Standing Bear and the Ponca Chiefs
Standing Bear was a chieftain of the Ponca Indian tribe, which farmed and hunted peacefully along the Niobrara River in northeastern Nebraska. In 1878 the Poncas were forced by the federal government to move to Indian Territory. During the year they were driven out, 158 out of 730 died, including Standing Bear’s young son, who had begged to be buried on the Niobrara. Early in 1879 the chief, accompanied by a small band, defied the federal government by returning to the ancestral home with the boy’s body.