Giving Back to Wounded Knee Foundation

August 27, 2012


Wounded Knee Massacre Site For Sale
Cindy Hicks-Orth, Director of Giving Back to Wounded Knee Foundation, gave a presentation about the 1890 Massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota at the Ransom Library in Plainwell on August 16, 20l2. There was standing room only as the topic interested many, and the presentation was very well received.

Hicks-Orth is concerned that the “taking away” of the cultural heritage of the Ogalala Sioux is still going on. She recently learned that the Wounded Knee massacre site is up for sale, as is the very sacred Pe Sla, an area in the Black Hills of South Dakota, just west of Rapid City.

While the Wounded Knee Massacre occurred over 100 years ago, the place is still fresh in the minds of the people who live there. The actual massacre site is located twelve miles from the village of Pine Ridge on the Pine Ridge Reservation, in the District of Wounded Knee.  It contains a mass grave with a marker of listing the names of all of the innocent men, women, and children who were gunned down by the Hotchkiss guns trained on them that cold December morning.   Read the historical account.  The massacre site also has an information shelter with a guide who shows interested visitors a large scrapbook of newspaper articles saved from that date.

“It is good for every traveler when they are in the area to pay their respects, and to understand why this tragedy occurred.  They are witnessing a part of American history that is not covered in the text books,  yet it has not been erased in the hearts and minds of those who live on the Pine Ridge – the Ogala Sioux. It is the equivalent of visiting a civil war battlefield like Gettysburg,” said Cindy Hicks-Orth.

Pe’ Sla Land For Sale
The land, almost 2,000 acres of Pe’ Sla is privately owned and contains five tracts of 300 to 400 acres. There is concern that the land could be developed for commercial or residential use by developers and that the state of South Dakota would build a road through the middle of this sacred land.  The auction date was set for August 25, and then was “cancelled”.  The seven bands of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Oyate (people) aka Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) have a collective effort to buy as much as Pe’ Sla as they can, although they believe the land cannot be owned and the sacred places were illegally taken by the United States.  Yet, they are working within the current U.S. laws to regain custody of their sacred and stolen sites, and prevent future road and industrial development

The Pe’ Sla land is revered because at certain times of the year when the stars align,  The Lakota People pray at Pe’Sla. They cannot go elsewhere to pray. As a people they were meant to pray here.  Many generations of their ancestors prayed here too.  The Lakota People’s sacred ways must be protected and passed on to their future generations so that their children may live. Many believe the area should be designated as a national historic site as this area of the Paha Sapa (Black Hills) is also home to many plants and animals who need to be protected.

President Theodore Roosevelt designated much of the American West to the protection of National Historic Parks ~ Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, the Little Big Horn, and Yosemite National Park, among many.  Will President Obama be moved to similar action?

There is a talented group of bright young Lakota lawyers, and professional Native People that are dedicated to the promotion of education, health, leadership and sovereignty among their Indigenous Nations.  Sara Jumping Eagle has created a petition calling on President Barack Obama and Secretary Ken Salazar and the State of South Dakota to save this sacred Sioux land by designating it as a historical landmark or nature preserve. Sign the petition. 

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has designated $50,000.00 for the purpose pf purchasing Pe’Sla land.  Yet, many of the Sioux Tribes continue to exist in poverty and do not have a thriving casino basis economy as the media may portray.  Learn more. 


Cindy Hicks-Orth
Giving Back To Wounded Knee Foundation, Inc.

Email: for more information about our not-for-profit foundation!



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