HEALING – 1973
SENATE BILL S1846
SUMMARY OF ABDNOR WOUNDED KNEE COMPENSATION BILL
This bill has a rather simple purpose, and includes some specific provisions for accomplishing that purpose. To accomplish the purpose of the bill in a “legal” manner the bill must be drafted to handle the details of the situation as it is now known, and also for handling some unknown or unexpected aspects of the situation which the bill addresses itself to. For this reason the bill itself will seem unduly complicated and confusing to some who read it.
The main purpose of the bill is to provide compensation frcm the Federal Government to innocent victims who suffered personal injury, or loss of property due to the lawless occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota between February 27, 1973 and May 8, 1973, and to vest in the Federal Government the right to recover from the responsible or liable parties the damages for which Federal compensation is so paid.
To do this, of course, it becomes necessary to define terms and to set up the mechanics to determine who the innocent victims are and what the extent of their loss is and to appropriate the money necessary to compensate the victims and to administer the payment.
Because so much of the controversey which surrounded the occupation of Wounded Knee is associated with inequity and injustice, it becomes necessary to take extra pains to insure that conpensation wil be allocated on a just and equitable basis. To do so necessarily requires staff and procedures which become expensive and time consuming. It is sincerely hoped that administrative expense and delay can be kept to a minimum, and this bill was drafted with that intent.
93D CONGRESS lST SESSION IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 17, 1973 Mr. MCGOVERN (for himself) Mr. Abourezk, and Mr. Curtis introduced the following
bill; which was read twice and to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
To amend the Small Business Act by adding at the end thereof the following new title. Be it enacted by
the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. The Congress finds that- (a) many innocent persons suffered injury and loss as a result of the
disturbances at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, and other related disturbances; (b) many such injuries and losses
occured as a result of the forebearance of the Department of Justice in dealing with the disturbances; and (c) the
Government of the United States has an obligation to compensate innocent persons for injuries and losses for
which they would not otherwise receive compensation
SEC. 2 The Administrator is authorized and directed to grant any innocent person for any uninsured loss or
injury which arose out of, or was caused by, the disturbance at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, or any related
disturbance as defined in section 4 hereof, an amount equal to 100 per centum of such loss or injury.
REPORT TO CONGRESS
SEC. 3 The Administrator shall report to Congress within thirty days of enactment
hereof on the amount and extent of danage resulting from such disturbances.
SEC. 4 As used in this Act- (a) “innocent person” means any person or entity as to whom the Administrator
has reasonable grounds to believe (1) was not willfully engaged in any such dis- turbances when the loss or
injury occurred, and (2) was not responsible for such loss or injury; (b) “uninsured loss or injury” means any
damage to property, personal or real (including livestock, loss of earnings, or damage to business), or any
personal injury which would not have occurred but for such disturb- ances and for which compensation would
not otherwise be received; and(c)”related disturbances” means any disturbance or event occurring during the
period January 1, 1973, to and including May 9, 1973, within the states of Nebraska and South Dakota, or any
related disturbance, shall insure to the Government of the United States upon payment of the compensation
required under section 2 hereof.
SEC. 6 There are hereby authorized to be appropriated such funds as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this title.
Healing For Wounded Knee S1846 Page