SCOUTING YESTERDAY: Wounded Knee occupation ends after bloodshed, peace pact
This week in South Dakota history: May 2-9
May 8, 1973 — The 70-day occupation of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation has come to an end after Indians agreed to lay down their arms, according to the Rapid City Journal.
A statement released on May 3 by traditional Oglala Sioux Chief Frank Fools Crow announced a visit to the reservation had been made and a tentative agreement to lay down arms and end the conflict had been reached by those occupying the town. American Indian Movement (AIM) leaders also made a statement indicating that the government and the occupying forces had come to terms. Tribal Chairman Richard Wilson disputed these claims, stating that the traditional leaders had no standing with the tribe.
An April 5 peace pact required that persons occupying Wounded Knee give up their arms to end the standoff. According to that peace pact, an investigation of civil rights complaints and an investigation of Oglala Sioux tribal fund usage on the reservation would follow. A letter from the White House given to Chief Fools Crow on May 5 indicated that once the standoff came to an end, there would also be a meeting on the reservation with at least five White House officials concerning the terms of an 1868 treaty, which had placed all land west of the Missouri River in South Dakota in the possession of the Sioux.
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