We lived in Pipestone and Blood Run near Sioux Falls, South Dakota, from around 1200 to 1700. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Earth lodge dwelling of the Plains tribes of North America, photograph by Edward S. Curtis. I-80 rest area MM 381, eastbound, Milford, Seward County, Nebraska View this marker's location 40.82125, -97.060301 . It was not until 1990, almost a quarter of a century later, that the Ponca would, once again, gain federal recognition. This journey will become known as the Ponca Tribe’s "Trail of Tears." The outcome was that the Indian was declared a “person” according to law and that Standing Bear and his followers were free to return to their homeland. The experience of the Poncas reached a national audience in 1879 when Chief Standing Bear and 66 followers returned to Nebraska to bury his son. A Nebraska reservation was eventually assigned to the Northern Ponca. 89101 522 Ave, Niobrara, Knox County, Nebraska View this marker's location 42.750804, -98.06448. PO BOX 288 (Howard, 37; Prucha, 567-68) View a map of all Nebraska historical markers, Browse Historical Marker Map.  2523 Woodbine Street Phone : 402-857-3391 Preference will be given to Ponca Tribe of Nebraska members or members of a federally recognized tribe. She asked why the Ponca Tribe was left out when she was doing a report for her Nebraska History class in the 4th grade. Each was an attempt to affirm their peaceful intent and to regulate trade in the area in which they lived. However, in the interim, much of the Tribe’s cultural heritage would be forever lost. They were soon arrested and about to be returned to Indian Territory when their plight was publicized in the Omaha Daily Herald. Where do the Poncas live? Niobrara NE 68760. By 1937, the Ponca population reached 1,222 with 825 in Oklahoma and 397 in Nebraska. The tribe is governed by a democratically elected council. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The first challenge was to secure a member of the Nebraska Congressional delegation to sponsor the legislation. The experiences of restored tribes in Oregon suggested the value of securing state recognition from the Nebraska Unicameral before approaching the US Congress. The Northern Ponca Restoration Committee was founded for this purpose in 1986-87. Howard, a respected ethnologist, traces the tribe’s origins and early history. View a map of all Nebraska historical markers, Browse Historical Marker Map. This uniqueness made the Tribe embark upon a vigorous program of educating and lobbying state and federal legislator officials to ensure that its members receive all the benefits and programs that the status as a federally recognized Tribe of Indians implies. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture - Ponca, Ponca - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Ponca - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Although requests for establishment of a reservation were rejected, the tribe is working to restore its history, culture and language through its museum just outside of this Knox County community. The Ponca were never a large tribe; an early estimate places their number at 800 individuals. By 1804, largely because of smallpox, their numbers dwindled to around 200. This case had important repercussions because it opened the judicial system to Native Americans.  Email : [email protected] We offer a broad range of health, social, educational and cultural services. Ponca people are thought to have migrated to the Great Plains from the Ohio River valley. The Tribe’s Legislative prowess developed in the days before its actual restoration. LAND HISTORY OF THE PONCA TRIBE OF OKLAHOMA The Ponca tribe is considered indigenous to Nebraska. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska is an at-will employer. Aided by Ponca informants, he presents their way of life in his descriptions of Ponca lodgings, arts and crafts, clothing and ornaments, food, tools and weapons, dogs and horses, kinship system, governance, sexual practices, and religious ceremonies and dances. In 1977, Chief Standing Bear was elected to the Nebraska Hall of Fame. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska is a federally recognized tribe headquartered in Niobrara, Nebraska. There are two herds, both located in Niobrara. When we left the Sioux Falls area, we went to what is now known as Ponca, Nebraska, and then to Niobrara, Lynch, Verdel, etc.”. Leroy asked the Ponca people if they wanted to be restored as a tribe. from the Preamble of the Ponca Constitution Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Although the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska does not have a reservation, the Ponca Restoration Act established our fifteen-county Service Delivery Area across Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. The tribe works with the Natural Resources District to manage its buffalo pastures, and the tribe also receives assistance from the Intertribal Bison Cooperative. Today the Ponca can be proud of their fight for justice. The census of 1910 listed 875 Poncas, including 619 in Oklahoma and 193 in Kansas. What follows is the narrative of the people that came together to make that vision a reality, and the milestones that helped shape the rich Ponca culture that we know today. The Ponca were never a large tribe. Media Images The Ponca Tribe: View of marker 237 When the tribe migrated to the Great Plains they adopted the tepee as a convenient, temporary shelter for summer hunting trips. It is a story that challenged and changed the U. S. legal system. Although the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska does not have a reservation, the Ponca Restoration Act established our fifteen-county Service Delivery Area across Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. By 1937, the Ponca population reached 1,222 with 825 in Oklahoma and 397 in Nebraska. The tribe’s probable size in 1780 was estimated at 800. 25 years ago the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska had a vision of Restoration. In the mid-16th century, Ponca people migrated with the Kansa, Omaha, and Osage north, up the In 1936 the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act paved the way for the Southern Ponca in Oklahoma … The Ponca were never a large tribe. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska is the name used to describe the Northern Ponca Tribe after the Tribe was officially restored in 1990. It was at this time that the Ponca were forcibly removed from their homeland in northeastern Nebraska and marched to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Corrections? Larry Wright Jr. is currently serving as tribal chairperson. Learn more about the history of the Ponca Tribe! In 2013, the Sandy Recovery and Improvement Act (P.L. Today, the Ponc… However, by the early 1700s, the warring Sioux had forced them to relocate to the west bank of the Missouri River. In 1986 after 21 years, Fred Leroy decided to restore the Ponca Tribe. At that time, they were situated along Ponca Creek, in Knox County, near present-day Verdel. By 1804, when they were encountered by Lewis and Clark, a smallpox epidemic had reduced the tribe to about 200 individuals. This is the story of a remarkable Native American man and the tribe he was a member and leader of. However, all qualified individuals are eligible. The process was completed on October 31, 1990, when then-President George Herbert Walker Bush signed the Ponca Restoration Act into law. The termination removed 442 Poncas from tribal rolls. In 1962, at the request of the Ponca, Congress provided for a termination of the reservation. The tribe found living conditions there unbearable; led by Chief Standing Bear, they traveled north on foot for 600 miles (965 km) to eastern Nebraska, where they received asylum from the Omaha. In 1989, Senator J. James Exon and Senator Bob Kerrey agreed to introduce and sponsor the “Ponca Restoration Act” in the United States Senate. Perhaps because of their small population, they have moved frequently over the past several centuries. Promising to honor his son’s dying wish to be buried in his homeland, Standing Bear and a small band of his men began the arduous journey home to bury his son. In 1865 the Ponca were guaranteed a reservation on their homelands, but after bureaucratic blundering the land was awarded to the Dakota, and the Ponca were forcibly removed to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). Northern Ponca in Nebraska in 1962 (Prucha 1984:1048). Siouan-speaking tribes such as the Omaha, Osage, Quapaw and Kaw also have traditions of having migrated to the West from east of the Mississippi River. Marker Text. The Ponca Indians are original people of original people of Nebraska and South Dakota. Achieving this same support in the House of Representatives proved to be much more difficult. Join us as together we explore this visual timeline of … The Ponca eventually established homes in what are now southwestern Minnesota and the Black Hills of South Dakota. The museum — although a little off the beaten path from the town of Niobrara — is inside of a building constructed by Ponca men in 1936. The policy of terminating tribes began in 1945. The Ponca are not unique in their documentation of the se-vere consequences that termination had for their tribe. They left Minnesota in the late 17th century owing to incursions by the Dakota Sioux. A very significant moment in the Tribe’s history was the “Trial of Standing Bear” in 1879. PONCA TRAIL OF TEARS - WHITE BUFFALO GIRL. January 11, 2021 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska has been reintroducing the bison to the native homelands since the tribe was federally restored in 1990. Omissions? Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. In 1906, the Ponca in Oklahoma numbered 570 and those in Nebraska, 263. A Nebraska reservation was eventually assigned to the Northern Ponca while many of the Southern Ponca remained in Oklahoma. Eventually, 26,000 acres in Knox County would be restored to them. The Ponca Tribe of NE currently has around 4,200 members. Many died along the way, including Standing Bear’s daughter, and, upon arrival, his son would also die. In the early 21st century Ponca descendants numbered approximately 5,000 individuals. This policy affected approximately 109 tribes and bands and almost 1.5 million acres of trust land. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. He got the idea from his daughter, Rhonda. Lincoln, Nebraska – The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska made history last year after being the first Tribe from the State of Nebraska to make a direct disaster declaration to the President of the United States, approved on June 17, 2019. Standing Bear was held for trial at a fort near Omaha. Although the tribe’s exact origin is unknown, some scholars believed the Ponca migrated from an area along the Red River near Lake Winnipeg. Like many other Plains Indians, they resided in semipermanent agricultural villages and lived in earth lodges. Ponca, North American Indians of the Dhegiha branch of the Siouan language family. There was a concern that the Poncas would one day choose to re-establish a reservation in northeastern Nebraska. On a spring morning, members of the Ponca tribe gathered near the town of Niobrara to follow the footsteps of their great-great grandparents who, 140 years earlier, were driven by soldiers from their traditional Nebraska homeland to Indian Territory - now the state of Oklahoma. During the spring and autumn hunting seasons they engaged in communal bison hunts and camped in tepees. This is the homeland of the Ponca Indians who have lived in this area since earliest recorded history. Because they share common social and cultural characteristics with the Omaha, Osage, Kaw and Quapaw, some scholars believe the tribe once Their original locale is thought to have been in what is now the U.S. state of Virginia, from which they moved in turn to the present states of North and South Carolina, western Missouri, and Minnesota. By 1804, largely because of smallpox, their numbers dwindled to around 200. Thus, by 1966, the tribe’s termination was complete. In 1962 the reservation was terminated. Many Ponca were arrested for leaving their assigned territory but were freed after a young Omaha woman named Susette La Flesche convinced a group of wealthy and sympathetic individuals to defend the Ponca cause in court. However, as all of the Tribe’s land had been taken from them, they had no home to return to. At first European contact, the Ponca lived around the mouth of the Niobrara River in northern Nebraska. What language did the Ponca tribe speak? According to tradition, they moved there from an area east of the Mississippi just before Columbus' arrival in the Americas. In effect, this meant that not only did the Ponca no longer exist but also that their remaining land and holdings were dissolved. In the 1700s the Ponca Indians separated from the Omaha tribe and established villages along the Niobrara River and Ponca Creek in present Nebraska and South Dakota. The Northern Ponca were reinstated as a federally-recognized tribe on October 31, 1990. These language facts and the historical stories told within the tribes suggest that all of these groups were part of one tribe that once lived near the mouth of the Ohio River. Copyright 2021 - Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. They realized that they were doing so in defiance of orders not to leave the reservation. In fact, the original Ponca Restoration Act was opposed by the Tribe’s “home” district representative. Nearly all of the terminated Tribes had been restored by this time, except the Northern Poncas. Treaties between the government and the Sioux/Lakota in 1868 gave the land claimed by the Ponca to the Sioux. The Ponca tribe originally lived in small fortified villages of thatched bark longhouses. They were on such a trip when Lewis and Clark came upon their village. The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska are believed to have been part of the Omaha Tribe at one point before eventually separating. Today, a bust of Standing Bear sits in Nebraska’s State Capitol Hall of Fame, honoring him for his efforts on behalf of Native American Rights. In 1962, Congress decided that the Northern Ponca would be one of the tribes terminated. Ironically, as late as 1966, the Ponca would, yet again, be considered “persona non-grata” when the United States government, in its infinite wisdom, terminated the Tribe. Spirit in the Wind – Spend the night in a tepee and learn about the culture and lifestyle of American Indian Tribes of the Great Plains at Spirit in the Wind. Jan 23, 2014 - American Indians. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. By 1989, the Northern Ponca Restoration Committee drafted language for Federal Restoration of the Northern Ponca Tribe. In the landmark decision Standing Bear v. Crook, Judge Elmer S. Dundy ruled that Indians were entitled to the rights guaranteed to citizens by the Constitution. We lived in what is now known as Rapid City, near Big Horn Mountain, and a few other places in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Although the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska does not have a reservation, the Ponca Restoration Act established our fifteen-county Service Delivery Area across Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. 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