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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

Historic Downtown Walking Tour

The Ponca Historic District comprises a ten-square-block area that includes the downtown commercial area and a portion of the residential environs. The district contains houses, churches, commercial buildings, and public and

Ponca, NE Tours


Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Salem Church - NHR

Built in 1906, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this is one of Nebraska's outstanding examples of Swedish-American Gothic Revival wood church architecture. The building was designed by Swedish architect, Olof Z. Cervin.

Ponca, NE Historic Churches

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

Dixon County Courthouse - NHR

Built about 25 years after Dixon County was established, the Dixon County Courthouse was built in 1883-84 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dixon County was established in 1858. Several communities competed for the county seat designation, including

Ponca, NE Historic Courthouses

Things to do Indian Heritage near Ponca, NE