Monday, May 6, 2013

"Wounded Knee" Land Is Being Sold

The area called "Wounded Knee" (in the US state of South Dakota) was the place where the last battle between US soldiers and Native Americans (Indians) took place. That happened in 1890.

Actually, it isn't even classified as a 'battle,' it was more of a massacre.  A massacre is when one powerful group attacks a weaker group and mercilessly kills many, if not all, the members of the weaker group. (Massacre is pronounced: MASS uh kur).

Indeed, at Wounded Knee, the US Army attacked and massacred about 300 Indians in 1890.

Now a non-Indian, who owns part of that historic land, wants to sell his share of the land.  However, because he knows the Oglala Sioux Indian tribe would like to have complete control of the land, he is "offering" his land to this tribe for $5,000,000 (Five million dollars).  The land is, however, only worth $14,000 (Fourteen thousand dollars).

Of course, this is disgraceful (shameful) behavior.

{By the way, one obvious question is: Why is this area called "Wounded Knee"?  A wound is, of course, an injury, and your knee is in the middle of your leg. Nobody really knows any more why this area was called wounded knee.  Some historians think that, long ago, an Indian may have injured his knee near a creek there (a creek is like a little river) or he might have been shot in his knee by an enemy Indian.  So, basically, nobody knows.}

The article:

(Another article:  )


an ultimatum -  an ultimatum is when someone says, "If you don't do something I want you to do, then I will take some type of action that you don't like."  In this case, a white man is saying to Indians, "If you don't pay me $5 million for this land, I will sell it to some business (for less money, apparently) and you will never have the land and the land might be used for some purpose you won't like!"

a patch - a small piece of land

a prairie - flat land with grass

desolate - empty, deserted

tucked amid rolling hills - place or located within hills. Rolling hills refers to the shape of the hills - like rolling waves, they are very round

dilapidated - a dilapidated building is an old building that is falling apart

a gravesite - a grave is where a dead body is buried

assessed value - what something is considered to be worth by an expert

tribal members - a tribe is a small group of a certain type of people.  A tribe is larger than a family group.

to profit from their suffering - to make money from a very sad situation

a fraction - a small piece of the total land.  1/9 is a fraction.  2/3 is a fraction.  I did some research and it looks as if his family was able to purchase the small faction of land due to some type of government mistake.

a historic landmark - a famous place

a parcel of land - an area of land

an investor - in this case an investor just means a buyer who might try to develop the land for business purposes

to commercialize this - to turn the land into some type of tourist or business site.  The Indians are basically saying that they cannot afford such a huge price and that if a business tries to make money from the land where their ancestors died, they will protest this and fight against it.

to bid for the land - to make financial offers for the land.

a descendant - someone who is a son/daughter, grandson/granddaughter etc.

the 11th hour - the last minute.  A very late period of time.

a selling pitch - a sales pitch is a way to sell something - for instance, if I say, "This automobile provides a very smooth ride!", the fact that it provides a smooth ride is the sales pitch.  For this land, the fact that it is of very important historical value is the selling or sales pitch.

grotesque - disgusting, shameful, sickening

barbaric - not civilized

proximity - closeness to

a standoff - when two different groups engage in a  conflict and neither side can win

is credited with raising awareness of -  was the cause of.  There was a huge protest at Wounded Knee in 1973.  Several Indians took over the land and the police surrounded them and tried to force them off the land.  This lead to a gunfight.  This protest caused a greater awareness of issues that current Indians were facing in the USA, and caused people to begin to study Indian history.

to turn a hefty dollar sign -  to make a lot of money

an obstacle - something that can block what someone wants to do. If there is an obstacle in the road, you cannot continue driving down the road.

a hue and cry - a protest, a complaint

to intercede - to stop something from happening.

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