Our mission is to gain designation of a national Chief Standing Bear trail spanning from Chief Standing Bear’s homeland in Nebraska through Kansas and into Oklahoma. The development and designation of the Chief Standing Bear trail is an important step in the ongoing goal to educate the public about Chief Standing Bear and the Ponca tribe’s forced relocation to Oklahoma.
Ponca Trail of Tears
MAY 16 – JULY 9, 1877
After being forced into Indian Territory by the U.S. government, the Ponca tribe set out for present-day Oklahoma. This map follows the trail taken by Chief Standing Bear when he led his tribe back to their homeland in Nebraska after losing over 100 members of his tribe, including his son. His trail to and from Nebraska created a two-way, circular trail.
About Chief Standing Bear
From his birth on the banks of the Niobrara River in Nebraska until his death in 1908, Chief Standing Bear spent his life in constant struggle to gain equality and justice for our nation’s Native Americans. In 1877, Chief Standing Bear and the Ponca Tribe were forced by a federal treaty to leave their homeland in Nebraska for Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. Chief Standing Bear became the first Native American to be recognized as a person in a federal court decision.