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KLIATTThis smoothly written and gripping narrative tells of Standing Bear, a member of the Ponca tribe, which had been forced from their fertile ancestral land in the Dakota Territory to the parched soil of "Indian Territory" in what is now Oklahoma. When Standing Bear and his family attempted to return, illegally, to their homelands, they were arrested and held at Fort Omaha. Befriended both by General Crook, the commanding officer of the fort, and by Henry Tibbles, a local newspaper writer/missionary, Standing Bear sued for recognition of his rights as a person. The final court decision that "Standing Bear is a person" was a landmark because to that point, Native Americans had no standing under American law. Once he was declared "a person" and could be freed on a writ of habeas corpus, Standing Bear could sue for his rights and that of his family. In clear and fast-paced prose, the author recounts a story that is a vital part of the history of American justice realized in the face of governmental foot-dragging. KLIATT Codes: JSA*--Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2004, Da Capo Press, 259p. illus. notes. bibliog. index., Ages 12 to adult.