The goal 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 one more important step in the ongoing goal to educate the public about Chief Standing Bear and the Ponca tribe’s forced relocation to Oklahoma. This story transcends race, ethnicity, culture, and serves as a starting point to bringing about a greater understanding of tribal sovereignty, tribal rights, human rights, and equality for all peoples.
The establishment of this trail will increase the general public’s knowledge and awareness of the story of Ponca Chief Standing Bear, including his journey to Oklahoma and back and the historic court case in Omaha.
The information presented about Chief Standing Bear is a story that we in present times can identify with and understand in a very personal and approachable manner. This serves as an excellent point of entry for engaging visitors in examining a variety of historical and legal lessons including the displacement of the Ponca tribe to Oklahoma, legal and ethical issues of equality, and tribal sovereignty.
The equality and sovereignty issues continue to be of great importance and relevance for ongoing discussion today.
The final outcome of this designation would include the identification and marking of existing physical locations of historical significance for travelers and tourists. It would also include the dissemination of informational and educational printed materials, as well as the utilization of technology to develop a website and electronic educational applications. These applications would provide travelers physical and virtual information about the story of Chief Standing Bear and the trail that he traveled.
These materials will also direct local and regional travelers to a variety of trail locations where historic markers and additional educational materials will be available.