Tim Giago: Childhood memories of Wounded Knee at Pine Ridge

The Wounded Knee Trading Post as it “used to be" on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.

Childhood memories of Wounded Knee
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
Native Sun News Editor Emeritus

When some folks say leave Wounded Knee alone; leave it as it was what are they talking about? Do they mean like it was 90 years ago or like it is now?

In the 1920s the Gildersleeve family, Clive and Agnes (Ojibwe), built a store at Wounded Knee that sold canned goods, a butcher shop that cut meat fresh daily, bread and milk was sold there and there were gas pumps out in front to enable the Indian people driving their Model T and Model A Fords a place to fill up their cars. More likely than not in those days one saw teams of horses pulling wagons in front of the store.

Their store also housed a United States Post Office and benches on the front porch for the Lakota elders to sit, smoke and visit. They sold a lot of Bull Durham tobacco in the store because that was before the cigarettes known as “tailor-mades” came along. Because of the store’s location it soon began to be known at The Wounded Knee Trading Post.

And it was indeed a trading post. Renowned Lakota artists like Hobart Keith, Andrew Standing Soldier, Jake Herman, Vincent Hunts Horse, Paha Ska, Richard Red Owl, and Felix Walker brought their paintings to the store and sold them on consignment. Walker is the artist who painted the pillars and spirals in the old Holy Rosary Mission Church. His full Lakota name was Felix Walks Under the Ground and Comes Up Holding Two Sticks.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: Childhood memories of Wounded Knee

(Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, was born, raised and educated on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and can be reached at unitysodak1@vastbb.net)

Copyright permission Native Sun News

Related Stories
Tim Giago: Wounded Knee was not 'liberated' by AIM activists in 1973 (01/25)
Editorial: Some more about the purchase of Wounded Knee site (01/11)
Tim Giago: The Wounded Knee massacre and the Moon of Popping Trees (01/06)
Native Sun News: 'They killed my father and brother for no reason' (01/05)
Native Sun News: Tim Giago to buy Wounded Knee massacre site (1/4)
Tim Giago: The editor who called for genocide of the Sioux people (12/24)

Join the Conversation