The transfer of ownership to the Ponca Tribe for a 19.5-mile stretch of the Homestead Trail is the perfect culmination to the long effort to make the trail from Lincoln to the Kansas border a reality.

Most importantly, the stretch of trail is believed to be close to the “trail of tears” followed by the tribe when it was forced from its ancestral lands to a reservation in Oklahoma. Nine people died on the journey, including Chief Standing Bear’s daughter.

“The trail itself is a reminder of a tragic time in our tribe’s past, a past that still resonates with us today,” Tribal Chairman Larry Wright Jr. said.

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