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Native Sun News: New business sprouts up at Wounded Knee

A misspelled sign at the foot of the Wounded Knee memorial gravesite advertises souvenirs inside. Photo by Richie Richards

A business already at Wounded Knee?
Visitors puzzled to see dilapidated building used as store front next to gravesite
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Staff Writer

WOUNDED KNEE –– Just below the Wounded Knee memorial gravesite, sits a boarded-up, run-down brown building which, according to family members of Gary Rowland and Cleon Ice, is preparing to open back up for the summer tourist season.

This graffiti’d up building with large stones holding a portion of the roof down is a “family-owned business” run by Rowland and Ice, according to local residents. A sign reading, “Wounded Knee Souvenirs” is the only indication this building is not completely abandoned.

Native Sun News spoke to some young Lakota artists selling their beadwork parked in a car across the road from the Wounded Knee gravesite on BIA HWY 27, also known as Big Foot Trail.

This parking lot is used throughout the year by many with various items for sale, including everything from Indian Tacos to deer antler earrings. Prices fluctuate throughout the year with certain items being sold at two different prices - tourist prices and local prices.

One of the questions asked by the young artists on Native Sun News’ visit to Wounded Knee was, “Where you guys from?” This inquiry was the deciding factor in pricing the two necklaces shown at this time.

The building situated approximately 75 yards from the gravesite of the victims of the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890, is currently used to sell beadwork and other crafts from the families of Gary Rowland and Cleon Ice, according to their family members.

Also in the building this summer, you will find “pictures and things related to Wounded Knee.” This implies the family-run business will be serving as a makeshift museum to draw in tourist dollars and for general interest while visitors shop.

Read the rest of the story on the all new Native Sun News website: A business already at Wounded Knee?

(Contact Richie Richards at

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