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Chief Standing Bear deserves better

By Paul Hosford

Standing Bear just can’t seem to get a break. The famous Ponca chief, whose struggles to lay his son to rest in his native Nebraskan soil led to establishing that Native Americans were actually human beings, has been rejected twice now for depiction on American coinage. A few years ago his image lost out to Chimney Rock for a place on the Nebraska Quarter. Recently, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry has advocated picturing Standing Bear on the newly redesigned Sacagawea dollar, which will now depict on its obverse a series of events in Native American history. Unfortunately, that too has been nixed.

The Ponca were allowed by treaty to keep lands near Niobrara, but a later error granted those same lands to the more numerous and violent Sioux, leading to years of bloodshed. The Ponca demanded redress from the government. Rather than correct the error, in 1877 the government sent troops who removed the Ponca to a reservation in Oklahoma.

Complete Column in Albion News Print Edition.