Many see museum at Wounded Knee as positive thing
By Brandon Ecoffey
“It would be good to have a memorial, for our youth to be proud of. To tell why our ancestors died and how we survived. We can see it in our youth; they need to be given something to be proud of and shown where they come from,” she said.
Support for a possible memorial, although not unanimous, has significant backing from Lakota people throughout reservations in South Dakota. Craig Dillon, Oglala Sioux tribal councilman, recently told the British Publication The Guardian that he was in favor of a museum and a place where vendors could sell what they produce.
Retired owner of Native Sun News, Tim Giago (Oglala Lakota), has recently proposed an idea to build a Native American Holocaust Museum at Wounded Knee where an accurate depiction of the plight of Native people could be told, and tribal members on social media have expressed support for a monument to those who have passed away there, if it is done in a respectful way. Joe Brings Plenty feels that it could be a chance for the Mnicoujou to show the world what really happened at Wounded Knee.
“I would support a memorial park erected at the location, with walkways and monuments showing where the teepees and events occurred. There needs to be more information available to educate the public. The American public at this point has been misled by naming this a battle; it was never a battle. It was a massacre that ended tragically with many innocent lives taken and changed forever. The historical trauma our relatives, as well as ourselves, have faced in the past years is fatal to our Nation’s health. A memorial park would assist in retelling a history and honorable struggle of our nations will to live. This would give us an opportunity to honor our relatives in a good way, to remember them and allow them to be remembered in the way we know they deserved to be remembered, with the greatness they lived and passed on through the traditional culture we continue to practice today” he said.
The museum could house the history of the millions who died from the tip of South America to the top of North America. Every indigenous tribe has its stories of the death and destruction that was visited upon their people. A museum of this nature would draw visitors from around the world and it would inform and educate the masses as to the true history of the Natives of this Hemisphere. But more than that, the museum would serve as a stark reminder that the hands of the invaders were not clean, but they were the hands of a people who tried in vain to destroy a culture and a people.
Whether that destruction came in the form of forced religions or in the quest for gold, indigenous people died in its wake. There are hundreds of stories to be told and hundreds of photos and artifacts to substantiate the holocaust of the Native people. It should be a priority venture for the Oglala Sioux Tribe and there should be many wealthy people and the United States government itself that would contribute money and the expertise to make the Holocaust Museum of the Indigenous People a reality.
It is time to stop talking about the genocide foisted upon us and to do something about it. This idea is one that is achievable. We now need the Lakota people of vision to cease upon it and make it happen. It is time to tell the true history of the invasion of the Americas and about the millions of deaths that ensued.
And the Lakota People should be the leaders in this endeavor because for all intent and purposes, the holocaust of the indigenous people ended on the Sacred Grounds at Wounded Knee.
For more on the subject, see Pine Ridge Needs Tourism and Fire Totals Wounded Knee Museum.