The story of one man’s struggle to gain equality and justice.
From his birth on the banks of the Niobrara River in Nebraska until his death in 1908, Chief Standing Bear spent his life in a constant struggle to gain equality and justice for our nation’s Native Americans. Chief Standing Bear and the Ponca Tribe were forced in 1877 by federal treaty to leave their homeland in Nebraska for Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma.
The hardship of travel, illness, and the conditions of Indian Territory caused many members of the tribe to perish, including Chief Standing Bear’s son. Determined to bury his son in his homeland, Chief Standing Bear led thirty members of his tribe back to their home in Nebraska. As a result, Chief Standing Bear became the first Native American to be recognized as a person in a federal court decision rendered in Omaha at the trial following his return.
His trail to and from Nebraska created a two-way, circular trail.