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The Ponca Tribe


category : Indian Heritage
The Ponca Tribe

This has been the homeland of the Ponca Indians since earliest recorded history. In 1866, the Federal government signed the treaty of Fort Laramie, which transferred the land to the Sioux without the permission of the Ponca. Treaties made with the government in 1856 had guaranteed their land to them. The Ponca were forcibly removed to Indian Territory in 1877. Unable to adjust to the climate of the South, many died, including the son of Chief Standing Bear.


In January 1879, Standing Bear and his people left Indian Territory bearing the remains of his son for burial in Nebraska. When troops arrested them, white friends came to their aid. A landmark court decision, Standing Bear vs. Crook, which determined that " an Indian is a person within the meaning of the law," did much to provide legal rights for all Indians. In 1977, Standing Bear was elected to the Nebraska Hall of Fame.


A Nebraska Reservation was eventually assigned to the Northern Ponca. In 1962, the reservation was terminated. The Northern Ponca were reinstated as a federally-recognized tribe on October 31, 1990.



- Nebraska State Historical Marker



Come visit us in Ponca, Nebraska

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Chief Standing Bear

Ponca Chief Standing Bear merely wanted to fulfill a promise; instead, he became part of one of the West's most famous trials. The Chief's son, like many of his tribe, had taken ill after being forced onto a reservation in Oklahoma. On his deathbed, the son uttered a final wish:

Ponca, NE Indian Heritage

The Ponca Tribe

This has been the homeland of the Ponca Indians since earliest recorded history. In 1866, the Federal government signed the treaty of Fort Laramie, which transferred the land to the Sioux without the permission of the Ponca. Treaties made with the government in 1856

Ponca, NE Indian Heritage

Indian Hill Archeological District - NHR

A cluster of eighteen prehistoric archeological sites within less than one-half square mile constitutes the Indian Hill District located near Newcastle. Indian Hill is the only exclusively prehistoric archeological district yet designated in Nebraska and is listed on the

Ponca, NE Archaeology


Carnegie Library - NHR

This brick structure, faced on three sides with stone, was constructed in 1913, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the second to last library to be built with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie. It now contains over 7,712 volumes.

Ponca, NE National Register

Things to do Indian Heritage near Ponca, NE

Ton won tonga Site

Located near the town of Homer, Big Village or "Ton won tonga," the principal village of the Omaha tribe, w...