Standing Bear of the Ponca

Overview

For Ages 8 and up

Imagine having to argue in court that you are a person. Yet this is just what Standing Bear, of the Ponca Indian tribe, did in Omaha in 1879. And because of this trial, the law finally said that an Indian was indeed a person, with rights just like any other American.

Standing Bear of the Ponca tells the story of this historic leader, from his childhood education in the ways and traditions of...

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Overview

For Ages 8 and up

Imagine having to argue in court that you are a person. Yet this is just what Standing Bear, of the Ponca Indian tribe, did in Omaha in 1879. And because of this trial, the law finally said that an Indian was indeed a person, with rights just like any other American.

Standing Bear of the Ponca tells the story of this historic leader, from his childhood education in the ways and traditions of his people to his trials and triumphs as chief of the Bear Clan of the Ponca tribe. Most harrowing is the winter trek on which Standing Bear led his displaced people, starving and sick with malaria, back to their homeland—only to be arrested by the U.S. government, which set the stage for his famous trial. Standing Bear’s story is also the story of a changing America, when the Ponca, like so many Indian tribes, felt the pressure of pioneers looking to settle the West. Standing Bear died in 1908, but his legacy and influence continue even up to the present. 
 

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Editorial Reviews

Judi M. gaiashkibos
“Finally we have a children’s book that tells the story of the Ponca people who were for so long a forgotten tribe and presents an Indian hero for teachers to use in the classroom. Sneve captures the unique richness of being Indian and the challenges faced in a changing America as Standing Bear’s life evolves. Students will be inspired to find their own heroes through the universal themes of the love of family and home as we celebrate Standing Bear’s journey home.”—Judi M. gaiashkibos, an enrolled member of the Ponca tribe of Nebraska and executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs
Joe Starita

“Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve has told a terribly important, complex story of what it means to be human—to be a father, a leader, a civil rights hero—in simple, powerful, unadorned language accessible to one and all, but especially to children.”—Joe Starita, author of “I Am a Man”: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice
Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
Standing Bear was an American Indian who became famous because his actions led to the conclusion that American Indians had the same rights as any other person in the United States. This biography begins with a description of his Ponca tribal life when he was born and growing up in the 1800’s. The Poncas had been living in Niobrara, Nebraska. They experienced numerous difficulties with other tribes, and when settlers arrived, the U.S. government began to control their lives. Land disputes resulted in the loss of lives. The story relates their problems and suffering when they had to move, and how Thomas Henry Tibbles, an editor of the Omaha newspaper helped them by writing stories in his newspaper about how badly the Ponca were treated. In a historic trial, Standing Bear spoke out, saying that American Indians were made by the same God. The judge ruled that an Indian had the same rights as other Americans. Standing Bear continued to work throughout his life for justice for American Indians and achieved an honored position in Nebraska and the country’s history. There is a table of contents, timeline, glossary, and a suggested reading list. A small number of illustrations depict scenes of various events. This detailed and interesting text would make a good resource for libraries and schools. Reviewer: Vicki Foote AGERANGE: Ages 9 to 12.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803228269
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 781,139
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve is of Ponca and Sioux descent and the recipient of the National Humanities Medal. Her many books include The Trickster and the Troll, When Thunders Spoke, and Lana’s Lakota Moons, all available in Bison Books editions. Thomas Floyd is an artist working in a variety of media from painting to illustration to comic strips and is a graphic designer at Nebraska Educational Telecommunications.
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