Native Sun News: Tim Giago to buy Wounded Knee massacre site

Tim Giago has set up a trust, to be held by the nine tribes of the Great Sioux Nation, for the purpose of buying the 40 acres where the Wounded Knee Massacre took place 125 years ago. Photo by Kevin Wooster

Giago signs exclusive agreement to buy Wounded Knee land
Will put land in trust for all of the Tribes of the Great Sioux Nation
By Ernestine Chasing Hawk
Native Sun News Editor

The historic site of Wounded Knee is cold and quiet on this day that marks the 125th Anniversary of the massacre that happened on December 29, 1890.

Fresh fallen snow covers the grounds of the burial site and the cold cement of the floor that once was home to the Wounded Knee Trading Post. A lone stone chimney is all that remains of the store that was once busy with Lakota customers shopping, selling goods and laughing at the jokes told in the Lakota language by one of the store clerks, Tim Giago Sr.

As a child, Tim Jr. rode on the back of Joan Gildersleeve’s tricycle on the sidewalks that ran down the street in front of the Trading Post. His father worked as a butcher and sales clerk in the store then owned by Clive and Agnes Gildersleeve. Joan was their only child. Agnes was an Ojibwe lady from Minnesota who married Clive and moved to Wounded Knee in the late 1920s and helped to build the Trading Post.

The Wounded Knee Trading Post housed a United States Post Office and the benches in front of the Post were always filled with Lakota elders enjoying the sun and visiting.

Many Lakota felt the pain of seeing it burned to the ground in 1973 after it was seized by members of the American Indian Movement. Clive and Agnes, an elderly couple by then, were tied to chairs by the occupiers. They were held captive until an agreement was finally made to release them.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: Giago signs exclusive agreement to buy Wounded Knee land

(Ernestine Chasing Hawk can be reached at

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