Two developments are noteworthy in the effort to focus deserved attention on one of the nation’s civil rights heroes.

The U.S. House has passed legislation sponsored by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., to study designating a federal historic trail in the footsteps of Chief Standing Bear. Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., backs the legislation in the Senate.

In addition, leaders of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska have just signed an agreement accepting 19½ miles of a former railroad right of way between Beatrice and the Kansas border that traces part of the path walked by the Ponca in 1877. It will be operated as a segment of the Homestead Trail, and tribal chairman Larry Wright Jr. said, “This is just a really special opportunity for the public in general to share in our history. Ultimately, it’s all of our history.”

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