Standing Bear Goes to Washington, D.C.

One hundred years after the Ponca Tribe was forcibly moved from their northern Nebraska homeland to Indian Territory, Nebraskans recognized Ponca Chief Standing Bear for his contribution to Native American rights. Inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 1977-78, Standing Bear was again recognized as a symbol of the Ideal of Freedom during the completion of the murals representing public service in the Memorial Chamber of the Nebraska State Capitol. In 1996 the mural representing the trial of Standing Bear in United States Federal Court was installed on the 14th floor of Nebraska’s Capitol to represent the idea that Americans and Nebraskans have worked to achieve the liberation of people from subservience to others and the respect of the rights of people. Standing Bear sued the United States government for the freedom to live where he wanted and control his own life. After traveling throughout the United States lecturing on Native American rights, Standing Bear returned to live the remainder of his life in Nebraska. His legacy as a national figure in the fight for human rights was secured in 2018 when the Nebraska’s Unicameral Legislature voted to replace the two figures which had represented Nebraska in the United States Capitol’s Statuary Hall with Chief Standing Bear and author Willa Cather.

A new documentary from the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs follows the creation, journey, and installation of the bronze sculpture of Ponca Chief Standing Bear in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in September 2019 and the remarkable story behind the statue’s subject. The documentary will be presented at the Lied Center’s MOSAIC Film Festival. The two-night event will begin on November 17th with Chief Standing Bear’s Journey to Statuary Hall, presented in cooperation with the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs. Guanajuato Norte will be presented on November 18th. Both films are free to attend, but tickets are required. There is also the option to select a paid ticket to support the Lied Center. Both events will also be available to stream live from the Lied Center.

Tickets and streaming links are available at

This event was made possible through support from the Lied Center’s MOSAIC Circle, which includes Priscilla C. Grew, Dr. Colleen Jones, Rhonda Seacrest, and Art and Chris Zygielbaum.