As well as an agreement to include or support the Wounded Knee Take over in 1973! Without prejudice!
When I first posted that we would not support this, I received this response from Time Giago! “Hi James. I am sorry you are so angry that I have set out to buy the lands around Wounded Knee. I think this is a time we should all pull together. My feelings about AIM and Leonard Peltier should have nothing to do with what we are trying to accomplish. There is no one who has worked harder to save the Black Hills than Mario Gonzalez. He litigated for the Black Hills in 1980 before the Supreme Court and the Hills would have been assumed purchased if he had not represented several tribes in litigating this action. The preservation of the Wounded Knee site is of historic importance and as I said the land would be put into trust for all of the tribes of the Great Sioux Nation. What is wrong with that? I need your help and not your anger”, Tim.
In closing Mario Gonzalez did not! Litigate for the Black Hills in 1980 before the Supreme Court! It was the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council and the Lakota Treaty Council, who at the time he worked for and was asked by the elders to do this! They dismissed him because he was scamming moneys and have since been caught a couple times with his hands in the cookie jar! This is a bad deal! Why would we keep buying our own lands back from the white people at 10 times the value when it still belongs to us as per the 1868 Treaty! Something wrong here people! Think about it! Then to turn around and ask us to chip in when our people and community’s are some of the poorest in the Nation? Hecetu Welo, Mitakuyepi, nis inyan tankunl iyapo!
James R. Swan -
United Urban Warrior Society 3/12/2016
P.O. Box 14 Rapid City, SD 57701-0014
P.S. Here is a link to our petition to stop this deal with the devil. We have made our goal of 5,000 signatures. https://www.change.org/p/national-historic-site-of-wounded-knee-inc-3-9-million-to-a-white-man-for-wounded-knee-no-way?recruiter=1213932&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive