New statue in Centennial Mall honors Chief Standing Bear

Several speakers and performers celebrated the legacy of Chief Standing Bear during an unveiling ceremony of a sculpture of the Ponca tribe chief on Sunday, Oct. 15 on the Centennial Mall.

The event, which was part of Nebraska’s sesquicentennial celebration, brought members of the community, state politicians and members of several Native American tribes together to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the unveiling.

Artist Benjamin Victor created the sculpture. Victor is a professor of practice at Boise State University and is also the only living artist to have two works in the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol.

Along with the unveiling, members of the Winnebago Tribe performed a ceremonial dance and song. Several speakers then discussed the importance and relevancy of the sculpture, which was apart of the festivities for Nebraska’s sesquicentennial.

“Chief Standing Bear’s story is arguably the most compelling,” Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler said. “He learned his way into the intellectual and emotional heart of the post-Civil War republic, and he attached himself to the underlying ideas of our founding fathers that all men are created equal.”