Native Sun News: Man working to restore Wounded Knee site

The following story was written and reported by Karin Eagle, Native Sun staff writer All content © Native Sun News.

The Wounded Knee Memorial has been neglected for many years until Tribal member steps in to restore it.

WOUNDED KNEE, SOUTH DAKOTA – On a cold, windy morning, the mass grave site of the victims of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre is lonely and desolate.

The grave itself is surrounded by a cemetery, and backed by a log cabin church. Trash blows in from the surrounding area, empty beer boxes blowing up against and getting hung up on the chain link fence. There is little honor and reverence to be found in what should be the most revered site of the Lakota people.

With a strong mind and a generous heart, one Oglala man has taken on the responsibility of caring for the resting place of those victims of such a tragic and devastating event in the history of the Lakota people. Julian Brown Eyes, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and owner of Competitive Masonry out of Rapid City, has taken the initiative in redoing the brick area surround the mass grave.

Donating all the materials needed as well as asking his employees, all Natives, to volunteer for such a poignant task, the renovation is being done at no cost to the descendants or the tribes who have people buried there.

Brown Eye’s has invited his own daughter, up and coming singer and guitarist as well as model and photographer, Juliana Brown Eyes, of Scatter Their Own, to document the project in its entirety. Julian Brown Eyes has stated that he is not doing this for any recognition, and does not want a big fuss made of it, but is doing this for the honor of the people who had fled the US Government to avoid imprisonment, and instead met their deaths, elders, women and children alike, unarmed, ill and brutally murdered.

(Contact Karin Eagle at

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